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 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.

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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.)

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.”


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 raises risk of mental health problems by 81% as Parliament discusses … Christian Concern

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

Mental health: Abortion increases risk of psychological problems  Tucone

Study links abortion to mental health problems |  Daily Telegraph, Australia

Abortion tied to sharp decline in women’s mental health – CBS News

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

Abortion harms to women’s mental health – study Voxy

Largest ever study finds abortion increases risk of severe mental health …  Life Site

Life Issues Forum: Analysis of 22 Studies Confirms: Abortion Harms Women’s Mental Health

Meta-Analysis Shows Nearly 10% of the Mental Illness experienced by women who aborted directly connected to their abortion | – National Right to Life News

Christian Medical Comment: Abortion raises risk of mental health problems by 81% says major new review

Baptist Press – Study: Abortion tied to depression, suicide – News with a Christian Perspective

Abortion Causes 10% of Mental Health Problems » First Things



Most Studies Show Abortion Linked To Increased Mental Health Problems — 6 Comments

  1. I’d like to see a study on postabortive women who sought counseling and withheld the fact of their abortion and then the ones who finally seek help specifically for their past abortion. For me it took 20+ years to say the words aloud. I had plenty of mental health care in that 20 years where the fact of my abortion was never mentioned so any therapy was for the most part useless.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing, ladies. I have often wondered why studies don’t specify their results are dependent on women’s own brutal honesty about their past. I am sure the numbers would be much higher if the public new to be aware of the connection between abortion and depression, etc. If the information in these studies can be made more public, mental health professionals can be better equipped to help women who are struggling, and women who are suffering after their abortion can pin-point the problem fast, and get help! It’s an embarrassing shame the truth about the risks and long-term side-effects of abortion are muffled so abortion can stay a big, healthy, thriving industry. When it comes to abortion, women are suffering and profit is being protected, when it should be the other way around.

  4. I am thankful that God has referred me to this website by one of the Pro Life Ministries Counselor in Minnesota. Now I can share this information to another family member of mine that had multiple abortions like me. We have been lately discussing this topic “What is wrong with Her, and the things that are going on with her is Anxiety, Severe Depression, and Panic Attacks, and PTSD. We tried to figure out what caused both of us to have these disturbing symptoms. I believe that Satan is the Culprit to all of these things and had no idea that Abortions plays a big part of Our symptoms. Well abortion comes from the devil so he is the main source of these terrible disturbing symptoms. God Bless and Thank You Dr. Reardon, and Dr. Coleman for taking the time out to help us know what caused us to be mentally sick! Amen.

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