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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Abortion Causes Mental Health Problems for Women

A study recently published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry shows that women who have an abortion face a dramatically increased chance of psychological consequences , including depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior.

Scientists who conducted the 25-year study of New Zealand women age 15 to 25 report that girls 15 to 18 who had not gotten pregnant had a 31.2 percent chance of experiencing major depression, while girls who became pregnant but did not have an abortion had a 35.7 percent chance. However, girls who had an abortion had a 78.6 percent chance of experiencing major depression.

The results for anxiety were similar, with girls not getting pregnant having a 37.9 percent chance of experiencing anxiety and girls who got pregnant who did not have an abortion having a 35.7 percent chance. Girls who had an abortion had a 64.3 percent chance of suffering from anxiety.

The study further shows that 23 percent of girls with no pregnancy had thoughts of suicide. That number was 25 percent for those who became pregnant but did not have an abortion. However, 50 percent of those who had an abortion experienced suicidal thoughts.

The researchers pointed out that the negative mental conditions occurred after the abortions, not the other way around. In other words, care was taken to assure that the research was measuring the effect abortion has on a woman's mental health, not the effect of a prior mental health condition on a woman's chances of having an abortion.

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