web space | website hosting | Business Hosting Services | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting
Self-Mutilation and Self-Abortion
What does this have to do with abortion?
 More of this Feature
• Powerful image, but how true to life?
• They did happen. And they still happen.
• 'Self-help' vs. self-harm
• Self-mutilation? What? Why?
 
 Explore This Site

  Related Resources
• 19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
• Laura France: Self-Abortion Death
• Abortion Practice Before Legalization
• Analytical Tools
• Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
• Glimpse Into Abortion's Past
• Personal Accounts
• Women Who Change Their Minds
 From Other Guides
• Mental Health: Self-Injury
• Parenting Teens: Self-Injury Self-Mutilation Self-Abuse
• Depression: Self-Injury
 Elsewhere on the Web
• The Case of Earl Zea and his Pinking Shears
• What is self mutilation?
• Self-Injury: A Search For Understanding
• Classifying self-harm
• Why do people deliberately injure themselves?
• Who self-injures?
• Lifestyle on Trial
• Pennyroyal Toxicity: Measurement of Toxic Metabolite Levels in Two Cases and Review of the Literature
• Herbal Abortifacients
 

Dateline: 3/28/01

Observations on the traits and behaviors of people who self-harm are in keeping with the research by Nancy Howell Lee on women who sought and obtained pre-legalization abortions. She found that the women who attempted aggressive self-induced or other obviously dangerous abortions tended to be self-destructive, and to themselves view the abortion attempt as more of an attack on themselves than as an attempt to dislodge the fetus. Case reports I've read on self-induced abortion attempts also found that the women did not tend to perceive the fetus as "other," but as an embodiment of their own hated selves. In these cases, the attempt to self-abort was a bizarre attempt at self-destruction.

Given what we know about self-abuse, and about "coathanger" abortions, it is reasonable to conclude that aggressive and dangerous self-abortion attempts are best understood as a type of self-mutilation, and not as rational attempts to end an ill-timed pregnancy.

The best service we can do, therefore, to women who might attempt such abortions is to provide the best supportive and psychiatric care to self-injurers, and to ensure that professionals who work with these women are aware that a self-induced abortion might be attempted by these patients should they encounter an unintended or otherwise stressful pregnancy.

Legalizing abortion did nothing for these women; it merely swept the problem under the rug. We need to bring it back into the open and address it rationally and compassionately.

Previous page > Self-mutilation? What? Why?

Previous articles

Like this link graphic? Click here to learn how to add it to your web page.

Search this site powered by FreeFind