by Steven Ertelt
August 16, 2006
Wellington, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — A New Zealand pro-life group says the island nation’s government needs to take note of a new study refuting a long-standing contention that teenagers are better able to handle an abortion than dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
The study found that adolescent girls who have an abortion are five times more likely to seek help for psychological and emotional problems than those who keep their baby.
Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a research psychologist at Bowling Green State University, led the study and published the results in the August issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
"The New Zealand Government and healthcare providers must take notice of this research" says Family Life International media spokesperson Brendan Malone.
"This study confirms the findings released earlier this year by Professor Fergusson of the Christchurch School of Medicine; which showed that abortions are harmful to the mental health of adolescent women," he said in a statement obtained by LifeNews.com.
"These studies are part of a growing body of research which scientifically dispels the myth that abortion is better for a young woman than carrying a pregnancy to full term is," Malone added.
Malone said the studies are important because adolescent women make up the second largest group of women having abortions in New Zealand, with 3,718 last year.
"If our government and our society truly cares for women’s health, then we will take urgent steps to implement strategies to protect adolescent women from the harm that abortion causes them, by providing them the necessary support and assistance to carry their babies to full term," Malone said.
Malone said new Zealand would have to deal with very serious and costly social and psychological health problems in the coming years if it didn’t help teenagers avoid abortions.
In the study, Coleman also found that teenagers who have abortions instead of carrying the pregnancy to term were also over three times more likely to report subsequent trouble sleeping, and nine times more likely to report subsequent marijuana use.
Coleman pointed out that, while having a child as a teen may be problematic, "the risks of terminating seem to be even more pronounced."
"The scientific evidence is now strong and compelling," Coleman said. "Abortion poses more risks to women than giving birth."