After Abortion, New Study
Springfield, IL (Nov. 29, 2005) — Compared to women who have not been
pregnant in the prior year, deaths from suicide, accidents and homicide are 248%
higher in the year following an abortion, according to a new 13-year study of
the entire population of women in Finland.
The study also found that majority of the extra deaths among
women who had abortions were due to suicide. The suicide rate among women who
had abortions was six times higher than that of women who had given birth in the
prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages.
The epidemiological study, published in the European Journal
of Public Health, was conducted by Finland’s National Research and
Development Center for Welfare and Health (STAKES). The researchers looked at
data between 1987 and 2000 on all deaths among women of reproductive age (15 to
While the risk of death from suicide, accidents, and homicide
was highest among women who had abortions within the prior year, the risk of
death was lowest among women who gave birth within the prior year, who had less
than half the death rate of women who had not been pregnant. The risk of death
following a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, however, did not significantly
differ from the risk of death among non-pregnant women.
The new study confirms findings from previous record-based
studies carried out in Finland and the United States that have found elevated
risks of death among women who have abortions. A 1997 government-funded study in
Finland found that aborting women were 3.5 times more likely to die within the
next year compared to women who gave birth.
In addition, researchers examining death records linked to
medical payments for birth and abortion for 173,000 California women found that
aborting women were 62 percent more likely to die than delivering women over the
eight year period examined. That study also found that the increase risk of
death was most prominent from suicides and accidents, with a 154 percent higher
risk of death from suicide and an 82 percent higher risk of death from
The lead author of the California study, David Reardon, Ph.D.,
said that record-linkage studies are vital to getting an accurate picture of
pregnancy-associated mortality rates. "In most cases, coroners simply have no
way of knowing that the deceased recently had an abortion, which is why these
new record linkage studies are so important," he said.
Indeed, another recent study by government health officials in
Finland found that 94 percent of maternal deaths associated with abortion could
not be identified by looking at death certificates alone. This
to the data published by the Centers for Disease Control in the United
Previous studies have also linked abortion to higher rates of
illness, relationship problems, and
risk-taking behavior, any of which may increase a women’s risk of death by
suicide or accident. The authors of the new Finland study also speculated that
there might be common risk factors between having an induced abortion and dying
from an accidental injury, and called on medical professional to be aware of
"Women seeking abortions should be informed that abortion is
associated with significant physical and mental health risks, and it also
deprives them of numerous physical and mental health benefits associated with
childbirth." Reardon said. "It is especially important for health care providers
to be aware of these risks and the risk factors which identify those women who
are at highest risk. Providing women with the resources to help them resolve
emotional issues relating to past abortions will not only increase their
well-being but may possibly save their lives."
M. Gissler et. al., "Injury
deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,"
European J. Public Health
M Gissler et. al., "Pregnancy
Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 -- definition problems and benefits of
record linkage," Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
DC Reardon et. al., "Deaths
Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income
Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41 (2002).
M. Gissler, et. al., "Methods
for identifying pregnancy-associated deaths: population-based data from
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 18(6): 448-55 (2004).
The above news release, along with other news on recent studies related to
abortion complications, is posted at