Detrimental Effects of Teen Abortion (2001)

THE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF ADOLESCENT ABORTION, PART I  This is a 2-part article on the effects of abortion on teens. About 20% of all abortions taking place in the USA today are performed on teens (1). Teenage abortion has been linked to a number of physical & psychological problems, including drug and alcohol abuse (2), suicide attempts and suicidal ideation (3), & other self-destructive behaviors. Compared to women who abort at an older age, women who abort as teens are significantly more likely to report more severe emotional injuries related to their abortions (4). This finding is supported by the fact that women who aborted as teens participate in disproportionately large numbers in post-abortion counseling programs (5). In a study of post-abortive women in WEBA support groups, for example, more than 40% of the women had been teenagers at the time of their abortions (6). THE PSYCHOLOGICAL RISKS Compared to women who have abortions in adulthood, teens who abort: — Are 2 to 4 times more likely to commit suicide. (7) — Are more likely to develop psychological problems. (8) — Are more likely to have troubled relationships. (9) — Are generally in need of more counseling and guidance regarding abortion. (10) — Are nearly 3 times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals than women in general. (11)   Studies have shown that the major factors in pregnancy decision making among teens are the attitude of the teen's parents, the baby's father, and her peers; the personality of the teen herself; and the cultural and public policy attitudes toward abortion by which she is surrounded (12)....