Abortion and Mental Health

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At least 97 publications,[1] including Priscilla Coleman's 2011 meta-analysis,[2] support a correlation between abortion and mental health problems. However, the current scientific consensus, the American Psychological Association,[3][4][5] and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists[6] favor there being no correlation.

Coleman's meta-analysis (2011)

In 2011 Priscilla K. Coleman published in the British Journal of Psychiatry the currently largest meta-analysis[7] suggesting that "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."[1][8]

The president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded that "This meta-analysis combines 22 studies of 877,181 women, 163,831 of whom have had abortions. A meta-analysis is an especially powerful type of study because it includes a large number of subjects, and by combining studies is much more reliable than a single study."[9]

However, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists responded to the review by saying that three previously published systematic reviews and the RCOG guideline development group (who reviewed all available literature up to February 2011) have concluded that women who have an abortion are not at increased risk of mental health problems when compared with women who continue an unintended pregnancy. Furthermore, they questioned the fact that while the paper's findings pointed to increased substance misuse and suicidal behaviors among the groups of women, the research did not fully examine if these women had pre-existing mental health complications such as dependency issues and mood disorders before the abortion.[10]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (2010). Complete bibliography on Abortion and Mental Health. Retrieved on 2011-09-09.
  2. American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists (2011). Huge new study: Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009. Retrieved on 2011-09-09.
  3. Adler NE, David HP, Major BN, Roth SH, Russo NF, Wyatt GE (1990). "Psychological responses after abortion". Science 248 (4951): 41–4. https://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.2181664. 
  4. Edwards, S (1997). "Abortion Study Finds No Long-Term Ill Effects On Emotional Well-Being". Fam Plann Perspect 29 (4): 193–194. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3634/is_199707/ai_n8772240. 
  5. Steinberg JR, Russo NF (July 2008). "Abortion and anxiety: what's the relationship?". Soc Sci Med 67 (2): 238–52. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.03.033. 
  6. Induced Abortion and Mental Health: A systematic review of the evidence (PDF). National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (December 2011).
  7. Baklinsi, Thaddeus. "Largest ever study finds abortion increases risk of severe mental health problems by 81%", LifeSiteNews, 2011-09-01. 
  8. Abortion, mental health and dental disease. British Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved on 1 September 2011. “A comprehensive review of the literature suggests that there is a significant increase in mental health problems after abortion. Coleman (pp. 180–186) suggests that these risks need to be reflected in the delivery of abortion services, and raises the thorny issue that 90% of UK abortions are justified on the presumption that abortion actually reduces the risk to mental health associated with continuing the pregnancy.”
  9. Davenport, Mary L., M.D.. "Major Study Links Suicide and Other Mental Health Problems to Abortion", American Thinker, 2011-09-01. Retrieved on 2011-09-09. 
  10. RCOG statement on BJPsych paper on mental health risks and abortion. Retrieved on 2011-09-05.