British Docs: Abortion Causes Mental Health Problems, Raises Suicide Risk

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Docs: Abortion Causes Mental Health Problems, Raises Suicide Risk Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 3
, 2007

London, England ( — Doctors in England testifying before the British House of Commons said abortion is a serious risk to a woman’s mental health and can make her six times more likely to consider committing suicide. The doctors cited medical studies backing up their assertions as they commented on a bill to make the information available to women.

Dr. Trevor Stammers, who practices at St. George’s University of London and teaches medicine there, said he supported the measure to make women aware of the risks and dangers associated with abortion.

He said that in 26 years of medical practice, all of which come after Britain legalized abortion in 1967, he has seen numerous women come to him with physical or mental health problems resulting from their abortion.

"The most recent research has shown very clearly that abortion presents a serious risk to the long-term mental health of women and why it is therefore important to know which women are being offered abortion on mental health grounds," he told lawmakers, according to a report in the Evening Standard newspaper.

Dr. Robert Balfour, a consultant gynecologist, agreed with the analysis and pointed to a study of 5,000 women in Finland conducted between 1987 and 2000 showing that those who had an abortion after an unplanned pregnancy were six times more likely to commit suicide than women who carried their baby to term.

The newspaper reported him saying that evidence for mental health problems following an abortion is apparent in his hometown in South Wales.

Balfour indicated that there were more psychiatric admissions and suicides among women who had abortions than those who gave birth.

In October 2006, some fifteen of Great Britain’s leading obstetricians and psychiatrists penned an open letter to the London Times acknowledging the psychological consequences of abortions.

Also last year, a university researcher in New Zealand conducted an extensive study on thousands of women and found that 40 percent of those who have abortions suffer from mental health problems following an abortion.

Those problems included depression, addictions to alcohol or drugs, sleep disorders, thoughts of suicide and the problems were much greater than those faced by women who had miscarries or carried their pregnancy to term.