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If we go back in times past, history tells us that in Rome and Greece they had no interest in protecting the “NOT” born, a philosopher of this time, stated that a living being was not considered until 40 days for men and for women 80 days of fertilization; Aristotle argued that it was pertinent that when couples have children in excess, abortion takes place before meaning and life has begun; Furthermore, he argued the importance of the number of children provided to the world.
In the West it was also not considered a crime if it is within the range of 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, while the fetus is transferred to the uterus, before these weeks the fetus was seen as a part of the mother, for which it is not it had no priority and did not represent any ethical problem.
The first country to introduce a law on legal abortion was Russia on November 18, 1920, during the socialist revolution that began in 1917; Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution, referred to access to abortion as “a basic democratic right of female citizens”, thus making Soviet Russia the first country to authorize voluntary and free abortion.
There was strong criticism, which did not represent anything, until 1930 where a group of doctors argued that there were harmful effects on the female organism both in legal and illegal abortion; Some time later, under the focus of the influence of the Orthodox Church, the voluntary interruption of pregnancy was again prohibited; until Joseph Stalin consolidated his power and conditions a change in the perception of abortion. Between 1936 and 1955 it was legal only under certain parameters, when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger or when a congenital disease is detected; after Stalin’s death, abortion became legal again during the first trimester of pregnancy. In Russia, 30 years after the fall of the USSR, abortion remains a legal and common practice in the country.
In some European countries, some grounds must be met for the practice of legal abortion, which are sexual abuse and danger to the life of the woman and / or fetus; some of these countries are: Spain, France, Ireland, Germany, United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark and Greece. In Italy, laws were founded in favor of legal abortion in 1978, in which it is stated that a woman can interrupt her pregnancy for any reason during the first ninety days. Likewise, most European countries are regulated by different laws that moderate the terms.
In countries like Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Austria, France, Slovakia abortion is allowed up to the first ten weeks of gestation, and in Greece it is allowed in the first twelve weeks. Lastly, in Sweden and the Netherlands, abortions are freely available during the eighteen and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.
In America, abortion is legal in countries like the United States for some reasons or by the woman’s own decision. In Latin American countries, the state and the church make a pair with which they fight for an abortion approval in some countries, since few countries have this law for women’s access at the time they want it. These are: Uruguay, Guyana, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In 1965, specifically in Cuba, a right towards women was legislated, which can be practiced in any public hospital.
On the contrary, in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname, these are the countries where women who decide to abort are penalized.
There are 3 causes that are allowed in some countries, such as Colombia, Brazil, Dominica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Granada and Peru. Said causes are: when there is a danger to the physical or mental health of the woman, when there is a serious malformation of the fetus that makes its extrauterine life unviable, or in the event of rape, transfer of a fertilized ovum or non-consensual artificial insemination.
Social justifications that lead to voluntary interruption of pregnancy
There are several reasons that lead a woman to have VTP. Numerous studies cite the fear of being a single mother or possible difficulties in the relationship with the partner as the main reasons, as well as the scarce emotional support from family and friends, the fact that pregnancy will interfere with the continuation of an intimate relationship, future education , career or personal plans, not feeling prepared to be a mother who, despite being anxious about motherhood, intends to achieve it with her partner and at the right time, financial problems, points out the guilt and punishment that follow the abortion as possible reasons unconscious for the abortion, as if the woman perceived herself as deserving of some punishment.
Thus, abortion would be the result of these unconscious motivations, which, if not eliminated by this act, could have important consequences for the woman.
Abortion: Psychological Impact
The issue of “abortion” is undoubtedly still very controversial and raises different ways of thinking. With Modernity and the democratization of contraception practices, there was a change in mentality. However, people are still essentially divided into two movements of opinion. The first defends that the pregnant woman or the “pregnant body” is a “socialized” body and, therefore, it is not up to the woman to make the decision whether or not to continue with the pregnancy, which raises questions about the right to life . The second movement maintains that the reasons that lead a woman to carry out a voluntary interruption of pregnancy (VTP) are intimate and, therefore, the decision is the same, and therefore should not be subject to legislation in the case of illegal abortion .
The research is related to the possibility that VTP could become a vital event that also triggers high levels of suffering, depending on the situations and circumstances in which it is practiced. Thus, it seems agreed, according to the various authors, that the practice of VTP constitutes a “vital event” always notable and stressful for the woman who practices it. From a psychoanalytic perspective, abortion would have a traumatic character, in which the extraction of the embryo would be like the simultaneous withdrawal of a certain part of the Ego of the woman who aborts, 10% of women undergoing an abortion experience emotional difficulties afterwards. of the interruption.
Since there are numerous factors regarding abortion history, people with certain characteristics are also more vulnerable to potential psychological problems during the pregnancy termination process. The main ones go through a low self-efficacy in coping with abortion and a low self-esteem, an external locus of control, difficulties in the decision to abort, an emotional investment in the pregnancy, a perception of lack of support from the partner, family or friends, being a teenager, single or poor, having pre-existing emotional problems or unresolved trauma, a poor or insecure attachment to the mother or a history of separation from the mother for a year before the age of 16, a participation in violent relationships, being the orientation of the traditional sexual role, in addition to having conservative views on abortion and / or religious affiliation.
Psychopathological history also plays a role in emotional response, as women with pre-existing psychopathological problems tend to be at higher risk for these negative emotional responses. In addition, adjustment problems are documented as more common when the pregnancy is initially unwanted, abortion occurs in the second trimester, or when the woman is involved in an unstable relationship with her partner. The fact that women feel pressure from others or circumstances to abort constitutes an increased risk of negative outcomes after abortion.
According to more conservative specialists, regardless of the reasons that lead to the abortion or the characteristics of each woman, these women suffer from a syndrome characterized by somatizations, namely, eating disorders, nausea and vomiting, a feeling of emptiness and palpitations and even sensations. negative, namely, guilt, sadness, hostility, and homesickness. This post-abortion syndrome has denial as a key symptom and is part of post-traumatic stress disorders, which can appear years after the termination of pregnancy, they stated that at least 10-20% of women who resort to VTP suffer psychological complications negative, that is, in terms of stress, leading to various symptoms, namely anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, substance use / abuse, and suicide risk.
In a study by Fergusson et al. (2006) for young people, it was concluded that abortion may be associated with an increased risk of developing mental health problems. It is pertinent to mention that, in an analysis carried out on the study by Fergusson et al. (2006), warns about the limitations of the study, since the association between mental health and abortion per se does not seem to be clear, since these associations may not reflect the traumatic effect of abortion itself, but be directly influenced by the inherent process the search for resources that allow abortion, as well as the fact that the pregnancy is unwanted.
In the light of most studies in recent years, abortion alone does not induce serious psychological distress in the woman who performs it. Sociocultural variables influence the emotional response of women, so they must be analyzed according to the cultural climate in which she is inserted. Religion and degree of belief are extremely important. For example, Catholics with a high degree of belief seem to have more negative responses, which can be explained by the anti-abortion stance of the church.
Social support plays an equally important role in the quality of response of pregnant women, as women with greater social support from friends, partners and parents seem to have more positive emotional reactions, and the presence of this same support facilitates recovery. emotional post-VTP. Bracken, Hachamovich & Grossman specify the most important type of support depending on the stage of the life cycle, in which younger women are mainly influenced by parental support, with older women having the fundamental source of support of the companion. Consequently, the moral and social contexts are sufficient to trigger important anxieties and, therefore, the decision to practice abortion or not will depend on the pressure, social norms, laws, beliefs and values in relation to that act, as norms The social tends to become internalized, thus creating feelings of guilt, shame, fear of failure, loss and emptiness, reflecting the social stigma of IVF. Therefore, abortion has to be viewed broadly, since it is a phenomenon inseparable from the personal and social reality of women.
In conclusive terms, emotional experience varies; Some women experience primarily emotional distress in the post-abortion period, while others experience mostly positive emotions, namely relief, return to normalcy, and satisfaction.
The legalization of IVF changed the psychology of pregnancy, as the current generation of women does not necessarily assume that if they become pregnant, they will continue the pregnancy and have a child. There is a paucity of literature on the psychological impact of abortion comparing women who do it legally and women who do it illegally. However, the fact that it is done illegally seems to be enough to blame and cause significant discomfort in women. Information collected in the UK since the decriminalization of IVF suggests that when pregnancy is terminated under basic conditions and with legal permission, the incidence of psychopathological consequences is low.
According to the WHO “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of diseases or illnesses”, is the meaning given to mental health.
Mental health in the clinical field: for a long time the concept of mental health has been homologated with the concept of mental illness, thus when thinking and planning in mental health, the proposals and projections begin and end in mental illness; the criteria of traditional medicine have also been used to refer to mental health.