Abortion during the late teen and early adult years raises a woman’s risk of mental health problems and may be linked to almost one in ten cases of these women’s mental disorders, a new study says.
A sociologist at CUA found that the risks of a mental disorder with abortion far exceeded the risks from involuntary loss of pregnancy.
“Evidence from the United States confirms previous findings from Norway and New Zealand that, unlike other pregnancy outcomes, abortion is consistently associated with a moderate increase in risk of mental health disorders during late adolescence and early adulthood,” said the study’s abstract.
The study, conducted by sociology professor Donald Paul Sullins of CUA, was published July 22, 2016 in the peer-reviewed Sage Open Medicine journal — http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2813546
After adjusting for demographic differences and other factors, the study found that abortion during these years elevated a woman’s risk of mental health disorder by 45%.
“One-eleventh of the prevalence of mental disorders examined over the period were attributable to abortion,” the study’s abstract said.
The study sought to examine any links between pregnancy outcomes like birth, abortion or miscarriage and mental health outcomes for U.S. women during the transition to adulthood. It drew on a national study of 8,005 women that surveyed them three times at average ages of 15, 22 and 28.
Involuntary pregnancy loss was associated with a 24% elevated risk of mental disorder, while childbirth was “weakly associated” with reduced risk of mental disorder.
Students for Life of America said the study showed the need for better data about the risks of abortion.
“Abortion activists have repeatedly denounced attempts to link abortion with any adverse events,” the group said Aug. 23.
“In medical schools across the country, students are taught that there are no long-term consequences of abortion, and that abortion is a safe procedure. However, these statements are misleading at best.”
Students for Life said that each state sets its own reporting laws. States like California do not require any reporting of abortion statistics. Reported statistics may be unreliable, given that pro-abortion research organizations like the Guttmacher Institute consistently report abortion rates as much as 30% higher than Centers for Disease Control reports.
Only 16 states require reporting of abortion complications, and only eight publish abortion complications in their public abortion reports. Four states inquire about maternal mortality after abortion, while only one state asks about follow-up care to women who have had abortions.
[CNA/EWTN News, 09/06/2016, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/study-abortion-poses-mental-health-problems-to-young-women-down-the-road/
Abortion, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Early Adulthood: Thirteen-Year Longitudinal Evidence from the United States
Objective: To examine the links between pregnancy outcomes (birth, abortion, or involuntary pregnancy loss) and mental health outcomes for U. S. women during the transition into adulthood to determine the extent of increased risk, if any, associated with exposure to induced abortion.
Method: Panel data on pregnancy history and mental health history for a nationally-representative cohort of 8,005 women at (average) ages 15, 22, and 28 years from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health were examined for risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, cannabis abuse, and nicotine dependence by pregnancy outcome (birth, abortion, involuntary pregnancy loss). Risk ratios (RR) were estimated for time-dynamic outcomes from population-averaged longitudinal logistic and poisson regression models.
Results: After extensive adjustment for confounding, other pregnancy outcomes, and sociodemographic differences, abortion was consistently associated with increased risk of mental health disorder.
Overall risk was elevated 45% (RR 1.45, 95% CI 1.30-1.62, p. < .0001).
Risk of mental health disorder with pregnancy loss was mixed, but also elevated 24% (RR 1.24, 95% CI 1.13-1.37, p. < .0001) overall.
Birth was weakly associated with reduced mental disorders.
One-eleventh (8.7%, 95% CI 6.0-11.3) of the prevalence of mental disorders examined over the period were attributable to abortion.
Conclusion: Evidence from the United States confirms previous findings from Norway and New Zealand that, unlike other pregnancy outcomes, abortion is consistently associated with a moderate increase in risk of mental health disorders during late adolescence and early adulthood.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
[July 22, 2016, Donald Paul Sullins, Sage Open Medicine, July 2016, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2813546 ]