A recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has concluded what pro-abortion groups have tried to discount for decades: abortion substantially increases a woman’s risk of mental health problems. Continue reading
In the past, I’ve blogged on the topic of fetal pain during abortion (Family Research Council Responds to British Fetal Pain Study, Says It’s Flawed). Although the science of whether and when the unborn child can feel pain remains uncertain, we still have a duty to avoid the possibility of inflicting undue suffering on an unborn child. To that end, I found this article by E. Christian Brugger to be though provoking and commend it to you:
A much-discussed new law in the state of Nebraska has banned abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, citing the contested notion of fetal pain. Of course, everyone can agree that we have a duty not to cause pain to others without a just cause. Bioethicists endorse the relieving of pain as an expression of the “principle of beneficence.”
And international bodies concur that access to pain relief without discrimination is a fundamental right. As a society we even take efforts to eliminate pain from the process of executing capital offenders whose guilt is manifestly established. But how do we approach the possibility of fetal pain when the science remains uncertain?
I should note that my argument is relative to a community in which abortion is legal. If abortion is wrong by virtue of the kind of act it is, namely an act of unjust killing, which I judge it to be, then aborting a fetus knowing that he or she will or might feel pain makes the act worse. But what about a society like ours where abortion is, sadly, legal?
First, pro-lifers and pro-choicers should be able to agree on the principle of full disclosure. If fetuses feel pain, then where abortion is legal, abortion providers should disclose to the gestational mother the effects of her choice on the fetus. We may disagree about whether abortion is wrong, but we should be able to agree that withholding information relevant to making an informed abortion decision would be unfair to women.
Second, if fetuses feel pain, then where abortion is legal, abortion providers should also take reasonable measures to suppress the pain. We should be able to agree that it would be wrong not to try to remove the pain, just as it is when political authority fails to take reasonable measures to remove the pain from the process of legal execution.
If, however, evidence demonstrates that fetuses do not feel pain, then, where abortion is legal, abortion providers obviously have neither the duty to relieve that which does not exist, nor to inform women of what’s untrue.
Our moral analysis then waits upon the settling of the empirical question of whether fetuses feel pain. This settling requires convincing data. But when speculative data is used to direct normative considerations of what ought to be done, the measure of certitude justified by the data is decisive for guiding action.
To clarify my meaning, let me use an example. Some abortion opponents have argued that a secondary effect of the most common drug used in emergency contraceptives–levonorgestrel–is to render the uterine lining inhospitable to an implanting embryo. If at commonly prescribed dosages this is the case, then the drug sometimes acts as an abortifacient. Whether this is the case is an empirical question. If it is the case, it has moral implications for the behavior of anyone concerned for embryonic human life and contemplating the legitimacy of taking the drug.
Let us say for the sake of argument that rigorous data is inconclusive. I am then left with a doubt as to whether or not levonorgestrel might render the uterine lining inhospitable. According to my practical knowledge, informed, let’s say for the sake of argument, by the best available evidence, I might kill an embryo if I use this drug in such and such a way. The possibility that my action will cause a death gives rise to the duty, stemming from the requisites of fairness, to refrain from that action. I would need to be reasonably certain that it will not cause death before purposeful action is justifiable. This reasonable certitude can also be called moral certitude. And reasonable doubt and moral certitude about the same fact are mutually excluding.
Let me propose one more example. If reasonable doubt existed as to whether the new device known as the “Mosquito,” which emits a high-pitched noise to disperse loiterers, not only caused minor auditory discomfort but severe pain, the burden of proof would fall upon the manufacturer to give evidence that it does not before the device should be approved for general use. Proof, of course, would be simple to arrive at: ask those exposed to the “Mosquito.” Since fetuses cannot yet provide self-report in language we cannot simply ask them whether they feel pain.
Yet I think the principle still stands: the burden of proof would fall upon defenders of the “Mosquito” to rule out a reasonable doubt that the device causes severe pain before its common use was approved, or to take action to assure that this possibility is mitigated.
The burden falls on the one who might be doing wrongful harm to rule out reasonable doubt that they are. If you were hunting in the woods and saw something moving in the distance, but were unsure of whether it was a deer or another hunter, you would be bound not to shoot until reasonable doubt was dispelled that what was stirring in the distance was not another hunter. When a doubt of fact bears on settling whether an alternative under consideration is immoral (e.g., it would be immoral to shoot in the face of reasonable doubt), one should withhold choosing till the fact has been settled.
So the question to be settled is whether or not reasonable doubt exists concerning a fetus’s capacity to experience pain. Since empirical certitude is not available, I propose, in light of what I said above, the following principle: that the judgment that fetuses do feel pain need only be a reasonable explanatory hypothesis in light of the settled evidence. Whereas the judgment that they do not requires moral certitude before providing a speculative ground for normative judgments about how to act.
Coming from one who is not a scientific expert on the question, but who has read considerably over the past four months on most all dimensions of the question, I conclude strongly that moral certitude that fetuses do not feel pain presently cannot be reached. In other words, fetal pain experience is a reasonable conclusion from the settled evidence. This evidence includes an appeal to fetal anatomical, neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral features, as well as responses to noxious stimuli (behaviors such as facial grimacing, the withdrawing of limbs, clenching of fists, opening of mouth and even crying).
Although we are not warranted in moving from these features and responses to a certain conclusion that fetuses do experience pain–I realize that fetal consciousness is a central factor in the equation–we are justified in concluding from the evidence–in fact, we are rationally required to conclude–that moral certitude does not exist that fetuses do not feel pain.
Unless and until contrary evidence is presented, we have a duty to act with the presumption that they do. In a territory such as our own where abortion is legal, we have a duty: 1) to inform women considering second- and third-trimester abortions that their actions may cause their babies pain; and 2) to guarantee that suitable analgesics and anesthesia be administered to fetuses during second- and third-trimester abortions.
E. Christian Brugger is Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. This paper is adopted from remarks given at the conference “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair-Minded Words,” held at Princeton University October 15th-16th, 2010. This opinion column first appeared in Public Discourse and was reprinted by LifeNews with permission.
As breast cancer awareness increases among women, one leading breast cancer surgeon and professor has written a full explanation of one of the risks women need to keep in mind when talking with friends and family about the deadly disease — abortion.
Dr. Angela Lanfranchi is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. She is a surgeon who, as the co-director of the Sanofi-aventis Breast Care Program at the Steeplechase Cancer Center, has treated countless women facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Lanfranchi was named a 2010 Castle Connolly NY Metro Area “Top Doc” in breast surgery.
In an article she wrote for the medical journal Linacre Quarterly, Lanfranchi talks about why abortion presents women problems and increases their breast cancer risk. Here are some of the details from a report in LifeNews.com:
A growing amount of evidence from quality studies suggests that induced abortion, but not spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, increases risk of breast cancer.
Of course, induced abortion is not the only risk factor for breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have never had an abortion. Most women who have had an induced abortion will not get breast cancer. Like a family history of breast cancer, which is involved in about 15 percent of all breast cancer cases, induced abortion is just another risk factor.
Cigarette smoke is a carcinogen. While only 15% of cigarette smokers get lung cancer, the risk has been well acknowledged. In comparison, induced abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer is somehow not as widely publicized.
Induced abortion boosts breast cancer risk because it stops the normal physiological changes in the breast that occur during a full term pregnancy and that lower a mother’s breast cancer risk. A woman who has a full term pregnancy at 20 has a 90% lower risk of breast cancer than a woman who waits until age 30.
Breast tissue after puberty and before a term pregnancy is immature and cancer-vulnerable. Seventy five percent of this tissue is Type 1 lobules where ductal cancers start and 25 percent is Type 2 lobules where lobular cancers start. Ductal cancers account for 85% of all breast cancers while lobular cancers account for 12-15% of breast cancers.
As soon as a woman conceives, the embryo secretes human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG, the hormone we check for in pregnancy tests.
HCG causes the mother’s ovaries to increase the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body resulting in a doubling of the amount of breast tissue she has; in effect, she then has more Type 1 and 2 lobules where cancers start.
After mid pregnancy at 20 weeks, the fetus/placenta makes hPL, another hormone that starts maturing her breast tissue so that it can make milk. It is only after 32 weeks that she has made enough of the mature Type 4 lobules that are cancer resistant so that she lowers her risk of breast cancer.
Induced abortion before 32 weeks leaves the mother’s breast with more vulnerable tissue for cancer to start. It is also why any premature birth before 32 weeks, not just induced abortion, increases or doubles breast cancer risk.
By the end of her pregnancy, 85% of her breast tissue is cancer resistant. Each pregnancy thereafter decreases her risk a further 10%.
Spontaneous abortions in the first trimester on the other hand don’t increase breast cancer risk because there is something wrong with the embryo, so hCG levels are low. Another possibility is that something is wrong with the mother’s ovaries and the estrogen and progesterone levels are low. When those hormones are low, the mother’s breasts do not grow and change.
A woman can use this information to make an informed decision about her pregnancy. If she chooses to abort her pregnancy for whatever reason, she should start breast screening about 8-10 years later so that if she does develop a cancer, it can be found early and treated early for a better outcome.
If she doesn’t have the resources to raise a child or is not ready to be a mother, there are millions of couples waiting to adopt any child, even one with disabilities.
Women need to understand their own bodies so that they can make the best decision for themselves.
A microbiologist says there are so many published studies confirming the link between induced abortion and breast cancer that he plans to publish one every day on his blog until he’s mentioned them all. It will take Dr. Gerard Nadal so many weeks to cover them all, the blogging will continue until early next year. Here are the details from a report from LifeNews.com:
Dr. Gerard Nadal, who has a has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from St John’s University in New York, has spent 16 years teaching science, most recently at Manhattan College.
He will report on one abortion-breast cancer study daily until he has exhausted all of the abortion-breast cancer studies and he anticipates he may be reporting on these studies as late as January or February of 2011.
“Today begins the inexorable presentation of the scientific literature on the abortion/breast cancer link,” Nadal writes. “Women’s lives depend on us getting the truth out to them. In short order we’ll generate plenty of pros armed with the simple truth of science!”
His first article reviewed a 1997 epidemiological study by Julie Palmer, Lynn Rosenberg and their colleagues, “Induced and spontaneous abortion in relation to breast cancer,” published in the journal, Cancer Causes and Control.
Palmer and Rosenberg are not unbiased researchers, which makes their findings even more relevant for women. Instead, they are abortion advocates who have testified as expert witnesses on behalf of abortion businesses in lawsuits challenging the states of Alaska and Florida because of their parental notice or consent laws.
Their study, supported by U.S. National Cancer Institute grants, examined 1,835 women ages 25-64 years with pathologically confirmed, invasive breast cancer and 4,289 women aged 25-64 admitted for nonmalignant or malignant conditions.
Nadal says the study found women who had never had children and who had one case of an induced abortion raised their abortion breast cancer risk by 40 percent.
“So in plain English, women who had one induced abortion, regardless of ever having had a child, had a 40% increased risk of developing breast cancer over women the same age, with the same parity status who never had abortions, and the authors are 95% certain that there is no other explanation,” he said.
Nadal says the study further showed that for women who had a child previously, “there is a 30% increased risk of cancer” and it “may well be explained by additional stimulation of the lobules by estrogen in the aborted pregnancy, without the benefit of lactogen at the end.”
Nadal says observers of the debate about the abortion and breast cancer link should pay attention to another part of the study where the authors attempt to undermine their own results in an effort to downplay the abortion-breast cancer link.
The authors claim their own study suffers from a form of recall bias – despite their assertion that they were 95% certain that the results could not be due to chance. The authors believe women with breast cancer are less likely to hide their abortion from the health questioners compiling the data than women without breast cancer.
“They offer no proof of this phenomenon other than the same assertions made by other breast cancer researchers with similar data. In other words, the phenomenon is a baseless assertion reverberating in the pro-abortion echo chamber,” Nadal writes.
“Are we really to believe that breast cancer brings women closer to telling the truth of their previous abortions? Why the acuity of memory in a breast cancer patient vs. the control patients? The abortion question was just one in a long, detailed history taken during the study,” Nadal continues. “There is no rational basis for believing that women with breast cancer are more apt to recall and report an abortion than any other women.”
Despite that, the authors conclude in their study: “The small elevations in risk observed in the present study and in previous studies are compatible with what would be expected if there were differential underreporting by cases and controls.”
Nadal says that doesn’t pass the scientific straight face test.
“If I had pulled that crap during my dissertation defense, my committee would have laughed me out of the room,” he said.
However, as Nadal blogs about the abortion-breast cancer studies, he says this is a recurring theme.
“But, as we shall see over and over on a daily basis for months to come, this is what happens when ideology (and not physiology) becomes the prism through which data are filtered,” he says.
A new study finds the later a woman has an abortion the more likely it is that she faces mental health risks and is under pressure from a partner or others to have an abortion she may not otherwise want. Women getting later abortions also are more likely to be ambivalent about having an abortion. Here are the details from LifeNews.com:
The results came from an online survey of 374 women who answered a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances leading to their abortions, their previous mental health history, history of physical or sexual abuse and emotional state following abortion.
Although small, the study, published in the Journal of Pregnancy by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, is the first to compare the experiences of women having early abortions compared to women having later abortions (in the second or third trimester).
The study found:
- women after 13 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to report that their partner desired the pregnancy (22.4 percent of women who had later abortions vs. 10.3 percent of women who had early abortions) and
- that they were pressured by someone other than their partner to abort (47.8 percent vs. 30.5 percent).
The women having later abortions were more likely to report:
- that their partner didn’t know about the abortion (23.9 percent vs. 12.5 percent),
- that they had left their partner before the abortion (28.3 percent vs. 15.6 percent) and
- that physical health concerns were a factor in having the abortion (29.8 percent vs. 14.7 percent).
Ambivalence about the abortion, unwanted abortion, and poor pre-abortion counseling were also commonly reported in the late-term abortion group, according to the Elliot Institute, an abortion research group that pointed LifeNews.com to the study.
Nearly 40 percent of women in the survey said they desired the pregnancy and only 30 percent said both they and their partner supported the abortion, while less than 14 percent said they received adequate pre-abortion counseling or information on alternatives or physical and emotional risks.
“In general, these results are indicative of more ambivalence and conflict surrounding the decision and the likelihood of less stable partner relationships among women who obtain later abortions,” the authors wrote.
“Logically, women who are unsure about how to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to put off the decision to abort, perhaps hoping their circumstances will improve and enable them to carry to term.”
Meanwhile, the Elliot Institute noted a survey of American and Russian women who had abortions, published in the Medical Science Monitor in 2004, found that 64 percent of the American respondents reported feeling pressured to abort, while more than half said they felt rushed or uncertain about the decision and more than 80 percent reported receiving inadequate counseling beforehand.
The new study also found high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for women having both early and late abortions, with 52 percent of the early abortion group and 67 percent of the late term abortion group meeting the American Psychological Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD).
One possible cause may be a high number of women having unwanted abortions due to the reactions of those around them, the authors said.
“Concern regarding reactions of others to having a child” was the mostly frequently cited reason for abortion for both early (69.1 percent) and late (62 percent) abortions; however, they wrote, many women likely had abortions “despite ambivalence or actually desiring to continue the pregnancy.”
Feelings of ambivalence or having an unwanted abortion are known risk factors for psychological problems after abortion.
When it came to differences between the late and early abortion groups, women having later abortions were more likely to report having disturbing dreams, reliving the abortion, having trouble sleeping and experiencing intrusion, a PTSD symptom that involves having recurring memories, flashbacks or hyperactivity when confronted with reminders of the trauma.
The 2004 Medical Science Monitor survey found that 65 percent of American women who had abortions reported experiencing symptoms of PTSD, which they attributed to their abortions. Other studies have also linked abortion to increased rates of depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems.
The authors said that their new study is best viewed as a “pilot” study on which to base future research on the psychological impact of late-term abortion, and called for more counseling and support for women undergoing later abortions.
Other peer-reviewed studies have linked abortion to increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, sleep disorders and more. Recent studies have also linked abortion to higher rates of death from heart disease, which investigators believe may be a long term effect of elevated rates of anxiety and depression.
Related web site: Elliot Institute
According to a report from LifeNews, the Family Research Council has released a new report that refutes claims made recently by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) saying an unborn child is not able to feel pain before 24 weeks of development.
FRC is concerned that detractors are using RCOG’s study to uphold Britain’s current legalization of abortions up to 24 weeks.
The pro-life organization is also worried abortion advocates in the United States could also try to use this study to argue against Nebraska’s new law that states an unborn baby can feel pain at 20 weeks and which, as a result, prohibits abortions from that point.
Jeanne Monahan, the director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, responded to the study saying it is seriously flawed and could lead to a profound moral injustice, the more cavalier taking of unborn life.
She told LifeNews.com, “The [RCOG] report appears to be politically timed and motivated, given the growing momentum in the U.K. to protect the life of the unborn by lowering the time limits for legal abortion.”
Monahan says RCOG gets away with saying unborn children can’t feel by by “using a faulty definition of pain in this study.”
“A number of experts in the field of fetal development, who were not consulted for this report, previously have refuted the idea that the cortex needs to be fully developed for an unborn baby to feel pain,” she noted.
“On the contrary, it is possible that unborn babies between 20-30 weeks of development can experience greater pain than a full-term newborn or older child.”
“At 20-30 weeks, an unborn child possesses the highest number of pain receptors per square inch he or she will ever possess, and the baby’s nerve fibers are located closest to the surface of the skin,” she said.
Monahan suggests RCOG is trying to “dehumanize the baby to make abortion appear somehow more palatable” even though “the truth remains that abortion is a violent and painful procedure for the infant and mother.”
“The humanness of the unborn child is not contingent on its capacity for pain. Whether or not an unborn child can feel pain is irrelevant to the respect that an unborn person deserves – respect sufficient to be protected by law from conception until natural death,” Monahan concluded.
Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into the concept of fetal pain and published the first reports in the 1980s to validate research show evidence for it.
He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at “eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier” and that a baby before birth “under the right circumstances, is capable of crying.”
Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.
“The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb,” they wrote.
“Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body,” they continued.
With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.
The issue of fetal pain has captured headlines thanks to a landmark law enacted by the Nebraska legislature in April which restricts abortion after twenty weeks declaring that the state has a compelling interest in the life of a pain-capable unborn child at and after twenty weeks.
The more we learn about the physical and emotional side effects of abortion, the more concerning it becomes. Now, LifeSiteNews.com is reporting on a new study out of McGill University in Montreal that has found a strong link between a past abortion and premature delivery in subsequent pregnancies.
Dr. Ghislain Hardy, a third year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at McGill, and his team did a chart review of 17,916 women who delivered at Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill’s teaching hospital. Of their sample, 13% had obtained one abortion and 5% had procured two or more.
Dr. Hardy’s team found that women with one past abortion were 45% more likely to give birth before 32 weeks, 71% more likely to do so at less than 28 weeks, and more than 50% more likely at less than 26 weeks. They noted that the link was even greater where the woman had more than one abortion.
He presented the paper, entitled “Early Preterm Birth and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Women With a History of Induced Abortions,” at the 58th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this year.
“Preterm birth is a major concern in our health-care system today. It is the most important cause of neonatal morbidity,” Dr. Hardy explained in his presentation, according to the Canadian Health Network. A study of the issue is important, he noted, because “an association between therapeutic abortion and prematurity has resurfaced in recent years.”
The link between abortion and subsequent premature delivery has been confirmed by a growing body of independent studies on the issue. Most significantly, in February 2009 a German team who evaluated over two million pregnancies between 1995 and 2000, found that the risk of very premature birth is increased by 30% after one abortion, and by 90% after more than one.
Dr. Hardy explained that abortion could lead to greater cervical sensitivity that might result in a greater proclivity towards premature delivery.
“Our study showed a significant increase in the risk of preterm delivery in the women with a history of previous induced abortion,” he said. “The association becomes stronger with decreasing gestational age and with an increasing number of therapeutic abortions.”
Here are some of my other posts on the topic:
- The Dark Side of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Surgeon Reports Abortion Ups Breast Cancer Risk
- New Study Finds 66 Percent Increased Breast Cancer Risk After Abortion
- Study: Elective Abortion More Than Triples Breast Cancer Risk
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
- Second Abortion Increases Risk of Premature Babies 93%: Canadian Study
- Abortion Linked to Subsequent Pre-Term Births, New Research Again Confirms
- Massive German Study Confirms Abortion Significantly Increases Premature Birth Risk
- Study: Previous Abortions Linked With Pre-Term Birth and Cerebral Palsy
National Academies of Science: Abortion Linked to Subsequent Premature Birth
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba finds women who have had abortions are about four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as those who carried their pregnancy to term. The authors confirmed a link between abortion and the substance abuse issues.
This study adds to the risks that we now know occur in women who have previously had an abortion (as opposed to a miscarriage), including mental health issues (especially depression) and, possibly, breast cancer. Before I share the details of this new study, I want to say something very important.
If you are one of the many women who has a secret abortion in your past, in no way do I intend to judge or condemn that choice. But, rather, I want you to overcome any risks that may come from the abortion. To that end, if you are a woman who has had an abortion, this information means that you need to consider a couple of actions:
- Learn everything you can about how your can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer and depression by proper diet, exercise, and sleep,
- Be sure to discuss breast cancer and depression screening with your primary care physician, and
- Strongly consider seeing a post-abortion counselor. You can find one through your nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center or by contacting CareNet here.
Now, here are the details on this study from LifeNews.com:
Natalie Mota, a PhD student in the U of M’s clinical psychology department, co-wrote the study with authors Margaret Burnett and Jitender Sareen.
The study appeared in the well-respected Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and it showed women having abortions were 3.8 times more likely to have substance abuse disorders.
That was the case even when other factors such as exposure to violence were included that could have raised the risk outside of abortion.
The Canadian study also found abortion associated with other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, but substance abuse proved to be the strongest link when it comes to post-abortion problems for women.
“These are associations only,” Mota told the Toronto Sun newspaper. “Further research needs to look at the different factors that might be playing a part.”
Still, the study provides more evidence that abortions hurt women as Mota told the newspaper hers was larger than many prior studies showing adverse mental health issues for women following an abortion compared with keeping the baby.
Mota and her colleagues told the Sun they also suggest abortion centers pre-screen women for substance abuse problems prior to abortions. Women who already have struggles with drug and alcohol abuse may see those problems exacerbated by the abortion. Currently, abortion centers typically don’t provide such screening or encourage women who struggle with those mental health issues to carry to term.
Priscilla Coleman, an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, has already conducted multiple studies on the link between abortion and mental health problems for women.
Coleman analyzed the study further and found that, when compared to women without a history of abortion, those who had an abortion had a 61% increased risk for mood disorders. Social Phobia was linked with a 61% increased risk and suicide ideation with a 59% increased risk.
“In the area of substance abuse the increased risk for alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, drug dependence, and any substance use disorder were equal to 261%, 142%, 313%, 287%, and 280% respectively,” she told LifeNews.com. “Between 5.8% and 24.7% of the national prevalence of all the above disorders was determined to be related to abortion.”
Coleman told LifeNews.com the Canadian study affirms “results of many previous studies on abortion and mental health” and are generally consistent with our results using an earlier version of the National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) data.”
The Canadian researchers used the NCS replication data collected between 2001 and 2003.
“A large nationally representative U.S. sample was examined for associations between abortion and life-time prevalence of numerous mental disorders and suicidal behavior,” she said.
Coleman said researchers who support legal abortions “frequently claim the associations between abortion and mental health problems in the literature are due to an unmeasured history of violence exposure being related to both the choice to abort and to mental health problems.”
“Mota and colleagues tested this assumption by controlling for violence in all the analyses conducted. They also controlled for age, education, marital status, household income, and ethno-racial background,” she said. “The results revealed statistically significant associations between abortion history and a wide range of mental health problems after controlling for the experience of interpersonal violence and demographic variables.”
Coleman says the new study provides more evidence for the American Psychological Association in a challenge to its position that abortion presents no mental health problems for women.
“This report represents the latest in a series of articles from across the globe (U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and South Africa) published in recent years directly contradicting the findings of the American Psychological Association Task Force report released in 2008. Large scale, well-controlled studies using sophisticated data analysis methodologies consistently confirm a relationship between abortion and psychological distress that the national professional organization has dismissed,” the professor said.
“Standing above the political controversies regarding the legality of abortion, several contemporary researchers have demonstrated a willingness to publish data that contradicts many well-ingrained socio-cultural beliefs regarding psychology as a benign psychological experience. This is good news for science, the healing professions, and for women,” she concluded.
LifeNews.com is reporting on a new study from researchers at a university in New Zealand which found that 85 percent of women who had abortions report negative mental health issues as a result. The report is the latest from professor David Fergusson and his team showing abortions cause problems for women.
According to the LifeNews report, the University of Otago team examined the medical history of over 500 women and concluded having an abortion generally “leads to significant distress” in women who have them.
It noted women reporting adverse reactions to their abortions were up to 80 percent more likely to have mental health problems and risk of mental illness was “proportional to the degree of distress” associated with the abortion.
The study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined data from women who had been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30 and who were asked if they were pregnant and, if so, the outcome of the pregnancy.
More than 85 percent of women reported negative reactions to their abortions including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment.
The study revealed that women who have abortions face more negative mental health problems resulting from that pregnancy outcome as compared with women who keep their baby and carry to term. Women having abortions had rates of mental health problems “approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion.”
Ultimately, Fergusson and his team said there is little justification for saying that legal abortions should be promoted on the basis of a improving a woman’s mental health.
“Collectively, this evidence raises important questions about the practice of justifying termination of pregnancy on the grounds that this procedure will reduce risks of mental health problems in women having unwanted pregnancy,” the team wrote.
The team said the study showed no reason to “support strong pro-choice positions that claim unwanted pregnancy terminated by abortion is without mental health risks.”
The new study is a follow-up to previous studies Fergusson and his team conducted showing women who have abortions are more likely to become severely depressed.
The original 2006 study found some 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That’s almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.
According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs.
A second study Fergusson’s team released found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.
The authors concluded that anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.
British Victims of Abortion, which helps women who suffer medical and mental health problems after an abortion, has welcomed the results of the new report.
Margaret Cuthill of BVA commented: “What we at British Victims of Abortion hear in the counseling room confirms the truth of Professor Fergusson’s results.”
You can read my other blogs on the topic here:
A new study done on women in Turkey who had abortions has reported a 66 percent increased risk of contracting breast cancer as a result. The study is the latest to suggest that abortions cause significant adverse medical risks for women who have them, in addition to killing unborn children.
More Information: Continue reading
Amy Sobie is the editor of The Post-Abortion Review, a quarterly publication of the Elliot Institute. The organization is a widely respected leader in research and analysis of medical, mental health, and other complications resulting from abortions. This very informative article of hers was carried in Life News.
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A documentary called “28 Days on the Pill” has been released that seeks to expose the abortifacient properties of the birth control pill. The documentary explains that many forms of birth control pills contain progesterone, which thins the endometrium, the walls of the uterus, which in turn causes it to become inhospitable to newly conceived human life, causing an abortion.
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Reuters is reporting today that “No high-quality study done to date can document that having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a “post-abortion syndrome,” and “efforts to show it does occur appear to be politically motivated.” They base this upon a new report by U.S. researchers. Should you believe this? Not for a New York second.
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The results of a new study from a Johns Hopkins University research team claiming that there is no link between abortions and mental health problems for women should come as no surprise. The authors of the study, which the mainstream media touted Thursday, are bankrolled by Planned Parenthood.
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Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have looked at more than a dozen studies on abortion and mental health issues and they claim there is no link. However the review failed to include three new studies all showing abortion leads to significant mental health problems for women.
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The leading researcher responsible for a new study showing abortion has serious mental health complications for women says the American Psychological Association needs to reverse its own misleading conclusion that abortion doesn’t cause women mental health problems.
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