The majority of women who have had abortions report feeling
happy, satisfied, and relieved following their abortion. Some few
women who have had an abortion may experience some feelings of
guilt and sadness; however, this rarely lasts longer than a few
days. Those very few women who present with prolonged feelings of
sadness and mental health problems are women who have either had
these problems prior to their abortion, had other risk factors, or
were influenced by frightening demonstrations and inaccurate biased
information provided prior to the abortion. Through this book the
authors hope to train general therapists and counselors in pre- and
post-abortion counseling techniques--to avoid women experiencing
unnecessary psychological problems created by those who insist that
the non-existent "post-abortion syndrome" exists.
"Abortion counseling has a critical role to play in ensuring
women's mental health is the priority and not the goals of a
political agenda. Thus, Needle and Walker have taken on a complex,
profound and essential task -- equipping therapists and abortion
counselors with the knowledge and skills needed to help their
clients -- and they have done it well . Readers of this book should
gain] an increased understanding of how women's diverse life
circumstances affect their ability to cope with the difficult
decisions and circumstances surrounding abortion. They will also be
better able to build women's resilience and coping skills by having
considered them both in the context of women's lives (e.g., coping
resources, social support, partner violence, incidence of
depression), and in the context of socio-political agendas that
seek to manipulate women's mental health in order to undermine
women's reproductive rights....In the final analysis, it is
important to remember that abortion counseling is not about
abortion - it is about women confronting the decision to bear a
child - with all of the profound and life changing commitments and
responsibilities that entails."
-- From the Foreword by Nancy Felipe Russo, PhD, Regents Professor
of Psychology, Arizona State University
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