Abortion does not harm mental health, says study

timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article4553533.ece

What do you make of this article? I’m confused about the issue of whether having an abortion really does cause depression and pyschological problems etc. I realise it has nothing to do with the moral issue of the chil’d right to life but it has always been part of my thinking on this issue that abortion hurts both child AND mother, this article suggests otherwise.

It’s so hard to get to the bottom of this one as, in my experience, both sides of the issue claim differently and use different studies to back up their claims.

I should clarify that I am very pro-life, but I can’t help wondering what the truth is on this aspect of it.

I draw a similar conclusion, but go even further to say it is difficult to find objective studies on how abortion affects women’s mental and physical health longer term. Many researchers and medical professionals have already made up their minds and design their studies/reports accordingly.

I found this article on a pro-life website and thought you might find it interesting. [/FONT]http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08081805.html

Thanks, the article is very interesting…

Nobody’s replying to my post! :confused: I was hoping to have a bit of a debate about this!

The findings are confusing. I’m not sure they covered all the bases. For example, I’m bipolar with an emphasis on depression. I’ve had this problem since I was a child - I can literally remember being depressed in grade school. I don’t see that the study took people who suffered from depression prior to an abortion into consideration. I had an abortion 26 or so years ago. I was depressed to the point of desperation and there is literally no telling what I would have done had I not been able to get one (suicide being a real possibility - I won’t go into the circumstances here). I’m still bipolar. Am I better or worse mentally as a result of the abortion - it’s hard to say. Especially since I might not have been around long if I hadn’t had it. Mental health can be a very fragile thing and a lot more research needs to be done in this area, IMO. It’s difficult to judge when there are so many variables. How many women were depressed before? How many had a history of depression or a mood disorder? Was the depression situational or chemical? Did the situation improve following the abortion (able to get out of poverty, an abusive relationship, etc…)? It is very difficult to prove causal relationships when dealing with such emotional issues.

The finding that abortion would not be psychologically harmful do not make sense to me at all. I have several friends who had abortions when younger and everyone of them suffers in some way from having done it. Of course some may be in denial that they suffer from it…but so may studies have shown an increase in alcohalism, depression, these mothers may suffer tendencies to abuse their other children, low eslf esteem, increased risks of suicide, etc. The one friend I knew could not really discuss the issue because it brought so much pain. The other friend I knew had severe post-birth depression after her last baby and told me she felt the baby she had aborted earlier was probably the son she could have had ( she has three daughters), the one woman I knew in college who had an abortion suffered from seeing remnants of the baby pass when she went to the bathroom afterwards and her marriage to the father of the aborted baby ended in divorce…

just everyday experience and observation tells me the article is skewed because the abortion culture doesn’t want to face the truth.

I even think that some of these young girls who suffer from “slicing” or cutting themselves may be acting out psychologically in response to the aftermath of abortion in some way.

here is an article explaining why this study is flawed:

afterabortion.org/news/russo2.htm

From the article:

“Schmiege and Russo have actually avoided replicating our actual analysis,” Reardon said. “Their study does not even attempt to look at the married among whom we found the greatest differences. They only look at mixed groupings where we already knew the data is too weak to support statistically significant findings.”

Indeed, Reardon says, it is very easy to find statistically insignificant results with this particular data set because women in the sample only report 40 percent of the expected number of abortions compared to national averages. In other words, 60 percent of the abortions were concealed from interviewers. Reardon believes that women who hide their abortions are also most likely to experience shame, grief, and depression following an abortion.

His complaint isn’t just that Schmiege and Russo have failed to show results for married women. He also charges that they chose new selection rules that were designed to bias their results and “muddy the waters.”

In Christ, maryJohnZ

afterabortion.org/

After referring several families in our parish to the Rachel’s Vineyard, the post abortion ministry to help them heal and reconcile with the Lord…I also refer them for more information to this website. When I was doing my psych rotation in a hospital, there were several women who were hospitalized for this very reason…post abortion syndrome and their inability to cope alone.

Is poverty psychologically harmful? Is living in a country with a high gini coefficient and being in the lower class psychologically harmful?

Ask the children of the depression…they will tell you that those were the happiest days of their lives, when everyone pulled together. Go look at the smiles of the children at the missions…playing where they can, without grumbing.

Now visit a typical American neighborhood, the kids are bored…many are bemoaning the fact that they don’t have designer label status on everything they have…

Happiness is not determined on material things…but without the gift of life…even in war torn and impoverished places, there is no chance at happiness.

SO TRUE! How many of our young people, who have material goods way beyond anything the normal kid had when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, is on anti-depressants. These drugs have become the norm. The philosophical view in our culture that has degarded life in the womb affects all of us and especially the young people growing up, each one of whom is an abortion survivor in our culture. Abortion has cast a dark cloud and the precious lives that have been lost have impoverished all of us. Sometimes I wonder if the young man my daughter was meant to meet and fall in love with didn’t die in an abortion…
the shortage of priests as well, how many vocations lost to abortions…the immense pain of abortion is so hidden to us and yet it pervades evry aspect of our lives and each one of us is a victim in some way.

Oh, I pray for abortion to end!

In Christ, maryJohnZ

I would imagine it would be next to near impossible, and rather pointless, to do sufficient random studies into whether abortion always causes some form of psychological distress.

But for what it’s worth, I’ll post my experience. It’s only an anecdote, so pretty worthless in the scheme of things, but you might be interested to hear it.

I should point out that I’m atheist and largely pro-choice. I have also had bi-polar episodes and was hospitalised after an overdose following a rape (thought I was pregnant, but wasn’t or miscarried) when I studied in Russia in the early 90s.

I had an abortion 10 years ago and I was newly married. I never thought I wanted children (even though I was married, we neither of us wanted children then). I wasn’t ready for a child and felt an aching fear, resentment and was heading into a depression thinking about going through with having a baby.

Once I had the abortion I wouldn’t say that I was jumping for joy, but I felt relieved, clear-headed and able to get on with my life. I have never, ever, regretted that decision. It was the right one for me then (I do appreciate that Catholics view the embryo in a different light to atheists, so I can understand you won’t be able to empathize)

I managed to deal with my father’s suicide that happened just a few months afterwards, all the ups and downs that marriage and living can bring without falling into any serious depression since then.

I have since then (8 years later) changed my mind about wanting children. I had two back to back miscarriages (accidents), the last one of which left me infertile because of the treatment I needed.

I spent 3 years seeking help for this infertility and still, never once regretted my decision. I moved to SE Asia, found a fantastic doctor who operated successfully and I’m now 7 months pregnant (hence why I’m on here, for advice on childbirth from people who go through it frequently)

You may think I’m in denial. I’m not. To me, it was a potential foetus, not a life I was killing. It was unpleasant having to do it, but I take full responsibility for doing it. I’ve never felt depressed about it. I’m frank and honest about my decision and glad I had the choice.

I fully expect to get flamed out of existence for this post, but I thought you might want to hear a measured response from the other side, as it were.


I am not decide on whether you are in denial or judge your present understanding of right and wrong. You don’t even believe in an immortal soul, or God, or life after death, or so many things I believe in and know with certainity to be true, so I cannot judge you. But I will tell you a story.

When I was home my recently my father told me a story which I had never heard before about the death of my brother ,who died when he was two years old of a brain tumor. I was four years old at the time so I had not been told this story because I guess my father did not think I would understand it given how small I was… The story was about the day my brother died. My father was in the hospital room and the doctors and nurses were trying everything to revive my brother, a terrible scene to behold I am sure for any parent. My father could not take being in the room any more and he went into the room next door where my mother was. The door was closed between the two rooms when he saw something that looked like a white cloud pass through the solid door and enter the room . He saw it float across the room and leave the room through the window.
Immediately after this passed through the room the doctor openned the door and said “I am sorrry, we couldn’t bring him back”…and my father feels he saw the soul of my brother pass before his eyes.

I think it is sad that you cannot mourn the loss of your child. I think it is sad that apparently people are replaceable and one potential fetus is not any more or less valuable than another, and
the foetus you aborted has no posible uniqueness to you worth mourning…but can easily be exchanged for another…

I think it is sad you don’t wonder what that tiny human being would have looked like, what his or her talents would have been, what likes they would have had, …

I have three children and each is so unique and different. And you are so unique and special to God, your spul is completely like any other person’s soul…I am sorry you don’t realize how much God loved and wanted you as well as the little child that you lost and the one you are expecting now. Each person is somehow a unique expression…each has a soul that lives on…

But you don’t have the gift of faith to believe that. I am sorry. I hope you ask God to help you believe. It might hurt to begin to believe some of those things but in the end there would be healing and growth and so much more to learn and know…
I have gone through being hurt and sorry about things I did wrong,
and I am glad I did, because now I can feel God’s forgiveness and healing and I can help work against evil rather than being indifferent to it. I hope you can receive the gift of believing and knowing each person’s worth and believing and knowing how much God loves you.

In Christ, maryJohnZ

To the previous poster who lost her baby due to abortion. All women who were or are pregnant…are mothers, only one of your babies is in heaven already. So for those women who feel that they were not ready to be mothers, the moment your baby was conceived you became one…you just won’t get to hold your baby right now…but until you meet again, our Lord says…let the little children come to me, and he’s holding your little one, until that time. Good luck to you with your newest child. May your delivery be safe and your child healthy and whole. You will be in my prayers.

Thanks for your story. I have a different explanation for so-called near death experiences however.

By the way, I don’t want to get into an tedious pro-choice debate. That would be as pointless as nailing blancmange to the ceiling.

But to make it clear, it’s not called a foetus until 10 weeks (and I had my abortion at 7 weeks, when it is still an embryo. As someone who believes in a woman’s right to control her fertility (and abortion being a last resort) I don’t consider an embryo as a person. So it follows that I don’t view that embryo as fungible.

I’ve had two miscarriages as well as the abortion and yes, intellectually, I wondered what might have been. But I wonder that about many situations. I wonder what might have been if my father hadn’t killed himself, I hadn’t been raped, I hadn’t met my husband.

I clearly don’t think like you think. You feel sad for me, I hesistate to say this, but I do feel very sad for your outlook on life too (although I had the good manners not to post that until you did)

I didn’t come on here to try and reconcile those two world views. I simply replied to the OP. No, I have not suffered psychological harm however much some of you (not saying you personally) would wish it to be true because it somehow may confirm your opinion that I’ve done something gravely wrong.

Over and out, and all the best to you and your families.


. Basing your life on what is true gives it the greatest freedom and dignity.the old saying “Truth will set you free” is correct. In the past I acted and said things based on false values and it is not easy to fight your way to getting away from them but I sincerely hope you pray to the God you don’t believe in, just out of the chance that some of us who do believe are actutally right, because if you block that possibility…and just avoid knowing or finding out…then the tragedy of living without truth could be the consequence.

If God is real, as I believe, He hears every prayer…just try it. You have nothing to lose.

Perhaps you did not post to try to end the abortion argument and yet your original post comes across as an argument that abortion can be handled without emotional trauma. So that is why it seems fair to counter with questioning whether your own assesment that you are not traumatized is accurate. I hear a lot of hurt in your post from the many tragedies you describe. No wonder you find it hard to believe in God. I will pray for you.

I believe you are advocating for relativism which basically releases individuals from responsibility to seek full truth and places opinion as equal to truth. I strongly disagree with that stance and find it irresponsible and harmful to society and vulnerable individuals like many scared young girls pressured into abortions at clinics which rarely give full disclosure on the risks and aftermath of an abortion. That is why so many women have signed affadavits about their abortion experiences testifying that they were never given full information at the clinics. These women would strongly disagree with your conclusion that abortion does not bring about psychological harm.

see the article: cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=34203

At the very least the risks of the depression and regrests should be discussed at the clinics.

In Christ, maryJohnZ

The study is counterintuitive in the way the APA and others repeatedly find there is no relationship between violence on TV and violence in society, or between pornography and sexual disorders in society.

It’s tough to tell the limitations, sampling, survey construction from press releases cited by outlets suspect of sympathy with the causes such studies are used to support. It’s impossible for that reason to demonstrate that the study is skewed, and that’s precisely why its cited in the way it is.

Common sense dictates, for example, where mental health has already been an issue with the women surveyed, abortion may just be the last of a series of problems experienced, so no big(ger) deal, right?

I would trust the one paragraph in the article that cites opinion to the contrary in which the conservative opposition calls the findings “rehashed” and “inconclusive”.

Twins. I love twins. I didn’t see them as potential, they existed and their blood flowed in me. How could it not destroy my mind to let someone kill them? Two deaths took place in my body and three in my heart – theirs and mine. Nothing would be the same again. I was absolutely insane for a few months and partially for several years after that. It went far past depression. If depression is falling in a dark cave what happened to me was I hit the bottom of the cave and fell through to another world. Abortion kills children, kills women, and injures women who survive it emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. Praise be to God! I have my soul, mind, health and life again, better than ever thanks to Him and all the help from people He sent to me over these many years. I could have died but there are reasons I’m still here and I don’t intend to let this extra time go to waste.

God bless you, every one of us is broken and put back together somehow. You will save souls with your testimony.


God is a loving Father and His mercy is greater than anything we can do wrong. In His wounds we are all made whole again. God bless and keep you, you are God’s precious jewel right now. you are in His net of Love.

Someday these dark times of abortion and contraception and will be far behind all of us. It will be soon. Praise be to Jesus and Mary for helping all of us back out of this darkness.

In Christ, maryJohnZ

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