Trauma specialist point to the painful reality of traumatic repetition, that is engaging in self-destructive repetition of abusive themes or behaviors in relationships:
Trauma can be repeated on behavioral, emotional, physiologic… levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering…Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love… (The compulsion to repeat the trauma. Re-enactment, revictimization, and masochism. )
The Gosnell trial highlights what a disaster on so many levels abortion has been for poor African American communities. In a previous post I looked at the trial through the lense of trauma. But there are wider inter related trauma infused issues related to abortion and the Gosnell case that cry out for recognition.
The rates of sexual abuse and other trauma in poor African American communities is well documented. Left untreated, this trauma history leaves women vulnerable to relationships with abusive partners who “harass, beat, and threaten them” as the trauma specialist points out above. Many find themselves pregnant and facing challenging circumstances. Women whose lives are chaotic, dysfunctional with trauma/abuse histories…these are just the women that will deny and delay dealing with a pregnancy until it is late in the pregnancy…like so many hurt by Gosnell.
How about those employees of Gosnell, like Kareema Cross who I heard testify? How many of these women have abuse histories, abortions in their past? Does this make them more vulnerable to witness and participate in the barbarity practiced under Gosnell’s authority…passively, powerless to stop the horror they were witnessing and becoming accomplices and abusers themselves? It surely does.
Regardless of the age and size of the child at the time of abortion, whether 6 weeks or 6 months or more…a woman with previous sexual abuse and other loss, will experience the abortion procedure on an emotional and spiritual level as another rape, another sexual violation, another abuse of her body and soul. She may feel relieved on one level, but on a deeper level where trauma impacts most seriously, she will have added fuel to her previous dysfunction and traumatic repetition in her life and relationships.
After abortion are these poor women less depressed, anxious, less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, in healthier relationships, do we find lower crisis pregnancy rates…does abortion make them better parents? All the statistics clearly say the opposite.
So if you think safe, readily available abortion services for poor minority women will stop the many Gosnell type abortionist practicing in our country…and keep in mind Gosnell is the tip of the iceberg…think again. Women may abort their babies early or late in the pregnancy. The toxic after effects of abortion, like some highly radioactive substance are injected into the heart and soul of women that abort, and the men and fathers who participate in those abortion decisions. The poor, who have higher rates of sexual abuse, physical abuse and other trauma are all the more vulnerable to post abortion reactions, and this includes men. Abortion creates a cycle of suffering that hurts the child, the parents, families and the community. The human and social costs are enormous.