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Post Abortion Syndrome - A silent killer

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
– Isaiah 43:19 NKJV

Her name was Sherri, and she had a great love for life. She was always ready for an adventure. I can remember that as a child, her eyes would dance with mischief, and I would know she was planning something that would probably lead to our getting into trouble. We were as close as sisters, and only 11 months apart in age. Sherri was my cousin, and my best friend while growing up. She died before 40 years of age from drug and alcohol abuse. Sherri had become pregnant as an unwed teenager, and was forced into an abortion by her parents. Sherri then silently suffered from PAS (Post-Abortion Syndrome.)

What is PAS? It is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been described as being much like the stress experienced by those who have participated in a violent death, physical or sexual assault, and rape. The victim of PAS experiences feelings of helplessness, intense fear, inability to cope, nightmares, depression, thoughts of suicide, and personality disorders. Many women who experience PAS will abuse sex, drugs, and alcohol to try to forget the trauma of the abortion. (1)

It has been estimated that 44% of American women will have an abortion at some point in their lifetimes. (2) Many of these women will suffer PAS in silence, and may even needlessly lose their lives because of it. PAS affects women on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, as issues of guilt, responsibility, repentance and forgiveness will need to be worked through.

If you have a friend or loved one you suspect has had an abortion and who is suffering from PAS, you can help them once they have begun to take the first big step of working through the issue of denial. Once they have done this, respond with gentleness, patience and compassion, as they will need to begin the grieving process, and work through issues of denial, guilt, and forgiveness.

Post-abortion counseling is now available in almost every community in America. Many Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Pregnancy Resource Centers, and other ministries have trained counselors who offer post-abortion Bible Studies, as well as other resources for women and families.

My prayer is that women suffering PAS will no longer suffer alone in silence, but that they will seek true healing and forgiveness, which is found only in Christ Jesus.

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Resources used for this article:

1. PAS: Post-Abortion Syndrome, Are you at risk? By David Reardon Ph.D.

2. Healing After Abortion, By Teri K. Reisser, M.D., M.F.T. and Paul C. Reisser, M. D.

Comments

  1. Hello,
    I too am a victim of PAS and have suffered silently for 35 years. I recently went to a Rachael's Vineyard Retreat (non-denominational but sponsored by the Catholic Church) that helped a great deal. I've finally been able to get in touch with my feelings that have been living "on another planet" for so many years. I highly recommend anyone who thinks they may be suffering from PAS to attend one of these retreats. If can't afford it, ask if there is any scholarship money available. God be with you all in your struggle. Abigail Blue, author

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Abigail,
    Praise the Lord for your willingness to share your heart with others. May He continue to heal and give you the peace that surpasses all understanding. In Lord Jesus Name I pray, amen.

    ReplyDelete

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