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Abortion Causes Massive Mental Health Problems for Women

Dramatic results of new study reveal impact

Abortion destroys the psychological health of teenage girls. This is the finding of a large new study that has statistics on this point so dramatic that even pro-lifers may have trouble believing them. The pro-abortion lead author of the study, Prof. David Fergusson of Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Christchurch, New Zealand, told Australia’s ABC news, in summary, that abortion causes mental health problems, not the other way around, and women’s backgrounds had nothing to do with it.

In what may be the biggest study of its kind, Fergusson and his fellow scientists examined the psychological consequences of abortion for New Zealand women age 15 to 25. Reported the scientists: “Forty-one percent of women had become pregnant on at least one occasion prior to age 25, with 14.6% having an abortion. Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance use disorders. This association persisted after adjustment for confounding factors.”

Depression, anxiety and other negative effects occurred after the abortions, the researchers said. These are not cases of depressed, drug-addicted or otherwise disturbed women being more likely to abort their children—the abortions preceded the disturbances.

“We were indeed surprised by the results,” he said. “Our expectation was that we would find that young women who had abortions had higher rates, but that was due to selection factors, that is the background of young women predisposed them both to abortion and to mental health problems, and we found that that was not in fact the case. Abortion turns out to be the most common medical surgical procedure that young women actually encounter during adolescence and young adulthood.”

In this study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Fergusson and his two collaborators found that girls 15 to 18 who had not gotten pregnant had a 31.2% chance of experiencing major depression. Those who became pregnant but did not have an abortion had a 35.7% chance. But those who had an abortion had an astonishing 78.6% chance.

For anxiety, the statistics were similar. No pregnancy: 37.9%; pregnancy, no abortion: 35.7%; abortion: 64.3%.

And for ideas of suicide, a horrific mark of mental illness, the figures should be enough to convince anyone who cares about young women to desire a ban on abortion for minors. No pregnancy: 23%; pregnancy, no abortion: 25%; abortion: 50%.

Pro-abortion activists cite possible psychological harm to women if they give birth to an unwanted child, but the scientific evidence continues to pile up proving the opposite: Abortion is more psychologically harmful than carrying a child to term.

In its December 2005 report, the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, appointed by Gov. Mike Rounds (R.), cited an expert as saying that “the literature on the psychological effects of abortion conducted over the last several decades indicates that a minimum of 10-20% of women experience adverse, prolonged, post-abortion reactions. This translates into at least 130,000 to 260,000 new cases of serious mental health problems each year in the U.S.”

So who is abortion good for?

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Written By

Mr. D'Agostino, former associate editor of HUMAN EVENTS, is vice president for Communications at the Population Research Institute.

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