Here is the study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. (H/T Mary)
Background Given the methodological limitations of recently published qualitative reviews of abortion and mental health, a quantitative synthesis was deemed necessary to represent more accurately the published literature and to provide clarity to clinicians.
Aims To measure the association between abortion and indicators of adverse mental health, with subgroup effects calculated based on comparison groups (no abortion, unintended pregnancy delivered, pregnancy delivered) and particular outcomes. A secondary objective was to calculate population-attributable risk (PAR) statistics for each outcome.
Method After the application of methodologically based selection criteria and extraction rules to minimise bias, the sample comprised 22 studies, 36 measures of effect and 877 181 participants (163 831 experienced an abortion). Random effects pooled odds ratios were computed using adjusted odds ratios from the original studies and PAR statistics were derived from the pooled odds ratios.
Results Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems was shown to be attributable to abortion. The strongest subgroup estimates of increased risk occurred when abortion was compared with term pregnancy and when the outcomes pertained to substance use and suicidal behaviour.
Conclusions This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature. Calling into question the conclusions from traditional reviews, the results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with the tenets of evidence-based medicine, this information should inform the delivery of abortion services.
Life News has more about the study.
A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry by leading American researcher Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University finds women who have an abortion face almost double the risk of mental health problems as women who have their baby.
Coleman’s study is based on an analysis of 22 separate studies which, in total, examine the pregnancy experiences of 877,000 women, with 163,831 women having an abortion. The study also indicated abortion accounts for one in ten of every adverse mental health issue women face as a whole.
“Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure,” the study says. “Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 percent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”
The peer-reviewed study indicated abortion was linked with a 34 percent chance of anxiety disorders, and 37 percent higher possibility of depression, a more than double risk of alcohol abuse (110 percent), a three times greater risk of marijuana use (220 percent), and 155 percent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.
When compared to unintended pregnancy delivered women had a 55% increased risk of experiencing any mental health problem.
[…]“The paper is being published in a very prestigious journal, the British Journal of Psychiatry, which is considered one of the top psychiatry journals in the world. This means the paper has been extensively scrutinized by well-respected scientists and the results of studies are trusted by practitioners throughout the world,” Coleman said.
I was always told when debating the abortion issue not to talk about the effects on women, because the studies conflict. Some women have positive reactions after an abortion (relief) and some have negative reactions (guilt). This paper tips the balance in favor of the view that abortion is harmful to women. It confirms other recent studies that showed that abortion does have a negative impact on women’s mental health.
Abortion and breast cancer
Recent studies have also confirmed that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Consider this article in the UK Daily Mail.
An abortion can triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life, researchers say. A team of scientists made the claim while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease. While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion. Other factors included the onset of the menopause and smoking. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, are the latest research to show a link between abortion and breast cancer. The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is the fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in the past 14 months, with research in China, Turkey and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.
[…]There has been an 80 per cent increase in the rate of breast cancer since 1971, when in the wake of the Abortion Act, the number of abortions rose from 18,000 to nearly 200,000 a year.
Earlier this year, Dr Louise Brinton, a senior researcher with the U.S. National Cancer Institute who did not accept the link, reversed her position to say she was now convinced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by about 40 per cent.
Note that there were only 300 people in the new study, so it is a small study. But it confirms the Turkey study that I blogged on before, and the China study that I blogged about before, and the American study that I blogged about before.
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