Johns Hopkins Review of Abortion, Depression Link Ignores Three New Studies
by Steven Ertelt
December 4, 2008
Baltimore, MD (LifeNews.com) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have looked at more than a dozen studies on abortion and mental health issues and they claim there is no link. However the review failed to include three new studies all showing abortion leads to significant mental health problems for women.
The JHU team examined 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and claimed they do not show abortion presents mental health concerns.
"The best research does not support the existence of a ‘post-abortion syndrome’ similar to post-traumatic stress disorder," lead researcher Robert Blum claimed. "Based on the best available evidence, emotional harm should not be a factor in abortion policy."
Vignetta Charles, another researcher, went further and claimed that pro-life groups or lawmakers who would promote laws based on an abortion-depression link are "distort[ing] science to advance political agendas."
However, it may be Charles and her colleagues who are distorting the science.
The review comes days after three new studies from researchers across the globe that confirmed an abortion-mental health issue link exists and the studies are too recent to have been included in the JHU synopsis.
Last week, 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 the 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.
Earlier this week, 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 problem 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.
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