Abortion and the Church (RELS 348)

This article, “Postabortion Dysphoria and Religion,” Southern Medical Journal, July 1990, looks at women who have had abortion and suffered from post abortion dysphoria. While this is a small amount of all women who have abortions the few that did suffer found that more liberal religions, such as, evangelical religions helped them cope with their abortion. The article also discusses that religions that are more antiabortion have had a negative impact on women who have abortions and lead to higher post-abortion depression. While this article only looks at women who have post abortion dysphoria we cannot conclude how much religion may play in the choice of abortion.

In reading this article we see that religion does see to play a role. I believe that when a woman belongs to a religion that looks negatively upon abortion she will more likely suffer from depression or other mental illnesses after the abortion has happened. Studies show that attendance at church decreases the support for abortion, for social reasons. This shows that people who attend church more often are more likely to be “pro-life”. The reason being, they feel pressured by others in the church not wanting to feel isolated. This is harmful for women who have had abortions and continue to attend church. They may feel isolated, alone, and judged because of the churches beliefs. So even if a woman is looking for support in the church after an abortion she may not feel welcome, therefore leading to dysphoria.

This hatred towards abortion leads back to women not being able to have the right to their own bodies and they are not seen as “able” to make their own choices. With the rise of colonialism came the rise of patriarchy. Women were told that they were less than men, and this was shown greatly in the church. All of the highest-ranking people in the church are generally male. They are the ones making the decisions, and those decisions include ones on women’s bodies. Taking away a women’s right and giving it to a man.

Women in the church feel shame when they get an abortion and there is little support for them. This should not be the case. Women should feel welcome in the church no matter what. The church needs to modernize itself to accept women as leaders and decision makers. Especially when it comes to their own bodies.

HJ #uwreligions


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