Mental Health and Abortion

Mental Health and Abortion

Abortion and mental health are not as connected as we have been led to believe in the past.  As it turns out women who are denied abortions are more likely to suffer from psychological symptoms than those who have an abortion.  A study that was conducted by JAMA Psychiatry claims that women denied abortions reported symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The Study

Researchers working on the project spoke with more than 900 women in more than 20 states over 5 years.  All of these women had either had an abortion or had been denied one.  All of the women were interviewed one week after the abortion and there was a follow up for the next five years that was conducted every six months.  The researchers had decided to focus on stress and anxiety as symptom because advocacy groups and law makers claim that this is what women experience after receiving an abortion.

35 states make women undergo counseling before they are permitted to undergo an abortion.  Nine of the 35 must counsel women on the possible psychological side effect that can happen as a result of having an abortion.  The study was meant to illustrate that information being used by policy makers is completely out of date and largely inaccurate.

More Evidence  Supporting that Position

There was another study done at the University of California that showed women who chose to have an abortion were more certain of the decision even when the procedure was completed.  The studies were done while there funding to Planned Parenthood has been cut and abortion clinics across the country have been forced to close their doors.  Both abortion and antiabortion legislation is being challenged all across the country.  There have been more than 200 laws  enacted by states to restrict access to abortion.

The abortion debate has been a part of American politics since Roe vs Wade and the past election has been no exception.  President-elect Donald Trump had promised during his campaign that he would appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices with the hopes of overturning Roe vs Wade.  Here is Donald Trump making that campaign promise.

In other countries where abortion is readily accessible such as Canada, where healthcare laws are mandated by the provinces, there are no mandatory counseling required.  Most European countries, where abortion was first legalized also do no require counseling prior to abortion services.  Most of these countries include mental health care and abortion services as part of their universal health care plans.

Resources: This page at Vantage Point Counseling Online, Abortion Considerations, don’t abort due to addiction if you have to by getting rehab early in the pregnancy.

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