Thursday, December 4, 2008

Abortion NOT linked to depression  

When I saw this article, I literally cried out, "Yes!" posted an article arguing that abortion is not linked to depression, contrary to what anti-choicers will try to tell you about "post-abortion stress syndrome." Well, science says: it doesn't exist!

Studies on this have been done before. Cristina Page writes about it in her book, "How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America." A study done by the American Psychological Association found that women who had abortions were actually happier when compared to women who gave birth. They seemed to be functioning better, have a higher economic well-being, and were more likely to graduate high school. The study that MSNBC writes about was much larger than the APA study, and it proved the same thing:

A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and found the high-quality studies showed no significant differences in long-term mental health between women who choose to abort a pregnancy and others.

"The best research does not support the existence of a 'post-abortion syndrome' similar to post-traumatic stress disorder," Dr. Robert Blum, who led the study published in the journal Contraception, said in a statement.

Any "studies" that anti-choice organizations claim support "post-abortion stress syndrome" were either conducted in an extremely flawed way, or were not conducted at all. Take that.

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7 comments: to “ Abortion NOT linked to depression

  • December 4, 2008 at 3:03 PM  

    The review failed to include three new studies all showing abortion leads to significant mental health problems for women.

    Last week, Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, and her colleagues published a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research showing the link exists.

    The research team found induced abortions result in increased risks for a myriad of mental health problems ranging from anxiety to depression to substance abuse disorders.

    The number of cases of mental health issues rose by as much as 17 percent in women having abortions compared to those who didn't have one and the risks of each particular mental health problem rose as much as 145% for post-abortive women.

    For 12 out of 15 of the mental health outcomes examined, a decision to have an abortion resulted in an elevated risk for women.

    "What is most notable in this study is that abortion contributed significant independent effects to numerous mental health problems above and beyond a variety of other traumatizing and stressful life experiences," they concluded.

    Earlier this week, researchers at Otago University in New Zealand reported their findings in the British Journal of Psychiatry and found that women who have abortions have an increased risk of developing mental health problems.

    The study found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.

    Abortions increased the risk of severe depression and anxiety by one-third and as many as 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.

    A third study, from a team at the University of Queensland and published in the December issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, found women who have an abortion are three times more likely to experience a drug or alcohol problem during their lifetime.

    The study showed that women who had experienced an abortion were at increased risk of illicit drug and alcohol use compared with women who had never been pregnant or who gave birth.

  • December 4, 2008 at 4:28 PM  

    I still maintain that these studies were conducted in a misleading and biased manner. All of these studies failed to use more than 1,000 subjects, whereas the study MSNBC published used OVER 150,000 WOMEN! I'd say I'm more likely to believe that one.

    Of course there are going to be women who experience sadness after getting an abortion - no one is claiming that it isn't an emotionally taxing procedure. But on a bigger scale, reliable research has shown over and over again that there are no long-term mental effects.

  • December 4, 2008 at 4:43 PM  

    Granted I'm not a credible researcher, but I wouldn't be surprised if the women who DID develop mental health problems did so because of the shame and guilt caused by SOCIETY'S view of women who have had abortions. Not because of the abortion itself.

    Just my two cents.

  • December 4, 2008 at 5:12 PM  

    It's true. Many women develop depression because they are ostracized by their communities or their families for having an abortion. The abortion itself is not the root problem.

    The second study that Steve posted was conducted in the town of Christchurch. No surprise that the women of this town were struggling with mental health issues when dealing with having an abortion in a conservative religious environment.

  • December 5, 2008 at 6:49 PM  

    Have you never heard of a suprious correlation?

    Just because there appears to be a correlation does not mean there is a correlation. Aside from the fact that these studies are obviously woefully biased, did they take into consideration the large social stigma that women who have abortions are exposed to? Could it not be that it is the stigma of abortion and not abortion itself that leads to depression and anxiety?

    Vilifying abortion is just an excuse to try to hold women down.

  • December 10, 2008 at 1:08 PM  

    As a recent aborter, I'm happy as a clam, though still a bit crampy from time to time.
    Stevie, buddy, your prolife friends love making that shit up. And it's bullshit when the scientist sets out to prove their agenda like that- thats not how science is done. And wait- what were the sample sizes?? Because I'm guessing your friends aren't even close to 150,000. Now THAT's a study.

  • December 10, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

    O stevie, I think they wanted you to know! "...studies with the most flawed methodology consistently found negative mental health consequences of abortion," they added.