Thursday, December 4, 2008

Abortion and depression

by Chloe Angyal

Reuters reports today that, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins, "no high-quality study done to date can document that having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a "post-abortion syndrome," and efforts to show it does occur appear to be politically motivated."

That abortion causes depression is a major argument against it, since such a causal connection would prove that abortion doesn't just hurt the fetus, but that it also hurts women. If abortion is damaging to the health, mental or otherwise, of the mother, it's easy to argue that the practice goes against the feminist imperative to protect women's health. But this debunking of the "post-abortion syndrome" myth makes the pro-life feminism position a little more difficult to defend.

If you're interested in this kind of stuff, don't miss Princeton Pro-Life's lecture "The Paradox of Pro-Life Feminism" this Saturday at 2pm, in Lewis Library 120.


At December 4, 2008 at 4:36 PM , Anonymous steve ertelt said...

The review failed to include three new studies all showing abortion leads to significant mental health problems for women.

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.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home