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.