Cosmopolitan is known for its raunchy sex tips proudly displayed on its cover each and every month. Now, the progressive women’s magazine is turning its attention to the most disturbing sex tip of all: abortion.
Headlined “Our Choice: How Abortion Changed Our Relationship,” author Liz Welch explores the world of couples who opted for abortion and suggested three possible relationship outcomes for those who choose to end their pre-born baby’s life: “Abortion can test a relationship, cement it, or end it.”
Welch opines, “The more people tell their personal stories the better. It gets these conversations out of the political realm and into people’s real lives.” That’s only correct if women tell the truth about the horrifying aftermath of abortion. Some women may never share the pain, but life after abortion is never the same.
After two botched abortions, a good friend of mine was forced to undergo a hysterectomy in her early 30s due to ongoing complications. Not only can she never birth children, but she’s also suffering from ongoing health issues and the psychological consequences of her decision. Through our work with Bound4LIFE Fort Lauderdale, she often tells her testimony. But the truth about the aftermath of abortion is still largely unknown to women—until after they’ve experienced the pain firsthand.
The National Abortion Federation claims there’s a “post-abortion myth” circulating, but the reality is few women who walk into an abortion mill understand the ripple effect the decision to end their baby’s life will have days, months and even years later. From a psychological perspective, part of that ripple effect is called post-abortion syndrome, a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is the result of suffering an event so traumatic that the person is unable to cope normally. This is the territory of war veterans, police offers and, yes, many post-abortive women.
Although studies show post-abortive women initially feel relieved, those feelings are often followed by what some researchers call “post-abortion numbness.” According to Aborted Women, Silent No More, within the first few weeks after abortion, between 40 and 60 percent of the women questioned reported at least some negative reactions.
In another study, “Psychosocial Sequelae of Therapeutic Abortion in Young Unmarried Women,” 50 percent expressed negative feelings, and up to 10 percent were classified as having developed “serious psychiatric complications.” Within 12 months of the abortion, Scandinavian women experienced a suicide rate of 34.9 percent compared to a suicide rate of 5.9 percent for women who delivered their babies, according to a Gissler study in the British Medical Journal. That’s six times the suicide rate! And that’s not the only study that ties higher suicide rates to post-abortive women.
A study sponsored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found that after three months, aborted women had a rate of 5.2 percent for hospitalizations for psychiatric problems, compared to a rate of 1.1 percent for the control group. The studies go on and on. Post-abortive women have lower fertility rates and are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, suffer breast cancer, have pre-term births if they do carry again and more.
Of course, the Cosmo article—which was pushed out to at least 3 million subscribers and will reach God only knows how many more women online—doesn’t offer these sorts of details. The article didn’t tell the horror stories; it largely focused on feel-good aspects of how men supported the woman through the abortion, how these women felt they would be a good mom someday (just not now), how the abortion mill played Beyonce during the surgery and the like.
But in the end, even Welch and Cosmo could not deny the psychological impact of abortion. The story ends with information for the Exhale After-Abortion Talkline, which offers free counseling for post-abortive women. And they’ll need the help—and probably more than a talkline can offer. There is life after abortion. There is recovery, but the process is painful, and I’m told the memory never goes away. It’s time to tell the truth about abortion, not glorify abortion mills in magazines that offer tips for better sex.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@