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Does Abortion Have Emotional Risks?

For most women, abortion is mentally, physically, and emotionally stressful.  The resulting emotional impact can often take on one or more of the following forms (includes the percentage of woman who experience them):

  • Guilt (61%)
  • Depression (53%)
  • Anger (45%)
  • Remorse (45%)
  • Suicidal Thoughts (32%)
  • Suicide Attempts (28%)
  • Flashbacks to Abortion (28%)

Several studies have been performed regarding the effects of abortion on women. There is currently no conclusive evidence to support that post abortive stress is more prevalent than postpartum depression, however, “in his recommendation for a longitudinal study to investigate psychological reactions to abortion, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop raised the concern that 50% or more of women who have had an abortion will conceal it from interviewers.”1  This may suggest woman who are at risk for post abortive stress would be unwilling to participate in a such a study, thus resulting in inaccurate data.

In contrast, a 2003 study published by the Medical Science Monitor stated that “women whose first pregnancies ended in abortion were 65% more likely to score in the high-risk range for clinical depression than women whose first pregnancies resulted in a birth.”2 Post abortion stress does not affect all women, but should be seriously considered as a potential ramification.

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  1. Koop C: Letter to President Ronald Reagan concerning the health effects of abortion. Medical and Psychological Impact of Abortion. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989; 9: 68-71
  2. J. Cougle, D. Reardon, P. Coleman (2003). “Depression associated with abortion and childbirth: a long-term analysis of the NLSY cohort.” Medical Science Monitor, 9(4): CR157-164.
Categories: Abortion , Risks