Abortion is procedure that can cause some major side effects, substantially contributing to women’s mental health problems (and physical health problems as well). But unfortunately the media tries to divert the truth and push stories that neglect to talk about women’s health and safety.
Over the years there have been conflicting studies brought forth on whether or not there is mental health implications that come after having an abortion. JAMA Psychiatry recently released a study from the pro-abortion University of California-San Fransisco stating that women who had an abortion are not any more likely to have psychological damage than those who couldn’t have one.
UCSF researchers looked at 956 women for five years who were either post-abortive or women who tried to get an abortion and were denied. This data comes from their “Turnaway Study,” which was widely reported. Their new study went on the claim that through the information that they collected, they could decide that abortion really had no long-term effect on mental health.
It takes a lot to jump to a conclusion about everyone who has ever had an abortion from just one study, especially one whose data has some very glaring problems.
Most women in the original “Turnaway Study” turned away from participating in it. Only a small selection of women asked to participate volunteered. Were those that actively chose to participate more likely to think about their abortions positively?
The UCSF researchers did not note what types of abortions these were. First trimester abortions can still be traumatizing, but late-term abortions are widely-recognized to have a larger affect. Were these not more traumatizing second trimester abortions? Where are those details?
There are several other problems with the basic data they used.
Back in 2011 an extensive study review was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP) on the psychological effects of abortion. The BJP sample consisted of 22 studies and over 800,000 participants. The results showed that women who aborted experienced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. This study offers the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion currently available.
Abortion supporters often fail to look at the countless testimonies of women who have experienced the real psychological side effects of abortion like depression, anxiety, stress, and even suicidal thoughts. Many of these women wish they had access to more information when they had an abortion.
Some states, like Michigan, have laws in place to educate women on abortion before the procedure can take place. In 1993 Michigan passed our Informed Consent Law, which creates a 24-hour waiting period before a women can receive an abortion. Information pertaining to abortions must be made available to women who are abortion-mined at least 24 hours prior to their abortion being performed. This includes a summary of the procedure, gestation age of the baby, prenatal care information and parenting information.
Making sure that women are educated and know the potential mental health risks related to abortion is important for safety. When taking something as routine as an antibiotic, you are made aware of potential side effects; abortion should be no different.
Every few years a study comes out—usually funded by the same pro-abortion sources—and it gets widely hyped in the media. The study and media coverage utterly delegitimizes any women who don’t believe their abortion was a positive good. We know the goal here is to normalize abortion rather than educate women about the psychological harm abortion can do to them.