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Abortion And Depression.

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I found this article I though was interesting. I wonder why women are not told all of the after effects an abortion might have on them BEFORE they get an abortion.

IT'S BEEN NEARLY 20 YEARS since Surgeon General C. Everett Koop concluded that research on the psychological effects of abortion was entirely inadequate for drawing any general conclusions about either the efficacy or the dangers of abortion.

Since then, important empirical research has been conducted that points to a significant correlation between a woman's abortion experience and subsequent psychological maladjustment.

For example, a Canadian study found that a higher number of abortions were correlated both with poor long-term health and with the need to obtain professional help in dealing with the losses.

Another study in the non-partisan American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse reported an increase in substance abuse experienced by post-abortive women. Women who had no history of substance abuse prior to their first pregnancy were, on average, twice as likely to abuse alcohol, more than twice as likely to abuse marijuana, and nearly three times as likely to use cocaine, as women who did not abort. In fact, there have been dozens of recent studies confirming the strong association between abortion and subsequent drug and alcohol abuse, which, in turn, are strongly correlated with depression.

In another study that accounted for prior mental health problems, post-abortive women were found to be much more likely to attempt suicide. Gissler et al. discovered that while the mean annual suicide rate among Finnish women was 11.3 per 100,000, the rates associated with women who obtained an abortion (34.7) were significantly higher than in the population.

What's more, research indicates that minors who abort may be at even greater risk than the female population at large. A host of studies conducted over the past 10 years show girls who abort are at increased risk of substantial psychological reactions and even clinical depression. For example, a 2000 study by Reardon and Cougle found that long-term psychological effects were more common among women who had an abortion as an adolescent than among those who had carried an adolescent pregnancy to term.

Finally, in a study I conducted last year (which appears in the current issue of the Georgetown Public Policy Review), I compare the long-term psychological consequences of teenage abortion with those of teenage childbirth.

I found that while at first glance early experiences of abortion and childbirth were similar as regards to their effects on women's long-term psychological health, when additional statistically significant variables were accounted for, such as pre-disposition to depression, physical health, and life satisfaction measures, early childbearing proved not to be a determinate of long-term depression. On the other hand, even after accounting for a wide-range of significant variables that affect depression, an early abortion experience was still associated with a higher level of adult depression symptoms.

What this means is that if a woman who gave birth as a teen was depressed years later, it was usually due to dire financial straits or relationship problems and not to the fact that she bore a child at an early age. Conversely, if a woman who aborted her first child as a teen was depressed years later, it was probably not due to financial difficulties, poor physical health or a negative sense of efficacy. Instead, her depression could be linked directly to the abortion experience itself.

Also, I found that on average, all else being equal, a woman who aborted at or before the age of 20 had a depression score 15 percent higher than a woman who did not become pregnant as a youth.

These results make sense because while most cultures have slowly come to consider abortion as a normal and acceptable part of reproductive women's health care, the real psychological effects that aborting one's child has on a mother can never be completely avoided.


UNFORTUNATELY, THE PUBLIC IS largely unaware of these important findings, and, even worse, doctors still rarely inform women considering abortion about the strong abortion/depression link.
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replied July 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
You are spot on! I am pro choice but I dont have much choice as I have had an abortion. Absolutely nothing like this was said to me by any of the doctors I saw and there was no after support either.
I didnt feel the extremes like you have posted here but I did, after a period of time feel extreme guilt and becoming pregnant after an abortion was a very hard thing to deal with, even though I wanted this baby very much.

Women need to be made aware exactly what it can be like after an abortion emotionally as well as physically. Another thing they need to be advised about is that these feelings can suddenly arise years after the abortion itself. Not enough is explained and most aftercare is not satisfactory.

Alot of women go through abortions and dont regret a thing. Thats great for them but for the others it can be a sad lonely place to be!
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replied July 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Jolie_3110 wrote:
You are spot on! I am pro choice but I dont have much choice as I have had an abortion. Absolutely nothing like this was said to me by any of the doctors I saw and there was no after support either.
I didnt feel the extremes like you have posted here but I did, after a period of time feel extreme guilt and becoming pregnant after an abortion was a very hard thing to deal with, even though I wanted this baby very much.

Women need to be made aware exactly what it can be like after an abortion emotionally as well as physically. Another thing they need to be advised about is that these feelings can suddenly arise years after the abortion itself. Not enough is explained and most aftercare is not satisfactory.

Alot of women go through abortions and dont regret a thing. Thats great for them but for the others it can be a sad lonely place to be!


I know,, and some women never have children later in life because of the guilt of what they did.. Sad
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replied July 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I have frequently come across pro-choicers who refuse to entertain women who admit to feeling guilt and depression afollowing an abortion. Their view is that 'it was your choice, deal with it'. I don't think this if fair at all as abortion is literally a life changing event and I think it's perfectly natural for a woman to grieve her child and what could have been.

I have never had an abortion myself and I don't think I ever could now but if I'd fallen pregnant as a teenager, who knows?

I don't like abortion, it pains me that it happens, but unfotunately it is something that will always happen as long as there are human females getting pregnant.
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replied July 9th, 2007
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Jules wrote:
I have frequently come across pro-choicers who refuse to entertain women who admit to feeling guilt and depression afollowing an abortion. Their view is that 'it was your choice, deal with it'. I don't think this if fair at all as abortion is literally a life changing event and I think it's perfectly natural for a woman to grieve her child and what could have been.

I have never had an abortion myself and I don't think I ever could now but if I'd fallen pregnant as a teenager, who knows?

I don't like abortion, it pains me that it happens, but unfotunately it is something that will always happen as long as there are human females getting pregnant.


This is why so many women suffer in silence too, because they are scared to say they feel bad for having the abortion. You would generally get told you deserve to feel bad or get on with it!. I know people out there strongly disagree with abortion and if thats what you believe then fine. As .Jules said though some women feel the need to grieve as strange as that sounds and should be allowed to do so. Otherwise the only outcome will be depression.
I constantly felt the need to punish myself for doing what I did and wouldnt tell anybody about it. The more I looked into it the more I found that its quite a common problem and something, in my opinion, that needs to be recognised.
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replied October 25th, 2007
Experienced User
It seems alot of women don't say anything because they still feel the need to justify what they did. I know someone who will not talk about her last abortion and I truly think its because she regrets it. I just wish more would pipe up so ones who are thinking about it know that there is much emotion attached.
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