Abortion and Mental IllnessDanielle Sullivan
A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry says that abortion has been linked to mental illness. Specifically it states that anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide are more prevalent after a woman has an abortion. According to researchers, not only do twice as many women suffer from these conditions post-abortion, but they attribute one in ten of all mental health problems as the result of terminating a pregnancy.
Honestly, is this surprising?
First off, mental illness has almost become a catch phrase that many people who use it to categorize everything from being depressed to having schizophrenia. There is a huge difference in each condition that gets coined as mental illness, and when does anxiety become mental illness as opposed to a side effect of going through a rough patch in life? Clearly when they say that suicide rates are higher, that is a problem, but I think we need to explore the state the women were in prior to the procedures as well.
Women have abortions for all sorts of reasons. Some are enjoying a very wanted, very loving pregnancy when their world is shattered as they find out that their baby will be born with life threatening birth defects, and are faced with a life changing horrific dilemma. Some women are raped, others are obscenely incapable of supporting another life, mentally and/or financially. Some women are involved with married men, in abusive relationships and fear for an unborn baby, or are married themselves yet pregnant with their lover’s child. And then there are those who simply faced with an unwanted pregnancy from a careless encounter.
Every circumstance is vastly different and individual. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that depending on their situation, many women were probably already depressed and anxious before the abortion.
Finally, choosing to terminate a life is not something most women take lightly. Of course, it might play a role in depression in the following years after the abortion. Studies to find out how unwanted pregnancies can be reduced through new methods or procedures would be so much more helpful than studies that tell women having an abortion makes women sad, and possibly crazy.