Does Abortion Increase Mental Health Risks?

February 10th, 2011
Does Abortion Increase Mental Health Risks?

Apparently not according to recent research. The author of one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said she was “not surprised by [the] findings.”

Trine Munk-Olsen added: “Most well-made studies in the field of abortion and mental health show that having an abortion is not associated with an increased risk of having a psychiatric episode.”

Another study was published last December in the Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. The findings showed that teenagers who had an abortion were no more at risk at having mental health problems such as depression or low self esteem than any other teenager.

However these findings have been criticised by Priscilla K. Coleman, who is a professor of human development and family studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA.

Ms Coleman argues that the sample used in the teenage study was too small to make any subsequent findings statistically significant. She firmly believes there is a link between teenage abortion and an increased risk of developing psychological problems.

The most recent research in Denmark however is adding to the confusion. While some studies did find a link, others have found no link. This ambiguous situation was picked up by Pro-life scientists in America, in particular Dr. Joe DeCook who told reporters: “[the] Danish study must be balanced by a comparison to the large number of studies that conclude that there is indeed, for many women, a serious and long-lasting untoward result on their mental health wholeness… Fifty percent of abortions are repeat abortions, and the Danish study does not comment on this half of the affected population.

He added: “Additionally, 11 percent of abortions happen after the first trimester, and these women are likewise not included in this analysis. These are women generally felt to be at higher risk for subsequent mental health problems.”

Whether or not there is a link does not concern pro abortionists however. Dr. Vanessa Cullins, who is vice president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said: “The findings show that motherhood and parenting are decisions with lifelong implications and that individual women are in the best positions to decide when and if they are ready to give birth.”

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