One of the arguments put forth by anti-abortion advocates is that it causes major mental health problems for the woman who has one, but a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine says that’s not the case at all:
“This is an extremely, extremely well done study,” he said. “There is no evidence that abortion predisposes a woman to psychiatric and mental health problems.”
[…] Blum, a former president of the Guttmacher Institute, would like to say goodbye to the political buzz words.
“There is no post-abortion trauma, post-abortion syndrome, or anything of the like,” he said.
Danish researchers looked at the health records of 85,000 women who had had first-trimester abortions. Those women were more likely to seek mental health treatment while they were pregnant, but didn’t need more help after having the abortion. That’s not surprising, says Nada Stotland, a professor of psychiatry at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She says that women considering abortion are often struggling with problems with a partner or family members.
“People have abortions often under troubled circumstances,” she said. “You have an abortion because there is a problem.”
What makes this study unique is that it looked at women who chose abortions and also looked at women who chose to have the baby. Stotland says this gives us a much better picture of the stresses of abortion and childbirth.
“Above all it really fairly contrasts the outcomes of abortion with the outcomes of pregnancy,” she said.
As it turns out giving birth is actually more likely to cause mental health problems with postpartum depression being one of the major ones. It would help quite a bit if more resources were devoted to post-birth mental health care for new mothers.
While this study most likely won’t end the debate anytime soon, it does debunk one of the common arguments against abortion.