Post-Abortion Depression Research and Care Act

Charles Hill is less than thrilled with Rep. Joe Pitts (R, PA)’s proposed House Resolution 4543: Post-Abortion Depression Research and Care Act.

There is strong anecdotal evidence that women who have abortions may experience feelings of loss, guilt and depression in connection with their abortion. H.R. 4543 provides $15 million to the National Institutes of Health to research the emotional impact of abortion on women. This bill also creates a $1.5 million grant program to fund the development of treatment programs for women who suffer from post-abortion depression.

Says Charles,

Of course, you wouldn’t need $15 million to assess the impact of abortion on fetuses, but no one worries about whether they’re depressed or not.

Certainly true.

My guess is that Pitts’ rationale (he’s a Republican from Pennsylvia, home of Rick Santorum and Planned Parenthood v. Casey) is to provide yet more evidence that abortion is a really bad choice in most cases. Aside from killing the kid, it also traumatizes the woman who kills her kid and later regrets it. Far from being a simple “choice” to quickly rid her of the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy so that she can get on with her life, it’s a decision that will be with her forever.

Now, why the taxpayers need to fund this research rather than religious groups, conservative think tanks, or interested scholars is another matter entirely.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kathy K says:

    I suggest that if they are to do that, they should also fund research into feelings of loss, guilt and depression in connection with adoption. (Not to mention an investigation into the feelings of the adoptees. Being an adoptee myself, I’d really like to see that done as well.)

  2. jen says:

    Now, why the taxpayers need to fund this research rather than religious groups, conservative think tanks, or interested scholars is another matter entirely.

    Because they don’t need the research to be done. There are already several faith-based support groups for after abortion women – Project Rachel is one example.

  3. McGehee says:

    To add to Jen’s point, if the research came from religious groups or conservative think tanks, who except the religious and the conservatives would believe it? Neither side is willing to take seriously research done by the “other” side.

  4. jen says:

    Paul, I think you should talk to some women who’ve had abortions – those who claim to be liberals and conservatives. I think you’ll find that almost all, regardless of political persuasion, experience significant emotional problems post-abortion. It’s why many have become pro-life afterwards as well.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the only comprehensive study of which I’m aware found that the women who had severe post-abortion depression were women who tended to have the same reaction to all major life decisions. They found those women tended to be more passive and blamed others for their decisions instead of taking responsibility.

  6. James Joyner says:

    I don’t think the argument is that they have “post abortion depression” in a way similar to “post partum depression.” It’s that they regret it later in life, once they’ve grown up and realize the magnitude of what they’ve don.

  7. Alice says:

    How about putting those millions into birth control that we hand out to anyone interested? I’m really tired of religious folks who want abortion to be illegal and also don’t want people using birth control. I’m one of those rare liberals who is against abortion and firmly believe the solution lies in protection. I’d rather save lives by preventing the egg and sperm from making contact. We will never talk people out of having sex. NEVER.

  8. James Joyner says:

    Alice: No argument there. I like sex.

  9. Alice says:

    Yes James, it can be quite fun.