Download Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing by Ellie Lee PDF

By Ellie Lee

Centering at the declare that abortion may end up in publish Abortion Syndrome, the writer examines the "medicalization" of the abortion challenge on either side of the Atlantic. Lee issues to contrasts in felony and scientific dimensions of the abortion factor that make for a few very important adjustments, yet argues that during either the us and Britain, the PAS declare actually constitutes an instance of the bounds to medicalization. She contends that exam of contests over PAS issues no longer rather a lot to demedicalization as to the development of its alternative—motherhood—as a mental ordeal. Centrally, Lee makes the case for trying to the social dimensions of psychological illnesses to account for and comprehend debates approximately what makes ladies in poor health.

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Additional resources for Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing Reproduction in the United States and Great Britian (Social Problems and Social Issues)

Sample text

An array of therapeutic services initiated by or linked with organizations that oppose legal abortion has emerged, which offer counseling to women who have had abortions. One such initiative in the United States is Rachel’s Vineyard, a “therapeutic support group for post abortive women,” which started out as the Center for Post Abortion Healing in 1986, and which now operates as part of the activities of the American Life League. Rachel’s Vineyard lists the following as “symptoms of Post Abortion Syndrome/Trauma”: Bouts of crying, guilt, intense grief/sadness, emotional numbness, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal urges, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, inability to forgive yourself, anger/rage, sexual problems or promiscuity, lowered self esteem, nightmares and sleep disturbances, difficulty with relationships, flashbacks.

But a development that has caught the attention of some is the growing propensity for human experience to be described and explained with reference to mental illness and disease. As Horwitz argues, whereas thirty years ago many people experienced social and person difficulties in their lives, these were not considered “medical problems” and were certainly not taken to mean that people were afflicted by specific, discrete kinds of mental disorder. What is highly significant about the period of time in between, he contends, is that such “general disturbances of living” metamorphosed into “specific psychiatric diseases that afflict the clients of mental health professionals today” (2002:ix).

It is estimated that 7–17% of women who elect abortion may meet the diagnostic criteria for PAS and 25–45% experience multiple post-traumatic stress-related symptoms” (Rue and Banhole 1998:29). A point also emphasized throughout the literature produced on PAS by the antiabortion movement is that existing research about the psychological effects of abortion is unreliable. Most research carried out following the legalization of abortion in the United States and other countries, as Chapter 5 details, has found that abortion does not lead to severe psychological difficulties.

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