Abortion activists are touting a new study that claims women will not risk psychological suffering if they abort their unborn babies.
Published in JAMA Psychiatry, the study argues that aborting an unborn baby does not cause depression or other mental health problems, and pro-lifers who point to studies showing otherwise are “misinforming” women.
“Policies based on the notion that abortion harms women’s mental health are misinformed,” said lead researcher Dr. Julia Steinberg in a statement. “Abortion is not causing depression. Our findings show that women were not more likely to suffer from depression after an abortion compared to beforehand.”
Steinberg and her team at the University of Maryland School of Public Health analyzed the medical data of Danish women born between 1980 and 1994 to study their abortions and their use of antidepressants, according to Romper.
The researchers said their study is the first to look at the risk of antidepressant use and abortion.
Study authors found that, compared to women who had not had an abortion, those who did showed a higher rate of antidepressant use. But Dr. Steinberg states in a press release that antidepressant use was the same both the year before and the year after having an abortion, and was not linked to the procedure itself.
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Increasingly, abortion in the United States is becoming more and more restricted as a number of laws aim to limit women’s access. NBC reports that anti-abortion rights activists often use false medical information in order to block access to the procedure, including the definitively debunked claim that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. NBC also reports that diagnoses such as “post-abortion stress syndrome” or post-abortion syndrome” are bogus — no such diagnoses exist in medical texts.
Despite what liberal news outlets claim, there is a wealth of evidence that abortions do increase the risks of mental health problems for women.
One large-scale study out of the National Institute for Health and Welfare in 1997 found the suicide rate among women who had undergone abortions was three times higher than women in the general population and six times higher than women who gave birth.
Another study published in the 2010 Journal of Pregnancy found higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among women who aborted unborn babies. Also that year, a study 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 substance abuse.
The Elliot Institute has a long list of similar studies throughout the past several decades that show serious physical and mental health risks associated with abortion.
Women deserve to know all the facts, including that there is a strong body of research about increased mental and physical risks after abortion. But abortion activists try to hide this from women by claiming that the killing of an unborn child doesn’t hurt anyone.
Also, a 2011 British Journal of Psychology meta-study on the mental-health effects of abortion is a survey of 22 published studies that combines data on 877,181 participants, presenting a body of peer-reviewed research showing that abortion increases the likelihood of depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug use, and suicide.
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.
Previously, 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.