Experts worried about mental health impact of new abortion restrictions

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 7:22 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Many concerns and opinions have been voiced across the nation following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion.

Here in Lucas county, Children Services Executive Director, Robin Reese told 13abc that her biggest concern right now involves mental health.

“I hope that we are prepared for it,” said Reese. “This is a decision made by mom that nobody else other than mom and doctor might have known, but now, the world’s going to know. I mean you’re world’s going to know, and so, now you have to deal with that.”

It’s more than just women and mothers feeling the blow. According to experts, children and men will feel the mental impacts of this decision too.

“You’re going to have to deal with the fact that not only were you possibly raped or molested, or you just would not have found yourself in this situation, but now you’re in a position where you got to explain it and talk to people about it,” said Reese. “I can’t even imagine having worked 39 years with children that have been in that situation the anguish that that is going to cause.”

“If they have wives or daughters or mothers who need any type of medical treatment, either because they can’t get pregnant or while they are pregnant for certain things. The impact is going to be overreaching,” said Cara Swain, a local social worker for Ironwood Center.

Swain said she is already hearing concerns from her patients in regards to the abortion ban.

“When the ruling first hit it actually ended being the topic of conversation for most of my sessions that day,” said Swain. “There are all of these things and feelings and thoughts and emotions wrapped up into this decision because we don’t know exactly where it could go, or where they will push it to.”

For anyone experiencing feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression about the future of abortion access in the U.S., Swain recommends therapy or even joining online support groups run by professionals.

Meantime Ohio pro-life advocates are celebrating the reversal of what the organization called the “most destructive decision” in U.S. history that they say are responsible for 62 million deaths.

The organization said it will work to build “the culture of life” for families moving forward.

“As we continue to advocate for the preborn, we will also continue to walk alongside, as we always have, every mother and father facing an unexpected pregnancy,” said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Peter Range. “While some children are unexpected, no child is unwanted and through our vast array of pregnancy centers, social services agencies and churches, the pro-life faithful are committed to building the culture of life in this next phase of our movement.”

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