Studies - Depression / Suicide / Mental Health

Abortion Followed by Mental Health Problems (CMAJ,5/2003)

Women who have an abortion are more likely to be hospitalized afterward for psychiatric care, compared to women who carry their baby to term, according to a landmark new U.S. study.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, is based on a review of the medical records of 56,741 California women.

It revealed that those who had abortions were 2.6 times more likely than women carrying a child to term to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following the abortion or the birth.

 

All of the women in the study were free of any psychiatric hospital admissions or pregnancies in the year before the study.

This latest study is likely to deal a blow to the conventional medical wisdom that abortion is therapeutic for women in a crisis pregnancy.

Over 110,000 abortions are carried out each year in Canada, ending 1 in every 3 pregnancies.

This latest CA study suggests that, aside from the public moral controversy created by abortion, there may be serious public mental health concerns for women who make this choice.

[www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/168/10/1253, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 5/03; 13May03, Canadian Physicians for Life W Johnston, MD, Pres. Vancouver, BC; Janet Les, Chilliwack, BC V2P6H4; (604)794-3772 www.physiciansforlife.ca; 14May03, Pro-Life E-News, # 179]