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This paper advances the thesis that the high but little commented on global prevalence of abortion which amounts to 25% of the unborn being aborted world-wide, is mobilizing an almost universally denied and repressed dread of being aborted which is present to varying degrees in the unconscious of most humans, and that this dread and the defenses against facing it are transferentially acted out in the form of quiet or conspicuous individual and social regression. Evidence for social denial of this dread is seen in the underreporting of the prevalence of abortion in contrast to the strong focus on the prevalence of other forms of social regression. Although statistics are presented in this paper on the prevalence of both social regression and abortion, the import of both of these phenomena is best understood if they are looked at dynamically as intensive properties of society rather than as extensive properties measured in terms of numeric body count. The "too many people in the world" argument for abortion is examined in terms of abortion dynamics, and the relation of abortion to trust in human relations is emphasized.
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John C. Sonne, M.D.
Reprinted from.: Int. J. Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine Vol. 8 (1996) No. 1, 27-46.
Address correspondence to John C. Sonne, M.D., 443 Shady Lane, Moorestown, NJ 08057, USA.