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

By Ellie Lee

Centering at the declare that abortion can lead to 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 clinical dimensions of the abortion factor that make for a few very important modifications, yet argues that during either the us and Britain, the PAS declare in reality constitutes an instance of the boundaries to medicalization. She contends that exam of contests over PAS issues now not 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 girls unwell.

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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)

Example text

Like Horowitz, others also argue that this development is of great sociological in43 44 The “Syndrome Society” terest. According to sociologist Frank Furedi, it is the emergence of a “variety of new disorders and conditions” in contemporary British and American societies that constitutes “the most dramatic effect of the medicalization of experience” (1997:92). Some consider the most developed example of this trend to be the use of the term “addiction” to explain patterns of behavior deemed problematic or troublesome.

He argues, “The wives of the men suffering described how they had changed—they might be violent or abuse alcohol. . So it is with abortion. The feelings about the abortion are suppressed, but the subconscious must have some mechanism of release and other apparently unrelated symptoms emerge” (1992:9). The claim that PAS is a form of PTSD was, according to many accounts of the origin of the term “Postabortion Syndrome,” pioneered in particular by Anne Speckhard and Vincent Rue (Michels 1988; Doherty 1995).

This does not contradict our experience of PAS, because symptoms of repressed grief are most likely to surface from six months to two years after the trauma occurs. . Most of those we see and counsel have had their abortions between 8 and 35 years ago. (1996:xvii) The significance of this claim about women’s psychological response to abortion is that the absence of evidence for PAS in the present does not invalidate it. ” There may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care, and “indeed for many women, the onset or accurate identification of PTSD symptoms may be delayed for several years” (1997).

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