Recent Studies Confirm Women Face Depression After Abortion, Other Problems
by Steven Ertelt
September 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) – A new study with a very limited sample of women having abortions, just 69, has received considerable attention for supposedly disproving the plethora of peer-reviewed studies confirming women who have abortions face both depression and other mental health problems.
Other recent studies from the last two years provide nearly irrefutable evidence that abortion affects women in a myriad of ways — making it so they face everything from depression and relationship problems to PTSD and elevated risks for abusing drugs or alcohol.
An August study published in the Journal of Pregnancy and involving 374 women who had abortions — more than five times the number of women who appeared in the new study — found women having high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for women having both early and late abortions.
Approximately 52 percent of the early abortion group and 67 percent of the late term abortion group met the American Psychological Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD).
The authors of the study say those high rates are the result of women facing pressure or coercion to have an abortion or, at minimum, ambivalence about having it — showing more pre-abortion screening is needed to rule out abortion as an option for many women.
A May 2010 study put out by researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada found women who have had abortions are about four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as those who carried their pregnancy to term. The authors confirmed a link between abortion and the substance abuse issues.
The study appeared in the April issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and it showed women having abortions were 3.8 times more likely to have substance abuse disorders.
That was the case even when other factors such as exposure to violence were included that could have raised the risk outside of abortion.
The Canadian study also found abortion associated with other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, but substance abuse proved to be the strongest link when it comes to post-abortion problems for women.
Meanwhile, three studies alone published in peer-reviewed medical journals at the end of 2008 show abortion causes problems for women.
Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, and her colleagues published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research showing an abortion-depression link exists.
The research team found induced abortions result in increased risks for a myriad of mental health problems ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders.
The number of cases of mental health issues rose by as much as 17 percent in women having abortions compared to those who didn’t have one and the risks of each particular mental health problem rose as much as 145% for post-abortive women.
For 12 out of 15 of the mental health outcomes examined, a decision to have an abortion resulted in an elevated risk for women.
"What is most notable in this study is that abortion contributed significant independent effects to numerous mental health problems above and beyond a variety of other traumatizing and stressful life experiences," they concluded.
Researchers at Otago University in New Zealand reported their findings in the British Journal of Psychiatry and found that women who have abortions have an increased risk of developing mental health problems.
The study found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.
Abortions increased the risk of severe depression and anxiety by one-third and as many as 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.
A third study, from a team at the University of Queensland and published in the December issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, found women who have an abortion are three times more likely to experience a drug or alcohol problems during their lifetime.
The study showed that women who had experienced an abortion were at increased risk of illicit drug and alcohol use compared with women who had never been pregnant or who gave birth.
In 2009, a review of studies examining various types of prenatal loss and the effects on subsequent parenting has concluded that abortion may be "particularly damaging to the parenting process."
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.