Up to 10% of mental health problems among women may be affected by a history of abortion, according to a new review published in the British Journal of Psychiatry(read NRLC analysis).
The study was authored by post-abortion expert, Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, and finds women who have undergone abortion face almost double the risk of mental health problems as women who give birth.
Georgette Forney, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign– the world’s largest network of women and men harmed by abortion– says that the report validates what most post-abortive women already know.
“This is not just another study. It’s historic, [combining] the results of 22 studies conducted over a 14-year period in six countries involving 877,181 women.”
The peer-reviewed study indicated abortion was linked with an overall 81% increase risk of mental health problems, including
- 34% chance of anxiety disorders,
- 37% higher possibility of depression, a
- more than double risk of alcohol abuse
- three times greater risk of marijuana use
- 155 percent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.
When compared to those who delivered unintended pregnancies, women who aborted had a 55% increased risk of experiencing any mental health problem.
Coleman said she conducted the study “to produce an unbiased analysis of the best available evidence addressing abortion as one risk factor among many others that may increase the likelihood of mental health problems… that should be shared with women as they are counseled prior to an abortion.
Dr. David Reardon, post-abortion researcher and founder of the Elliot Institute, discussed the strong findings of this meta-analysis (review of similar studies) in light of the 2008 report from the American Psychological Association. (Read more here.)
Reardon says “The APA Task Force on Abortion and Mental Health could have and should have used an objective approach like Coleman’s, instead:
“the APA deliberately understated abortion’s mental health risks for ideological reasons… employing highly subjective reasons to dismiss, ignore, or obscure findings which did not mesh with their preconceived conclusions.”
The APA task force chair, Dr. Brenda Major, has refused to allow her own data on abortion and mental health to be reanalyzed by other researchers, noted Reardon. “This behavior is especially egregious since it violates the APA’s own ethics rules requiring data sharing,” he said.
The importance of the APA’s consistent resistance to exposing the negative mental impact of abortion, gets translated into court decisions. More about this in next posting.