Abortion Contributes to Increased Suicide Rates Among Young Women
by Steven Ertelt
March 2, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A disturbing new report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) finds that not only are girls and young women more likely to think about committing suicide, they’re much more likely to follow through. One reason for the increase appears to be abortion.
The NIH report revealed that suicide is now the third leading cause of death among America’s young people. In fact, for teen girls and young women, the suicide rate has tripled over the past 25 years. At the same time, suicide rates for Americans in general are dropping across the country.
Dr. David Reardon, director of the Springfield, Illinois-based Elliot Institute, says abortion is partly to blame for the increase.
"Given the fact that more than half of all women having abortions are under the age of 25, and more than 20 percent of women having abortions are teenagers, the increased suicide rate among teens and young women is sadly not a surprise," Reardon said
An Elliot Institute study published in August 2003 edition of the Southern Medical Journal found that women who had abortions were seven times more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth.
Reardon says unwanted abortions are a reality for teens and young women who are often pressured by boyfriends or parents to have abortions.
He says as many as one in six abortions are performed as a result of such coercion and a study the Elliot Institute conducted among women experiencing post-abortion problems reveals that 80 percent said that would not have had an abortion if they had received support from others to have the child.
"Even if their families might give them the support they need to have their babies, many teens often undergo secret abortions without telling their parents," Reardon said. "Either way, these girls and young women often have no one to turn to when they are in despair over an abortion."
Another Elliott Institute study also found that women who have abortions are more likely to commit suicide.
Reardon’s group examined Medi-Cal records for more than 173,000 low-income California women who had abortions or gave birth in 1989. Linking these records to death certificates, the researchers found that women who had state-funded abortions were 2.6 times more likely to die of suicide compared to women who delivered their babies.
The study also found that women who have abortions have a higher suicide rate than women in general. In fact, giving birth reduces women’s suicide risk, the study showed.
Other studies have found higher rates of depression, mental illness, miscarriages and substance abuse among post-abortive women compared to women who gave birth.
"It’s a recipe for tragedy," Reardon said. "Statistics like these should serve as a wake-up call that after 30 years of abortion on demand, abortion is harming women, not helping them."
Related web sites:
Elliot Institute – http://www.afterabortion.info