The topic of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) brings up great controversy among pro-life and pro-choice groups everywhere. In fact, there is much debate about the existence of this problem because some fear that pro-life groups invented PASS in an attempt to hinder further abortions. However, other groups of people recognize PASS as a problem. This article is not about the controversy, but a highlight on PASS especially since it is present in Southern Africa (Boulind & Edward, 2008).
The term Post Abortion Stress Syndrome is not known by a lot of people and there is little research from the African continent. Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome, abbreviated as PAS or PASS is a form of trauma that can occur in women after an abortion (Speckhard & Rue, 1992). It has also been called post traumatic abortion syndrome. According to a South African study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, women who have experienced abortion have high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which follow findings from earlier studies linking abortion and PTSD (Suliman et al. 2007). Moreover, the study states that high rates of PTSD characterize women who have undergone voluntary pregnancy termination. Believing that PASS exists means that health professionals should provide supportive and constructive counseling around the trauma symptoms African women experience. What are your thoughts on PASS?
1. A. C. Speckjhard and V. M. Rue, “Postabortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern,” Journal of Social Issues 48 (1992):95-119.
2. M. Boulind and D. Edward, “The Assessment and Treatment of Post-Abortion Syndrome: A Systematic Case Study From Southern Africa,” Journal of Psychology in Africa 18 (2008): 539-548.
3. S. Suliman, T. Ericksen, P. Labuschgne, R. de Wit, D.J. Stein and S. Seedat, “Comparison of Pain, Cortisol Levels, and Psychological Distress in Women Undergoing Surgical Termination of Pregnancy under Local Anaesthesia versus Intravenous Sedation,” BMC Psychiatry 7 (2007):1-9.