Considerazioni sui sensi di colpa in seguito a un’interruzione volontaria di gravidanza

  • Annelore Homberg
  • Anna Pompili


This article contests the belief, brought forward by Christian fundamentalism, that a voluntary interruption of pregnancy must necessarily lead to depression. After a VIP (voluntary interruption of pregnancy) guilt feelings may but do not have to inevitably arise. In line with the theoretical framework laid down by M. Fagioli, the authors propose a distinction between “superegoic” guilt and guilt which arises as a result of “real deficiencies of the ego”. In the case of a VIP superegoic guilt feelings are mainly centred on the self accusation of having taken away the possibility of a life to a child and can be dealt with if there is scientific clarity on the question of whether the embryo and the fetus can be considered human life. The so-called Birth Theory (1972), which has received important backing from fetal and neonatal neurology, is categoric in this respect: human life presupposes a psychic activity based on a given type of cerebral functioning which is absent in the fetus. The article ends with the discussion of the “real deficiencies of the ego”, basing itself on a number of clinical examples.


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