Abortion and depression
Is there a link between having an aboriton and depression, or other psychological maladies? According to the American Psychological Association, not if a woman has only had one abortion. In a report that came out last Wednesday, women who have one abortion are no more likely to suffer depression or other mental health problems than women who go on to have their babies.
To be clear, the abortions in question were those that were elective and in the first trimester. Prior mental health as well as self-esteem issues and the fear of stigma were the main factors in post-abortion health, according to the study. Also according to the report, which I find really hard to believe, is that half--HALF!--of American women will experience an unwanted pregnancy and that about half of those--a quarter, for those of you doing the math--will get an abortion. That's a LOT of people.
I also think that it's one thing to look at a hundred studies, but it's another to talk to the women who've made this choice themselves. And yet another for those women to feel like they can be honest with their responses and reasoning behind getting an abortion. I've never had to make that choice, but I know people who have. And let me tell you something--they come from all different backgrounds, are different ages, etc. And each of those women has had to deal with the decision she made for the rest of her life. I am all for women being in charge of their bodies and strongly support the pro-choice movement, but to say that having an abortion doesn't affect a woman's mental health (for better or worse), at least for some period of time, might be a little misleading.
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