There are many burdensome life situations that require some mental preparation to get through. For women specifically, pregnancy can be a life-changing experience that greatly affects mental and physical health. A recent report suggests that unwanted pregnancy is a situation that can be harmful for mental health, but that two outcomes (giving birth or getting an abortion) don’t affect mental health any differently.
“The rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same whether they had an abortion or gave birth,” according to the report.
However, women who have unwanted pregnancies overall have more of a risk for mental health problems, according to the report.
“The most reliable predictor of post-abortion mental health problems was having a history of mental health problems before the abortion,” the authors of the report stated. “There were some additional factors associated with an increased risk of mental health problems specifically related to abortion, such as pressure from a partner to have an abortion and negative attitudes towards abortions in general and towards a woman’s personal experience of the abortion.”
The report was published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and conducted by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, according to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website.
According to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website, the report is “the world’s largest, most comprehensive and systematic review into the mental health outcomes of induced abortion.” The report can be found on the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges website that is listed under “sources.”
Understandably this report comes in a time where abortion is still controversial and laws are continually being drafted that limit abortion rights. One women’s psychology expert gave her opinions on what this report could contribute to women put in a situation of an unwanted pregnancy, and how women can mentally prepare for giving birth to an unwanted child or having an abortion, considering the mental health implications for having an unwanted pregnancy.