than bearing children–Or so finds a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study compared the mental health outcomes of Danish women who had abortions during the 1st trimester with those Danish women who had children(1995-2007). From the abstract:
The relative risk of a psychiatric contact did not differ significantly after abortion as compared with before abortion (P=0.19) but did increase after childbirth as compared with before childbirth (P<0.001).
It will be interesting to see if these findings hold up over time since this study seems to obliterate the mythology of “post-abortion” syndrome peddled by some anti-abortion activists. For women who have abortions during the first trimester, there appears there is NO psychiatric risk involved. That said, the risks for postpartum depression for women, according to this study, are significant. THIS finding should have health professionals quiet concerned.
Ironically, this study hasn’t gotten a lot of media play in the US, which isn’t too surprising given the super-heated political rhetoric involving abortion. However, folks should pay attention to ALL of the findings in this study.