Abortion Linked to Increased Mental Health Risks in Women

Research shows that 81% of women who had an abortion were at a higher risk of developing mental health issues, including alcohol abuse and depression.

Research shows that 81% of women who had an abortion were at a higher risk of developing mental health issues, including alcohol abuse, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

The focus of this study was to evaluate the link between abortion and signs of adverse mental health with a “quantitative synthesis was deemed necessary to represent more accurately the published literature and to provide clarity to clinicians,” wrote Priscilla Coleman, PhD.

Jeanne Monahan, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity, said, "Dr. Coleman's research reveals the indisputable truth that abortion is bad for women's mental health. The fact that Coleman's study found 81% of women who have had an abortion to be at increased risk for significant mental health problems is proof of this.”

Dr. Coleman focused on 22 different studies, 36 measures of effect, and 877,181 participants; 163,831 had undergone an abortion and 713,350 did not. To measure the risk of developing mental health issues, random effects pooled odds ratios were calculated using adjusted odds ratios from the initial studies, and population-attributable risk (PAR) statistics were found using the pooled odds ratios.

Of the 163,831 females who had undergone an abortion, 81% had an increased risk of mental health risks, and nearly 10% of the mental health issues were proven to be a result of the abortion.

Coleman concluded that her review provided “the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature…the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.” She continued saying that she hoped the study would affect how abortion services are delivered.

Monahan reported that with these results, "doctors now have a valid and unbiased synthesis of the current research available on the relationship between abortion and women's mental health. Because it is a meta-analysis the research is much more thorough and reliable than any other single study or review to date.”

"Women need to know this information,” she continued. “They have the right to informed consent before choosing abortion. Abortion not only takes the life of a baby but it often causes much emotional harm to the mother."

This article, "Abortion and Mental health: Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995-2009,” was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.