Abortion and Mental Health

          The issue of abortion is a complex one. Many elements, emotional, religious, and intellectual, contribute to one's personal position. Here are some facts as presented in the American Psychological Association's M0nitor on Psychology  (September, 2022, pp. 40-43 ) in the journal article called The Facts About Abortion and Mental Health by Zara Abrams.

          There has been over 50 years of large, longitudinal, cross-cultural research investigating the relationship between desired abortions and mental health problems. All this research has shown that there is no link between them. Abortion is not related to mental health issues. The best predictor of a woman's psychological status after a desired abortion is her pre-abortion mental health.
          The Turnaway Study (2020) followed more than 1000 women across 21 states for 5 years. It found that instead of regret, grief, or trauma, the most common emotion reported was relief. Over 97% of the woman studied regarded their abortions to be the right decision. The woman in the Turnaway Study who had been denied an abortion reported more distress in the forms of anxiety, lower self-esteem, and lower life satisfaction.
          M. Antonia Biggs, PhD, a leader in the Turnaway Study, said that children born to mothers denied abortion were more likely to live in poverty and to have experienced poor mother-child bonding. Other studies found that such children lived with a range of social and adjustment problems that endured into adulthood, including more psychiatric hospitalizations than their siblings or children of planned births.
          There is solid evidence that abortion does not result in mental health difficulties. What causes harm is restricted access. Women denied access have worse mental, physical, and economic outcomes than those who seek and receive safe, legal abortions. Their children also have poorer adjustments.

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