Abortion Not Linked With Depression
Posted: 05 December 2008 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From Reuters Health Information.

A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and found the high-quality studies showed no significant differences in long-term mental health between women who choose to abort a pregnancy and others.

“The best research does not support the existence of a ‘post-abortion syndrome’ similar to post-traumatic stress disorder,” Dr. Robert Blum, who led the study, published in the journal Contraception, said in a statement.

They analyzed those that included valid mental health measures and factored in pre-existing mental health status and potential confounding factors.

“The best quality studies indicate no significant differences in long-term mental health between women in the United States who choose to terminate a pregnancy and those who do not,” they report.

“Studies with the most flawed methodology consistently found negative mental health consequences of abortion,” they added. “Scientists are still conducting research to answer politically motivated questions.”

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Posted: 05 December 2008 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have always felt skeptical about the possibility of an isolated incident contributing to a long-term mental illness. I imagine there are some extreme cases when this could be possible, witnessing the shocking events of a war for example, but I believe that in most cases the depression will resolve itself once the monster disappears.

In the case of an abortion, I am inclined to believe that women would be more likely to suffer from a depression, were they obligated to carry for a child they don’t want as opposed to aborting one.

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Posted: 06 December 2008 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The findings of the Johns Hopkins study are mentioned in this article I just read:

“The (South Dakota) law requires physicians providing abortions to read from a state-mandated script advising the patient that she is about to “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” with whom she has an “existing relationship.” The doctor must have her patient sign each page of a form indicating that she has been warned of the “statistically significant” risks of the procedure, including “increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.” These “risks” are almost completely unsupported by the scientific literature. A new comprehensive study released by Johns Hopkins found “no significant differences in long-term mental health between women in the United States who choose to terminate a pregnancy and those who do not.” The disparity between the empirical data and the mandatory script thus forces physicians into a Hobson’s choice between providing patients with accurate medical information, and possible license suspension and misdemeanor charges.”

I highly recommend the full article:

The Abortion Wars Get Technical
“Women have few rights at all when doctors can legally misinform them or deny service entirely.”

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Posted: 07 December 2008 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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My own mother became very depressed for years, when she was not able to control the size of her family due to the politics of the area where we were living. That depression affected my childhood as well as that of my siblings, as well as her relationship with our father. I firmly believe that her/our life would have been easier if she had been allowed those choices. She was a firm pro choice advocate until the day she died.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think the only link is in the reverse and financial rather than psychological.  I’d guess that our movement into economic depression will result in many more abortions by women who realize they and their families can’t deal with the additional monetary costs of an additional child.

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Posted: 10 December 2008 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jules - 06 December 2008 08:07 PM

I highly recommend the full article:

The Abortion Wars Get Technical
“Women have few rights at all when doctors can legally misinform them or deny service entirely.”

Another important point this article makes is that the abortion fighters lose all credibility regarding their claim of concern for the conscience and personal rights of medical providers when they force them to read an anti-abortion script that has no credibility:

Reading the new HHS regulations together with the mandatory South Dakota “script,” one can only conclude that those same health providers who cannot be compelled to perform an abortion may nevertheless be compelled to deliver misinformation about it. The freedom and autonomy of doctors who oppose abortion are protected by law. But those willing to provide abortions can be forced to deliver a state message with which they completely disagree.

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Posted: 10 December 2008 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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asanta - 07 December 2008 12:09 AM

My own mother became very depressed for years, when she was not able to control the size of her family due to the politics of the area where we were living. That depression affected my childhood as well as that of my siblings, as well as her relationship with our father. I firmly believe that her/our life would have been easier if she had been allowed those choices. She was a firm pro choice advocate until the day she died.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the driving force behind “pro life” is not women, especially of child-bearing age, when women in societies where they have reproductive rights choose to have far fewer children than those hyper religious societies that ban abortion and birth control. The anti-abortion and anti-birth control advocates should be challenged and not allowed to hide behind a fake concern for embryos and fetuses.

Authoritarian religious and political systems depend on high birth rates and a rigid hierarchy that extends from God to king and/or priest to man to woman and then the children. This is the “natural order” that so called family values voters of all religious backgrounds are supporting…whether or not they fully realize the implications of what their religious leaders have in store for them. The more religion is inserted into the public square, the less room there will be for dissent, alternative views and choices over how we live our lives.

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