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 by Britain’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 Green State University in Ohio. 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 direction.” (A video by Reardon showing the results in detail is available at YouTube.)
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.”
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.
Links to additional news coverage:
Abortion increases risk of mental health problems, new research finds Daily Telegraph (UK)
Abortion ups risk of mental health problems Times of India
Abortion and mental health ‘linked’ The Press Association
Abortion Leads to Mental Illness News Tonight
Mental health link to alcohol problems Nursing in Practice
Major Study Links Suicide and Other Mental Health Problems to Abortion American Thinker
Study links abortion to mental health problems | thetelegraph.com.au Daily Telegraph, Australia
Important Research on the Mental-Health Effects of Abortion – National Review Online
New Research Reveals Abortion Harmful to Women’s Mental Health Family Research Council