Although abortion primarily affects women and their unborn children, it is undeniable that abortion also greatly impacts siblings of aborted babies. Although very few studies have been conducted on how abortion affects living or "wanted" children, included below are several findings and personal testimonies that—while not definitively proving—hint at how abortion can often cause deep hurt to siblings in physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual ways, and have long term effects on their lives. Citations are listed at the bottom of the page. If you have questions about any of the information we have provided, please contact us.
You can navigate this page by clicking the following links, or by simply scrolling down.
Abortion Hurts Siblings Emotionally and Psychologically
Evidence from clinical studies suggests that children, even if very young, subconsciously know of their mother's early pregnancy, abortion, and/or miscarriage. In light of this, a mother's abortions, even if not expressly mentioned to her children, can still have major effects on the sibling of an aborted infant.¹⁻²
Findings from two case studies suggested that³⁻⁴
It is likely that young children who know (either consciously or subconsciously) of a mother's abortion can be severely disturbed and intensely psychologically affected.
A sibling of an aborted child may carry a heavy psychological burden of expectation.
If the sibling disappoints, parents may react in frustration, feeling that this "wanted" child is letting them down.⁵
One journal hypothesized that post-abortive women, because of abortion-related guilt, may often experience antepartum depression.
This can interfere with the mother's ability to bond with future siblings of aborted children. This lack of a maternal bond puts the sibling at a greater risk of abuse.⁶*
*(see below for statistics concerning siblings of aborted children and child abuse)
Abortion Hurts Siblings in the Long Term
Evidence from multiple studies suggests that: Siblings of aborted children are more likely to be abused than children in families where the mother did not have an abortion.⁹⁻¹⁰
Abortion may be a major factor in reducing parent-infant skin contact among siblings of aborted children. This can result in a reduction in the speed of development of a sibling's intelligence, independence, and maturity.¹¹
Abortion Hurts Siblings Spiritually
"I sensed the utter darkness and hopelessness in that moment, and I felt paralyzed at the core of my being. Something unfathomable had happened, something too big to swallow. A reality had opened up which we simply all had to live with. Perhaps I should mention that we hardly ever went to church. I probably exaggerate if I say that we went in my childhood altogether five times as a family to church."⁷
-Anne, MS, United States
Dunn, Judy, and Carol Kendrick, "The Arrival Of A Sibling: Changes In Patterns Of Interaction Between Mother And First-Born Child," Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (1980), vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 119–132.
Ney, Philip G., "A Consideration of Abortion Survivors," Child Psychiatry & Human Development (1983), vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 168–179.
Cavenar J.D., Spaulding J.E., Sullivan J.L., "Child's reaction to mother's abortion: Case report," Military Medicine (1979), vol. 144, pp. 412-413.
Weiner, Anita H., and Eugene C. Weiner, "The Aborted Sibling Factor: A Case Study," Clinical Social Work Journal (1984), vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 209–215.
Krell, R., Rabkin, L., "Effects of sibling death on the surviving child, a family perspective," Faro Process (1979), vol. 18, pp. 471-477.
Ney, Philip G., "A Consideration."
Anne, "Broken Families," Lumina: A Ray of Light in Abortion's Darkness, 2018, postabortionhelp.org/pah/broken-families/.
Bonopartis, Theresa, "How Could You Have Aborted My Big Brother?" Aleteia, 8 June 2017, aleteia.org/2014/07/24/how-could-you-have-aborted-my-big-brother/2/.
Barker, H. "Abused adolescents, advances in research and services for children with special needs," presented at the International Conference on the child, University of British Columbia, unpublished, June 1979.
Ney, Philip G., Hanna R, "A relationship between abortion and child abuse," paper given at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Canada, May 1980.
Lenoski, E. F., "Translating injury data into preventive health care services: Physical child abuse," Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Southern California, unpublished, 1976.
Ney, Philip G., "A Consideration."