Most Studies Show Abortion Linked To Increased Mental Health Problems

Most Studies Show Abortion Linked To Increased Mental Health Problems

Women Cope with Delivery of
Unplanned Pregnancy Better than Abortion

Springfield,IL (September 1, 2011) – Women who have abortions are 81
percent more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems,
according to a new study published byBritain’s Royal College of
Psychiatrists. The greatest increases were seen in relation to
suicidal behaviors and substance abuse.

The meta-analysis examined and combined results of 22 studies
published between 1995 and 2009 and included data on 877,181 women
from six countries.   All 22 studies revealed higher rates of mental
health problems associated with abortion for at least one symptom, and
many for more than one symptom.

Using a standardized statistical technique for combining the results
of multiple studies, the meta-analysis revealed that women with a
history of abortion face higher rates of anxiety (34 percent higher)
and depression (37 percent higher), heavier alcohol use (110 percent
higher) and marijuana use (230 percent higher), and higher rates of
suicidal behavior (155 percent higher).

The study also found that women who delivered an unplanned pregnancy
were significantly less likely to have mental health problems than
similar women who aborted unplanned pregnancies.  Women with a history
of abortion were 55 percent more likely to have mental health problems
than women who did not abort an unplanned pregnancy.

The meta-analysis was conducted by Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a research
psychologist at Bowling GreenStateUniversityinOhio. Coleman is the
most published researcher in the field of abortion and mental health.

A statistical estimate of the overall population attributable risk
revealed that up to 10 percent of mental health problems among women
might be attributable to abortion.

According to Dr. David Reardon, who has published more than a dozen
studies investigating abortion’s impact on women and is the director
of the Elliot Institute, publication of this quantitative
meta-analysis is long overdue.

“This is the first objective comparison of all the major studies,”
Reardon said.  “The tables demonstrate that when you put the results
of all these various studies side by side in a standardized way, there
is a remarkable consistency in the trend of findings. Despite the
differences in study design, which have different strengths and
weaknesses, the studies are all consistently pointing in the same

According to London’s The Daily Mail, “[P]ublication in the
peer-reviewed British journal is a signal that the psychiatric
establishment is now taking seriously the possibility that abortion is
a cause of anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide.”

Read more


Source: Coleman PK. Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis
and analysis of research published 1995–2009. The British Journal of
Psychiatry (2011) 199, 180–186.

Elliot Institute, PO Box 7348, Springfield, IL 62791, United States

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