Recent research from Norway and New Zealand has reported an association between abortion and subsequent mental health problems. Although the two reports are not the first to suggest such a relationship, they are well-designed studies suggesting that abortion may be linked to negative mental health reactions for some women.

 

The Norwegian study, published online by the journal BMC Medicine, compared the experiences of women who had miscarriages with those who had abortions. Six months after pregnancy termination, women who had a miscarriage were more distressed than women who had abortions. However, after 5 years, women who had abortions were more likely to suffer anxiety and intrusive thoughts of the event than women who miscarried.

 

The New Zealand study, published by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts, were more likely to occur among women who had an abortion than women who had never been pregnant or pregnant women who did not terminate the pregnancy. The study concluded, "Abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems."

Are women being advised of these risks?

 

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