Women who have abortions
are at risk of severe mental health problems, new
research has found.
Daily Telegraph reporter
7:08AM BST 01 Sep 2011
The study showed that those who undergo abortion
face nearly double the risk of mental health
difficulties compared with others and that
one in ten of all mental health problems
was a result of an abortion.
findings come as Tory MP Nadine Dorries, backed
by Labour’s Frank Field, has put down an amendment
to a Health Bill which requires women seeking abortion
to see an independent counsellor first.
organisations which provide abortions offer counselling,
but critics say the advice given can often be biased.
The latest research was carried out by American
academic Priscilla Coleman and published
in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
adds to previous findings made public by the journal
three years ago which first questioned the assumption
of abortion campaigners that terminating a pregnancy
reduces rather than increases the health risks to
Coleman’s study was based on an analysis of
22 separate projects which analysed the experiences
of a total of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had
had an abortion.
said: “Results indicate quite consistently
that abortion is associated with moderate
to highly increased risks of psychological problems
subsequent to the procedure.
the results revealed that women who had undergone
an abortion experienced an81 per cent increased
risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per
cent of the incidence of mental health problems
were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”
study said that abortion was linked with
a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders,
and 37 per cent higher possibility of depression,
a more than double risk of alcohol abuse –
110 per cent – a three times greater risk
of cannabis use – at 220 per cent –
and 155 per cent greater risk of trying to commit
Coleman said her research was intended “to
produce an unbiased analysis of the best available
evidence addressing abortion as one risk factor
among many others that may increase the likelihood
of mental health problems”.
added: “There are in fact some real
risks associated with abortion that should be shared
with women as they are counselled prior to an abortion.”