Volume 96, Issue 77
Friday, February 14, 2003

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Women need more of society's support

Re: "Post-abortive illness no lie," Jan. 28

To the Editor:

In response to Misty Devine's letter, while I do not pretend that medical journals provide an absolutely exhaustive list of all possible diseases, I do believe that doctors and psychologists have their act together sufficiently to recognize something like "post-abortive syndrome" if it actually existed. Creating and imposing an illness on women to serve a political purpose, as was done in this case, is despicable. Representing this illness as universal is also unreasonable given that many, if not most, women, come to terms with their decision and the actual abortion quite readily and effectively.

It is a sad state when every emotion and ailment is asserted to be a debilitating disease in need of treatment and sadder still when "treatment" means the application of coercive pressure upon the vulnerable to win them over to a cause. Rejecting the notion of disease is not a rejection or nullification of the struggles women face. Imposing the status of "diseased" on every woman who chooses to have an abortion, however, is just another example of the perpetual marginalization of women in our culture. When women become emotionally unstable due to depression, they should seek help. Women who do not suffer this post-abortive depression ought not to be made to believe that they should.

And let us not forget where this depression comes from. The emotional struggles, the disease of which we speak, is the disease of guilt. This guilt is not "natural," it is created by all those who would choose to interfere with freedom to advance a theological position with no sound basis.

It is society that is sick – not women who have had abortions.

Liz Berman
Politics/Sociology III

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