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New Study Confirms Link between Abortion and Depression

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer In an attempt to correct weaknesses in earlier studies, Norwegian researchers have completed a long-term study that positively identifies abortion as a risk factor for depression. “International studies suggest an increased risk of adverse outcomes such as depression, but many studies are weakened by poor design,” said the study, which was conducted by Dr. Willy Pedersen and published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. “The aim of the study was to investigate whether induced abortion was a risk factor for subsequent depression.” Researchers studied 5,768 women between the ages of 15 and 27 years and asked questions concerning abortion and childbirth as well as family relationships and a number of individual characteristics, such as schooling and occupational history and conduct problems. “Young women who reported having had an abortion in their twenties were more likely to score above the cut-off point for depression,” concluded the study. “In light of this finding, women who terminate a pregnancy would probably benefit from post-abortion counseling.” The results are significant because they support numerous other studies linking abortion with depression and other psychological effects.  According to The Elliott Institute, a leading post-abortion research organization, women who have undergone post-abortion counseling report over 100 major reactions to abortion such as: depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, sleep disorders, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, chronic problems with relationships, dramatic personality changes, anxiety attacks, guilt and remorse, difficulty grieving, increased tendency toward violence, chronic crying, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and people, and difficulty bonding with later children. Research is now finding these same negative reactions in women who undergo chemical abortions as well. A study recently published in British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found 30 percent of women who purchase the abortion drug mifepristone (RU-486) on the Internet experience depression and negative feelings accompanying the abortion. To date, the most prominent study of the link between abortion and mental health is a 2006 New Zealand study that followed 1265 women since their birth in the 1970’s. Forty-two percent of the women who had abortions said they had experienced major depression within the last four years, almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled. According to the study, women who have abortions were also twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs. Although the study was led by an abortion advocate, David Fergusson, he said the results show access to legal abortions is not necessarily good for women. He also said the study confirms abortions cause women mental health issues rather than alleviating them as abortion advocates claim.   © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. Do you know someone who is hurting after an abortion? In “Healing the Pain of Abortion,” experts Theresa Burke, Ph.D., David Reardon, Ph.D., and Maria Steele discuss how women can be healed of their grief. Available in our store at  




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