New study finds women vulnerable to mental illness after abortion
Some women who have an abortion suffer ‘significant distress’ that may make them more likely to suffer from mental health problems, according to a new study.
Researchers in New Zealand who examined the medical histories of more than 500 women aged 15-30 found that the risk of depression or anxiety following an abortion was proportional to the amount of distress the woman suffered.
Nearly 85 per cent of women reported at least one negative emotion following an abortion, such as sorrow, sadness, guilt or regret, reports the Telegraph.
A similar percentage reported at least one positive emotion, including relief and happiness. However, the researchers found that subsequent mental health problems among the women who had reported one or more negative emotion were ‘approximately 1.4-1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion’.
The researchers, from the University of Otago, said their findings were not consistent with ‘strong pro-life positions that depict … abortion as having devastating consequences for women’s mental health’. But nor did the findings support ‘strong pro-choice positions that claim … abortion is without mental health risks’.
Earlier findings, when the women were younger, found that 40 per cent of those who had an abortion suffered depression afterwards, more than double the rate of women who had never been pregnant.