In a recent post was noted a study on the effects of abortion. Here is a link to the study and information from that study. There are other studies as well related to abortion and health risks in this post.
Women who have abortions are 81 percent more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems, according to a new study published by Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. The greatest increases were seen in relation to suicidal behaviors and substance abuse.
The meta-analysis examined and combined results of 22 studies published between 1995 and 2009 and included data on 877,181 women from six countries. All 22 studies revealed higher rates of mental health problems associated with abortion for at least one symptom, and many for more than one symptom.
Using a standardized statistical technique for combining the results of multiple studies, the meta-analysis revealed that women with a history of abortion face higher rates of anxiety (34 percent higher) and depression (37 percent higher), heavier alcohol use (110 percent higher) and marijuana use (230 percent higher), and higher rates of suicidal behavior (155 percent higher).
The study also found that women who delivered an unplanned pregnancy were significantly less likely to have mental health problems than similar women who aborted unplanned pregnancies. Women with a history of abortion were 55 percent more likely to have mental health problems than women who did not abort an unplanned pregnancy.
The meta-analysis was conducted by Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a research psychologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Coleman is the most published researcher in the field of abortion and mental health.
A statistical estimate of the overall population attributable risk revealed that up to 10 percent of mental health problems among women might be attributable to abortion.
According to Dr. David Reardon, who has published more than a dozen studies investigating abortion’s impact on women and is the director of the Elliot Institute, publication of this quantitative meta-analysis is long overdue.
“This is the first objective comparison of all the major studies,” Reardon said. “The tables demonstrate that when you put the results of all these various studies side by side in a standardized way, there is a remarkable consistency in the trend of findings. Despite the differences in study design, which have different strengths and weaknesses, the studies are all consistently pointing in the same direction.”
In another study International health experts have published that 94 percent of maternal deaths associated with abortion are not identifiable from death certificates alone.
Proper tracking of pregnancy associated deaths, they report, requires the linking of death certificates to the deceased women’s medical records. Only in this way, they conclude, can accurate information about recent pregnancies be determined — information that is frequently missing from death certificates and autopsies.
The study, completed by researchers from the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health in Finland, shows that the long held presumption that abortion is associated with fewer deaths than childbirth does not hold up once the pregnancy history of women is actually investigated using record linkage.
Previously, it has been widely assumed that the mortality rate associated with abortion was only one-sixth that of childbirth. But those estimates were based primarily on information gathered only from death certificates or other public records.
Proper identification of pregnancy history, the researchers found, reveals that the death rate associated with abortion is actually three times higher than that of childbirth.
Even before this study discrediting the accuracy of accessing pregnancy associated deaths from death certificates alone, the CDC’s reports on abortion associated deaths had been severely criticized by abortion opponents.
One of the chief complaints was that the top physicians in the CDC’s abortion surveillance unit had clear conflicts of interest since they were not only outspoken advocates for expanding abortion services but also, when not on government payroll, practicing abortion providers.
In a paper published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2009, a Canadian research team examined data from 37 studies and found that having a prior abortion increased the risk of subsequent preterm birth by 35 percent, while having more than one prior abortion increased the risk by 93 percent.1 (Preterm birth is defined as a birth that takes place before 37 weeks gestation.)
In other words, children whose mothers had a previous abortion were more likely to be born prematurely, putting them at greater risk for problems such as low-birth weight (which has been linked to physical and developmental problems), epilepsy, autism, mental retardation and cerebral palsy. A research team looking at data from 2002 estimated that prior abortions led to 1,096 cases of cerebral palsy among babies born prematurely that year.