Abortion NEVER Improves Mental Health

Abortion Mental Health Research
Update and Quality of Evidence

Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change

Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University


Recent years have brought a dramatic increase in the number of scientific studies published world-wide documenting the psychological damage frequently ushered in by abortion. Negative effects of abortion on various aspects of women’s mental health and quality of life are now well-established. The newer research has overcome many methodological shortcomings plaguing earlier work, leading to much clearer answers to several basic questions including the following: 1) Does abortion introduce risks to women’s mental heath? 2) Does abortion adversely impact other aspects of women’s lives (e.g. intimate relationships, parenting, etc.) even if they do not suffer from a diagnosable ailment? 3) Are the risks associated with abortion greater than those associated with childbirth?

A wide range of adverse psychological and behavioral effects have been reported in the aftermath of abortion. Common negative outcomes documented in the research literature include the following:

• Guilt, resulting from violation of one’s sense of what is right or moral. For women who believe they have consented to killing a human being, the burden of guilt can be unbearable.

• Anxiety experienced in various ways: tension (inability to relax, irritability, etc.), physical responses (dizziness, pounding heart, upset stomach, headaches), difficulty concentrating, disturbed sleep, etc.

• Psychological numbing is reported among some people who experience painful losses. Women who abort may avoid a wide range of emotions to escape the pain of abortion. Close interpersonal relationships may become impaired as a result.

• Depression and thoughts of suicide are often experienced by women after an abortion. Many women develop symptoms of depression including sad moods, sudden and uncontrollable crying episodes, low self-esteem; sleep, appetite, and sexual disturbances; reduced motivation; and disruption in interpersonal relationships. One woman who completed a survey for our ongoing online data collection effort (www.abortionresearch.net) described the pain well: “If I had it to do over again, then I would never take the route of abortion. I struggle every day with depression and regret. My heart hurts so bad that it feels like I’m having a heart attack. My husband and family are drained and tired of hearing of my heartache.”

• Alcohol and drug abuse in post-abortive women often begin as a form of self-medication, a way of coping with the psychological pain of abortion memories.

• Unwanted re-experiencing of the abortion in the form of distressing, recurring ‘flashbacks’ or reoccurring nightmares about babies are reported by some women.

• Avoidance of stimuli associated with abortion, pregnancy, mothers, children and particularly infants is not uncommon.

• Compromised parenting occurs following some abortions. A woman might not allow herself to properly bond with future children because of a fear of loss. Over-protectiveness has been reported as well.

You can read the rest of the article HERE

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