Monday 28 June 2010

Myth-Busting Monday: Does abortion cause mental health problems?

Every Monday EFC busts myths and take names, cutting through the misinformation, disinformation, and straight up nonsense to bring you the facts.

Many people who oppose abortion claim that women who have abortions are at high risk of suffering from depression or suicidal feelings, but findings from methodologically sound (good quality) research studies from around the world find no evidence for this.  Most women are able to integrate the experience of abortion into their lives and can look forward to a healthy future. Many women express relief when they have had an abortion. Others feel regret that they were faced with what might have been a difficult decision for them and one they would rather have avoided having to make, but generally do not regret the abortion itself.  Where women do feel sadness or regret following abortion, it may come from the circumstances of the pregnancy rather than the abortion itself.  Those women who are at greatest risk of regret are those who feel ambivalent about the decision, or have been coerced or forced into having an abortion against their will, or have had previous experience of psychiatric problems.

For those women who do struggle emotionally following an abortion, for whatever reason, post-abortion counselling is available.  Abortion providers such as Marie Stopes and bpas offer post-abortion counselling.  For a list of registered, reliable pregnancy advisory services, visit the Department of Health website.

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