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Negative Mental Health Consequences of Unwanted Child Birth and Restricted Abortions

By HERWriter
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The article continues to state that “other studies comparing outcomes for abortion versus delivery of unintended pregnancies have found higher rates of clinical depression, anxiety, and substance abuse among women who abort, while studies that did not look only at unplanned pregnancies also find that women who aborted are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, psychiatric problems, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, and sleep disorders, which are often linked to trauma.”

However, the American Psychological Association suggests that findings like those above are inaccurate.

“The [Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion] reviewed no evidence sufficient to support the claim that an observed association between abortion history and mental health was caused by the abortion per se, as opposed to other factors,” according to its website.

In fact, “the best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy, the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.”

A Swedish study mentioned on Planned Parenthood’s website supports the fact that unwanted childbirth can prove harmful to women, stating that women who were refused abortion had difficulty adjusting emotionally or were unable to several years later.

Additionally, a paper from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy states that “a fairly large body of literature confirms that an unintended birth can have negative consequences for a mother’s mental well-being. Women with unwanted, mistimed, or unplanned births demonstrate lower levels of general psychological well-being during pregnancy and following the birth, and a higher risk of depression, and they report lower levels of happiness than those with intended births.”

If you think about it, it makes sense that being forced to have a child because of the inability to get an abortion (or other reasons like social pressure) would only have harmful effects. For one, it would be a stressful situation and could even lead to anxiety.

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EmpowHER Guest

I have had an abortion and a forced live birth with no option for adoption (S.O. refused consent). All aspects of the abortion were manageable and had no long term negative effect on my physical and mental health. The forced pregnancy effects my mental and physical health every day, almost a decade later. Denying rights denies life to women.

March 7, 2018 - 5:49pm
EmpowHER Guest

If you follow the sources the article is based on, they're either a) private opinions b) research articles that say having an abortion and giving birth have the same outcome c) research articles that say having an abortion leads to significantly worse outcomes than giving birth.

The conclusion of the article, that "forcing women to suffer through an unwanted child birth can only lead to negative consequences to mental health and other areas of life", actually CONTRADICTS all the evidence presented in the article.

January 6, 2016 - 4:09pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.