Abortion and Women’s Health – Latest Research

Abortion and Women’s Health – Latest Research

Abortion and Women's Health – Latest Research

Most comprehensive study to date finds abortion increases risk of mental health problems

The latest study on abortion in the British Journal of Psychiatry has found that abortion itself increases the risk of mental health problems for women by 81%. The research also found that nearly 10% of the incidence of all women’s mental health problems is directly attributable to abortion. The meta-analysis research is based on 22 published studies, 36 effects, and brings together data on 877,181 participants, 163,831 of whom experienced an abortion. This makes it the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The study takes account of pre-existing mental health problems prior to the abortion. View the study here

Research shows Ireland is safest country in the world for pregnant mothers

According to the latest research from the UN and World Health Organisation, Ireland leads the world in safety for pregnant mothers. The report, which was published in September 2010, found of all 172 countries for which estimates are given, Ireland remains at the top when it comes to safety for pregnant women. In other words, women are safer in Ireland when pregnant than in countries like Britain and Holland, which allow abortion on demand. The findings are also a tribute to Ireland's medical profession, which cares for both mother and baby during pregnancy. Read the Report on Maternal Mortality from the UN and WHO here

New Zealand Study 2008: Abortion Causes 30% Increase in Mental Health Problems

Women who have abortions are 30% more likely to develop mental health problems, a recent study reveals. The New Zealand study was published in a 2008 edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry.  By ignoring this and similar findings, pro-choice advocates are doing an immense disservice to women. Any procedure that results in a 30% increased risk of mental health problems is significant and cannot be lightly dismissed. The findings also undermine the very basis of Britain’s liberal abortion regime. At present most abortions are carried out to supposedly alleviate mental distress of one kind or another. But the New Zealand study shows that induced abortion itself leads to increased mental illness. The study of over 500 women from Christchurch, New Zealand, was carried out by researchers from the University of Otago. It involved interviewing the women six times between the ages of 15 and 30. It successfully controlled for confounders such as any predispositions to mental illness.

In conclusion the authors of the study wrote: The findings of this study have important implications for the legal status of abortion in societies such as New Zealand and the UK, where over 90% of abortions are authorised on the grounds that proceeding with the pregnancy would pose a serious threat to the woman's mental health.

In general, there is no evidence in the literature on abortion and mental health that suggests that abortion reduces the mental health risks of unwanted or mistimed pregnancy. Although some studies have concluded that abortion has neutral effects on mental health, no study has reported that exposure to abortion reduces mental health risks.

Finnish Study on Birth, Abortion and Mortality 

Finland is one of the few countries in the world that compiles accurate birth, abortion, death and hospitalisation linkages which provide very useful information. A study published in the European Journal of Public Health, conducted by Finland’s National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, found that women who had abortions have higher rates of suicide than women who continue their pregnancies.  Researchers examined 1987-2000 data on all deaths of women of reproductive age 15-49. The suicide rate of post abortive women was six times than that of women who gave birth in the prior year. 

Evidence that babies born alive are left to die in Britain

A total of 66 infants survived NHS abortion attempts in one year alone. Rather than dying during the abortion procedure as intended, they were able to breathe unaided. About half were alive for an hour, while one survived ten hours. The figures are the first to give a national picture of the number of babies who survive abortion but are left to die. Experts previously believed the phenomenon was limited to a handful of cases a year. The babies were aborted using a drug to soften the cervix and induce labour. Once born no medical help is offered. The statistics are contained in the official report by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health, commissioned by the UK Government, which was published in 2008.

Evidence submitted to All Party Oireachtas Committee on Abortion