Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Abortion and Mental Health...

(From FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

New research of out New Zealand, linking abortions in young women to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, is being criticized by such pro-abortion groups as the New Zealand Family Planning Association. They and other groups claim that abortion does not lead to depression, but rather, women who are already dealing with mental health issues tend to have more abortions.

The longitudinal study tracked 1,265 women for the past 28 years, beginning at birth in 1977. Of the 1,265 participants, more than 500 had become pregnant at least once by age 25 and, of that group, 90 chose to have abortions. Of the 90 who had an abortion, 41 percent reported subsequent mental health problems which included such symptoms as depression, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies.

Professor David Fergusson, who headed the study, and who describes himself as "pro-choice," said that this rate is 35 percent higher than for those who did not have an abortion, and almost double the rate of those who had not been pregnant.

Fergusson plans to interview the women again at age 30 to further explore the extent to which abortion does lead to adverse reactions. The results of the research were printed in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

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2 comments:

MatthewT said...

Is is possible that the link between abortion and depression is less about the abortion and more about what caused the abortion? In other words, women that get abortions may be a "special" kind of person with depression-causing (and abortion-causing too) traits.

Find this kind of research very interesting ... just thinking aloud.

mrclm said...

Matthew,
Thanks for stopping by my blog!
In a final analysis I'm sure you would find various reasons why the women are depressed. I think the key fact is that those who have had the abortions are depressed at a higher rate than those who have not, and at a higher rate overall than the general population of women. That makes for some interesting things to think about. I'm certainly not an expert on any of these areas, but I think it is worth noting.

Big Chris