Suicide Rate Higher After Abortion, Study Shows

Suicide Rate Higher After Abortion, Study Shows

Elliot Institute Presents New Findings at International Women’s Health Conference

A new Elliot Institute study has found that women who have had abortions are more likely to commit suicide than those who have given birth.

The study examined Medi-Cal records for more than 173,000 low-income California women who had abortions or gave birth in 1989. Linking these records to death certificates, the researchers found that women who had state-funded abortions were 2.6 times more likely to die of suicide compared to women who delivered their babies.

The average annual suicide rate per 100,000 women was 3.0 for delivering women, compared to 7.8 for aborting women. The national average suicide rate for women between the ages of 15 and 44 is 5.2 per 100,000 women. This shows that aborted women have a higher suicide rate than women in general, while giving birth actually reduces women’s suicide risk.

“The data clearly shows what we have long suspected: that abortion is harmful rather than helpful to women,” said Elliot Institute director Dr. David Reardon, one of several researchers working on the study.

Reardon said that the Elliot Institute study built on previous research from other countries that found higher death rates among post-abortive women. A study of all women in Finland, for example, found that women who had abortions were three-and-a-half times more likely to die within the next year as women who carried their pregnancies to term.

“The Finland study was one of the largest and most well-done studies ever conducted on abortion,” Reardon said. “Data that is drawn from medical records, as was done both in Finland and in our study, is generally more objective than relying on women’s own descriptions of how abortion affected their lives.”

Reardon said that part of the purpose of the Elliot Institute study was to see if study results in the U.S. would confirm what researchers have been finding in other countries about the connection between abortion and increased rates of suicide.

“We wanted to see if the results of our study would match what was found in Finland and elsewhere,” he said. “In addition, however, because the Finland study only looked at medical data for one year after women aborted or gave birth, we wanted to see if the suicide rate was also higher over a longer period of time.”

In March, Reardon and several colleagues presented the study at the World Congress on Women’s Mental Health, held in Berlin, Germany. They also presented studies that found higher rates of depression, mental illness, miscarriages and substance abuse among post-abortive women compared to women who gave birth.

“In discussing our research, we found that no one expressed any hostility or even doubt about the validity of the findings,” he said. “We hope that some of the people who heard our message will reconsider their position on abortion and maybe even begin warning their patients of the physical and emotional risks.

“We can’t expect an immediate change in attitudes, of course, but I’m confident that we were able to plant some seeds in Berlin,” he added.


Originally published in The Post-Abortion Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, April-June 2001. Copyright 2001, Elliot Institute.
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15 Responses to Suicide Rate Higher After Abortion, Study Shows

  1. Revy says:

    I had an abortion last last year (2010), when I was sixteen, because my then-boyfriend, (who was also the baby’s father), didn’t want the child. I made it clear that I did want my baby, and that I had already nicknamed him/her, and I was ready to be a mother. But he wouldn’t listen; he informed me of all my pejorative traits, and instructed me to abort “for the baby’s sake.” According to him, my depression would hinder the baby’s development, and our lack of combined finance would leave our child susceptible to bullying. Also, the child’s conception was an accident; not only was it an accident, it was my accident, for I had been careless with the pill, and had continued to rely on it despite being prescribed antibiotics. I was left feeling completely incapable of being a mother, and also felt that it would be wrong of me to lumber my boyfriend with a child when its existence was my fault entirely and he had done nothing wrong.

    However, since then, I have felt nothing but regret and guilt. My boyfriend left me, something I should have expected. I want to die, and have wanted to die ever since. I did not feel relief following the baby’s expulsion from my womb. Instead, I felt grief and guilt. I deem myself a selfish murderer, and long for nothing more than to be released of my suffering. The only thing stopping me is my mother; I wouldn’t want her to suffer the intolerable pain of losing a child, too.

    • EI says:

      Please call on post-abortion ministries in you area to have someone to talk to and lean on who knows what you are going through and can offer you help. Check out http://afterabortion.org/2011/hope-healing/

      You can get through this. Don’t lose hope. You will never forget your baby, but you can live a better life and learn from this experience lessons that can help other people, including your future children.

  2. Dominique says:

    I had an abortion too and I know exactly what you’re going through. The guilt is with me everyday and I just want to die. My little sister is what keeps me going, but still..I know my life will never be complete, there will always be a special part of me missing.

  3. Nicole says:

    I have got my abortion booked for this week. There is no other option for me as the father doesn’t want it and I can’t bring a child into this world unless I have a father of the baby who wants it. This is the lowest point of my life and I am dreading Monday.

    • EI says:

      The dread you feel now is a warning that you will feel even worse in days and years to come if you go through with what you know in your heart is the wrong decision.

      I pray you will go to a pro-life pregnancy help center and can find the help and support you need.

      God has a plan and you will never regret giving life to your child.

      Here are some numbers you can call:

      OptionLine

      Option Line consultants refer each caller to a pregnancy resource center in her area for answers to questions about abortion, pregnancy tests, STD’s, adoption, parenting, medical referrals, housing, and many other issues. The toll-free number is available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Callers from across the country can reach a trained, caring person and then be connected to a pregnancy resource center near them for one-on-one help. Option Line is a call center located in Columbus, Ohio, formed as a joint venture between Care Net and Heartbeat International.

      1-800-395-HELP (4357)

      Birthright

      Birthright has a network of almost a thousand pregnancy help centers throughout the United States, These centers offer pregnancy testing, counseling, and resources, including medical, financial, and personal assistance. The Birthright philosophy is that a woman coming in for help does not represent a “statistic”, or an “issue,”, but is rather a human being looking for help and support in a time of need. In addition to pregnancy help services, Birthright also provides links to doctors and others in the local community who can help a woman after the birth of her child.

      1-800-550-4900

      National Life Center

      National Life Center’s 24-hour hotline directs you to the closest Crisis Pregnancy Center in the United States and Canada.

      1-800-848-LOVE

      Bethany Christian Services

      Bethany Christian Services is one of the nation’s leading providers of adoption and crisis pregnancy support information. They operate a national hotline which is active from 8 AM to 12 PM, 7 days a week. This hotline routes callers to one of 56 local offices which can then provide local and regional information.

      On-going education and support for parents are offered through our adoption support services. Bethany acknowledges that adoption is a life-long process and that adoptive families sometimes have unique issues and concerns. Bethany’s adoption pre-screening and placement program is one of the most recommended in the country, and they have placed more than 11,000 children in adoptive homes. In addition, Bethany provides good community-based follow-up, both for women who choose adoption or who raise their child themselves.

      1-800-BETHANY

      Several Sources Foundation

      Several Sources Foundation provides a 24-hour crisis pregnancy help line which can connect any caller to their local pregnancy help resources, including Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, and others. Their database of pregnancy help resources is one of the most complete in the nation. See for yourself at their great website!

      1-800-662-2678

      You can also call us!

    • Patricia Palmer says:

      Dearest Nicole my dear,
      May I be of some help to you just to talk it over? I am post abortive and I also had children even though 2 of the Fathers did not have anything to do with the children. If it is not too late and you have not already gone through with this decision will you at least let me try to discuss why you want to do this and see if there are some other solutions. I know your pain and suffering and at the moment it seems like there is no solution but that is just for this one moment. It won’t be the end of the world to have a child you can decide along the way to parent or adopt the child out. There are so many families looking for baby’s just google it adoptive parents. I realize your plate is full and feels like it is colapsing in the middle with fear of the unknown, but this child is a gift from God to you and alive human living organism.It may seem like it is yours, but it is not it has it’s own DNA and seperate from you it just needs your body to grow and develop and mature. It sounds like you really love this guy and if you are like me maybe you got pregnant hoping he would love you more and stay around? If you have this abortion that will not help your relationship. Your unborn embryo if you are anywhere up to 8 weeks and below has a little beating heart and the brain waves can already be measured. If you are farther along about 10 weeks the unborn living human being which would now be called a fetus has facial expressions and the heartis almost completely formed. The fetus will feel the pain of the suction equipement ripping it in parts while sucking it out of your womb.
      You seem like a very loving person and are heart broken with this guys pressure because he doesn’t want the child. I can tell you from my own expereince and the statistics of 96% of all women who abort regret there decision. We live with it for life and we are harmed by it don’t let them tell you differently. There is also major risks to you and your body, just because it is legal does not mean it is safe. We women were designed with the greatest gift of love for human beings it is written on our hearts to give life and it is very unnatural for us to take it away. Please I beg you to give this a second thought and contact the OptionLine.org there is help and someone to talk to at least look at an ultrasound of your unborn baby to see the beautiful life within you. It is a human living being growing to be like you but it is not you. God bless you I will keep you in my prayers Nicole!
      I am concerned for you too not just the baby!

    • Amy says:

      I myself was in a similar situation and now I regret having my abortion. If you don’t want your baby to grow up without a father, you could consider adoption. You would have 9 months to look for a good family. Also, you could consider foster care until the father changes his mind or you find a man who is willing to take the child in as his own. I wish I made one of these decisions instead of abortion. Also, who knows maybe the baby’s father will change his mind when the baby is born and maybe before. I’ve seen it happen.

      • Patricia Palmer says:

        She is so right, we don’t know how God will move hearts and baby’s tend to change them for the better. You don’t need to decide this moment while your emotions and feelings are fluctuating due to all the hormone changes from being pregnant. It is normal to feel scared, and worried, but that doesn’t mean you have to end the child’s life. With God all things are possible and even if you do not have a relationship with Him, He may be prompting you now to come back to Him through the gift of this child.

    • Savannah says:

      Dear Nicole,

      There is a Father who wants this baby, and He wants you too. He is your heavenly father, and he is deeply in love with you both. He has a plan for you and your baby. If you trust in Him he will take care of you both. He will always love you no matter what decision you make. -God Bless

      • Savannah says:

        I should have taken a closer look at the date…But if you went through with the abortion- God still loves you, and there is always hope in Gods love because it’s unconditional! That’s why Jesus died for you!

  4. Beatriz Maria Franquez says:

    Dear Nicole,
    I hope you don’t do this if you still have time to avoid this terrible act. You have a wonderful human being ready to love you inconditionally.. in your inside, you just have to het him/her to be born!!! Please don’t do it. You are also God’s criature and HE wont let you down because of your mistakes in life, just trust in LOVE is the most powerfull grace you can have, and if you kill this baby inside you… you are killing and denying life to another human being but you are aso killing the possibilities of infinite LOVE, HOPE, and STRENGH for yourself, open you heart to the wonderful child you are expecting and you will discover a treasure of love for you!! is a key for success!!. Belief.
    I will pray for you, so may God help you and heal you, also if you committed already this
    horrendus crime that I know you don’t want to conmmit.
    (1 Heavenly father. 1 Hale Mary. 1 Glory. Santa Maria, sin pecado concebida, ruega por nosotros que a ti recurrimos.)

    Beatriz Maria.

  5. David says:

    I know what you mean, (though I am not a female) I can never truly understand but I can try but there’s no way of knowing my friend had an abortion (she ended up commuting suicide) I miss her dearly and she talked about it all the time as well

  6. khateria says:

    i have never had an abortion but no human said put me in the world im ready but after twelve days and there is already an heart beat why kill the baby you regret it because youve committed murder or thats how you feel i dont agree with your descions but i see why and i notice alot are growing from it but for any one else who thinking of ABortion i know great ppl who come from adoption and always remeber but that there is a such thing as an open adoption where you can still be in the babys life you would rather know that you brought him or her into the world rather then takeing them out before ever having a chance to cry and babies feel when there dying just to let you guys know

  7. sharon says:

    I too want to die along with my baby as I am being forced t and threatened to abort my baby by my mum. I wish I could die during the abortion procedure as I do not desire to live if this child is aborted.

    • EI says:

      No one has any right to force someone else to have an abortion. Please tell the doctor and nurse you are being forced into an unwanted abortion. If you can find an ally, a lawyer, or religious leader and tell them you are being forced into an unwanted abortion, they may be able to help you. You mum will be angry, but in the long run she will relent and be ashamed and even come to love her grandchild. Reach out for help.

      Where do you live? Perhaps we can help put you in touch with someone who can help.

      You are in our prayers!

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