NIH Uninterested in Duplicating Landmark Abortion-Depression Link Study

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NIH Uninterested in Duplicating Landmark Abortion-Depression Link Study Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 22, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Officials at the National Institutes of Health have written a letter in response to a query from a pro-life Congressman. The medical agency said it could not replicate a landmark New Zealand study confirming abortion causes severe depression for women and appeared uninterested in confirming the results.

In January, a pro-abortion New Zealand researcher looked at 25 years of data collected about women and pregnancy and found that 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years.

The percentage was nearly doubled those of those who carry the pregnancy to term. Women who had abortions also doubled their risk of having anxiety disorders compared to those who gave birth.

Indiana Republican Mark Souder wrote a letter to NIH after the publication of the New Zealand study seeking its "advice on searching out the best US research data on the effects of abortion on women in the United States."

Souder asked whether any comparable studies existed in the United States.

According to TheFactIs, a pro-life blog site, NIH said it had "not funded any prospective longitudinal birth cohort studies on the effects of abortion on mental health."

NIH indicated it was "not aware of any similar data sets that currently exist in the United States" that followed a given set of women for 25 years like the New Zealand study had access to for their research.

Though no similar studies have been performed in the U.S., NIH appeared uninterested in ever conducting new research to confirm that abortion can cause depression and other psychological problems, despite millions of American women having had abortions since 1973.

NIH said it was looking at funding a few proposals to study women’s health during and after pregnancy, but Patrick Fagan, a Heritage Foundation fellow, told TheFactIs that such research is "slightly off topic" compared to the long-term study of abortions adverse mental health effects on women.

"The NIH letter says we have no good data, we cannot compare with anybody else’s data and we don’t have any specific suggestions for acquiring this data," Fagan said. "In other words, we are blind and intend to stay blind."

TheFactIs reports that the NIH letter also seemed to discredit using the New Zealand study to show that women in the United States have mental health problems following an abortion.

NIH said the New Zealand research "is occurring in a different societal and cultural context than that found in the United States, and therefore is not directly applicable to the US population."

Despite NIH’s position, other studies have confirmed that abortion causes mental health problems for women.

In a recent article published in The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, post-abrotion researcher Dr. David Reardon identified approximately 35 studies that had identified statistically validated risk factors that most reliably predict which women are most likely to report negative reactions to an abortion.

Researchers at Bowling Green State University in 2004 examined data on nearly 11,000 women between the ages of 15 and 34 who had experienced an unintended pregnancy.

Their survey found that women who have abortions of unexpected pregnancies were 30 percent more likely to experience subsequent problems with anxiety than those who don’t have one.

Women in the study who had abortions and suffered from general anxiety disorder experienced irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a pounding or racing heart, or feelings of unreality.

Related web sites:
Elliot Institute –