LifeSiteNews.com - 8 Mai 03
NEW STUDY LINKS CLINICAL DEPRESSION TO ABORTION
Researchers Call for More Studies on Emotional Risks of Abortion
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., May 8, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Women with a history of
abortion are at significantly higher risk of experiencing clinical
depression compared to women who give birth, according to a nationally
representative study of 1,884 women published in the latest issue of
Medical Science Monitor.
Researchers compared data for women from the National Longitudinal Survey of
Youth (NLSY) who experienced their first pregnancy between 1980 and 1992.
They found that, on an average of eight years later, women whose first
pregnancies ended in abortion were 65 percent more likely to be at high
risk of clinical depression after controlling for age,
race, marital status, history of divorce, income, number
of years of formal education, and a pre-pregnancy measure
of psychological state.
"This finding contributes to the growing number of studies showing that
abortion is linked to elevated rates of psychiatric illness, substance
abuse, and suicidal behavior," said Dr. David Reardon, head of the Elliot
Institute in Springfield, Illinois, and one of the study's authors.
Previous research on depression rates following abortion have been of
limited value due to small sample sizes and lack of information gathered
prior to their pregnancies on women's emotional state, Reardon said.
These problems were at least partially resolved by using
the NLSY, an ongoing nationwide interview-based study
conducted by the Center for Human Resource Research at
Ohio State University and funded by the U.S. Department of
Labor. Participants in the study, who were between the ages of 14 and 21
at the time the study began in 1979, are surveyed
annually about issues such as their employment, education,
marital status, and reproductive history.
A major recommendation of the study's authors is that more research needs to
be done. They note that in 1988 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop
recommended a major longitudinal study to thoroughly
examine the issue of abortion complications, but the
study was never been done.
Reardon believes the political battle over abortion has blocked good
federally funded research in this area. "Unfortunately," he says, "some
people are more concerned about protecting the public image of abortion
than they are about protecting women."
Citation: Cougle JR, Reardon DC, Coleman PK. "Depression associated with
abortion and childbirth: a long-term analysis of the NLSY cohort." Med
Sci Monit, 2003; 9(4): CR105-112
The full study is available free online at