Having An Abortion Doubles Your Chances Of Mental Illness

No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, it’s a topic that ignites fierce debates, not the least of which is the physical risks it brings to women. But mental health can also be affected for those choosing such a procedure. In fact, a new study says those who have abortions double their risk of severe mental health problems afterward.

Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that abortion has been linked to anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide. Not only do twice as many women suffer from these conditions post-abortion, but they attribute one in ten of all mental health problems as the result of terminating a pregnancy.

In today’s age of safer procedures, more education on the topic and an increased number of support groups and organizations dedicated to helping women deal with an unwanted pregnancy, the study is certainly shocking. Especially when you consider that a similar report came out earlier this year with the opposite findings. But this study is based on a total of 877,000 women in 22 separate studies, and researchers stand by it.

Study leader, Professor Priscilla Coleman stated:

There are in fact some real risks associated with abortion that should be shared with women as they are counseled prior to an abortion.

The study also concluded that abortion was linked with a 34% increased chance of anxiety disorders, a 37% higher rate of depression, a 110% increased risk of alcohol abuse, a 220% higher rate of drug use and a 155% greater risk of trying to commit suicide.

One thing this study doesn’t mention is the mental health of the women prior to seeking an abortion. It would be interesting to note how many of them had suffered problems beforehand, and if women with mental health problems are more likely to get pregnant unexpectedly and/or if more of them choose to have an abortion because their current mental health can’t support the idea of having a child.

Tell us what you think.

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    • José Alisson dos Santos

      It is not fair to give an opinion about a study when I just have the statistical data without knowing the applied methodology.
      Anyway, I think that sometimes an abortion is a way to keep mental health depending on the social environment you live.

    • mwebi

      Choose your study:
      The finding that the incidence rate of psychiatric contact was similar before and after a first-trimester abortion does not support the hypothesis that there is an increased risk of mental disorders after a first-trimester induced abortion. (Funded by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and the Danish Medical Research Council.)
      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0905882

      Please don’t start this ceaseless argument on this blog.

    • Julie

      Unfortunately with this issue there is no way to design an experiment that establishes causation. This study only establishes correlation.

    • Lucinda

      Since this study doesn’t look at the women’s mental health pre-abortion, it’s absolutely worthless and just more ridiculous anti-choice fearmongering.

    • Poppy

      I tell you what, though, the possibility of me having a mental illness caused by getting an abortion is dwarfed by the CERTAINTY of me having a mental illness caused by having to bear, birth and raise a baby I don’t want.

      • Victoria

        Ha ha, lol…I guess. Sometimes having to deal with the natural consequences of allowing yourself to become pregnant make make you a better human, not mentally ill. And, like the last paragraph says, it would be interesting to know the prior mental health status of the participants.