"Abortion and Mental Health Disorders: Evidence from a 30-year Longitudinal Study" (BJP, 12/08)

"Abortion and Mental Health Disorders: Evidence from a 30-year Longitudinal Study" in the British Journal of Psychiatry, December 2008 Women who have an abortion are at 3-fold risk of developing drug or alcohol addiction. After an abortion, women are 30% more likely to have mental disorders as compared to other women, according to research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (Abortion and mental health disorders: evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study, 12/08). According to Professor David Fergusson, who led the research that reviewed 500 women, the findings have “important implications”: more than 90% of British abortions were authorized on the grounds that keeping an unwanted baby would cause the mother mental health problems. “This evidence clearly poses a challenge to the use of psychiatric reasons to justify abortion. There is nothing in this study that would suggest that the termination of pregnancy was associated with lower risks of mental health problems than birth.” [The Daily Mail].   Another study has shown that women who lose a baby when they are 21 – either through an abortion or a miscarriage – are 3 times more likely to develop a drug or alcohol problem than others. Researcher Kaeleen Dingle [Univ of Queensland, Australia] said: “Abortion and miscarriage are stressful life events that have been shown to lead to anxiety, sadness and grief and, for some women, serious depression & substance use disorders.”   [David M. Fergusson, L. John Horwood, and Joseph M. Boden, Abortion and mental health disorders: evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study, The British Journal of Psychiatry, Dec 2008; 193: 444 – 451]   ABSTRACT: The British Journal...