Sunday, January 27, 2008

The “Typical” Plaintiff is a site that talks about the option of pursuing legal action against the abortionist and/or their clinic after an abortion experience. I thought some excerpts were of interest.

The “Typical” Plaintiff
In numerous cases in which we have either evaluated the patient, testified as expert witnesses, or consulted generally on a case, it is apparent to us that most plaintiffs have a number of factors in common.

First, most were between 22 and 35 years of age, unmarried, and experienced both physical and emotional injuries post-abortion.

Second, most did not receive pre-abortion counseling, or if they did, it was so deficient as to be meaningless to the plaintiff at the time of the abortion.

Third, most of these women remembered signing informed consent forms but did not read them or understand them.

Fourth, most were not given options counseling, nor the opportunity to ask questions privately.

Fifth, most had four to eight predisposing risk factors to post-abortion trauma, that were unacknowledged or unexplored at the abortion clinic, or minimized by either the abortion counselor or the physician.

Sixth, most plaintiffs experienced the staff and abortion provider as insensitive to their special circumstances or emotional state.

Seventh, most felt ill-prepared for the post-abortion emotional traumatization and deceived by the abortion counselor regarding the developmental characteristics and humanity of the fetus.

Eighth, most plaintiffs have suffered serious and significant emotional injury, that has negatively impacted their primary relationships, subsequent parent-child interactions, and resulted in lowered self-esteem, the use of dysfunctional coping mechanisms (drinking, drugs, food, avoidance behaviors, emotional numbing), and experienced posttraumatic decline in overall functioning.

Ninth, most of these women had first trimester abortions.

Tenth, most of these women had some preexisting psychosocial stressors, most were competent and functioning individuals in society prior to their abortion traumatization.

The following cases are presented here by way of example of the degree and variance of post-abortion emotional injury.

Predisposing Risk Factors for Post-abortion Trauma
Research evidence is clear that certain women are predisposed to significant negative post-abortion adjustment. Existing biased abortion counseling places maternal health of these women at risk. These women are in need of more counseling, more information, more exploration and deliberative time, and more assistance than others.

Abortion traumatization may in many cases be prevented or remedied if women who give evidence of documented risk factors receive adequate counsel to make a decision that fits their unique psychological and social needs.

Empirical evidence suggests that emotional harm from abortion is probable when the following risk factors are present:

prior history of mental illness
Immature interpersonal relationships
Unstable, conflicted relationship with one’s partner
History of a negative relationship with one’s mother
Ambivalence regarding abortion
Religious or cultural background hostile to abortion
Single status, especially if one has not borne children
Age, particularly adolescents versus adult women
Second trimester versus first trimester abortions
Abortion for genetic reasons, i.e., fetal anomaly
Pressure or coercion to abort
Prior abortion
Prior children
Maternal orientation
Biased pre-abortion counseling


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