“I never felt such emptiness and despair in my life.” These are the words of a woman named Christie Ballor, reflecting on her abortion at age sixteen. After the abortion, Ballor experienced significant mental health issues and substance abuse problems. But Ballor isn’t alone; thousands of women like her have been devastated after receiving abortions. The Can’t Stay Silent campaign has highlighted their voices.

Immediately after Christie Ballor received an abortion, she knew she had killed her child. “I’ve heard this from other women too. You don’t feel empty after you’ve just had a tumor removed,” she said.

Emptiness. Isn’t emptiness the opposite of empowerment? Isn’t abortion supposed to be empowering? Ballor found true empowerment many years later when she became pro-life. She now shares her story to prevent others from enduring what she endured.

Susan Justice, a post-abortive woman, also experienced abortion-related trauma.

“Before the abortion, I was an honor roll student, served on student council, was homecoming queen, and marched in the band. I was in a happy two-year relationship with my high school sweetheart,” she said.

“After the abortion — our relationship imploded. My sunny personality was quickly devoured by shame, grief, and regret. I lost self-esteem and respect. I became promiscuous and began using alcohol to numb the gnawing emotional pain of the loss of my child. I developed an eating disorder.”

Mrs. Justice implores other women to refrain from making the mistake she did. “With life-affirming solutions such as pregnancy resource center FREE services, Safe Haven laws in all 50 states, and the option of adoption — killing an innocent life is NEVER the solution.”

Personal testimony is powerful, but so is science. Multiple studies have linked abortion to mental health concerns. Other research has linked abortion to substance abuse issues.

Take the example of this study. It found a 261% increased risk for alcohol abuse in post-abortive women. The risks for alcohol dependence and drug dependence sat even higher, at 142% and 287%, respectively. The risk for any substance use disorder was at 280%. Note that all of these figures surpass 100%. 

The Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences reveals more. Depression affects 26% of people who choose to abort their children. In contrast, depression affects only 17% of people who choose to give birth. This demonstrates a large difference in pregnancy outcomes (in studies like this, 9% is considered a significant difference). Is it any wonder that babies are called “bundles of joy”?

According to another study, post-abortive women can experience intense pregnancy anxiety during later pregnancies. Such anxiety heightens the risk of abnormal birth outcomes. It not only harms the woman, but also her child. In other words, the children of post-abortive women can be affected by their mothers’ previous abortions

Plenty of other statistics show the mental effects of abortion. This research is simply the tip of the iceberg. A quote from Live Action puts it simply: “Studies and meta-analyses have collectively pointed to a 45%-81% increase in the risk of mental health pathologies among post-abortive women.” This fact dismantles the bedrock of the abortion industry – the lie that abortion benefits women. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior certainly do not benefit women. 

If you regret your own abortion, you can prevent other women from regretting theirs. Please consider visiting www.cantstaysilent.com to share your story. You may save a life.

Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.