Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Does abortion harm women?

The Melbourne Age has an article this morning ("Abortion linked to mental risk" 3rd January 2006) which begins,

Having an abortion as a young woman raises the risk of later mental health problems - including depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse - according to the most detailed long-term study so far.

The findings were that about 15% of women seek an abortion by the age of 25. Of these women about 42% will experience major depression, which is 35% higher than those who choose to continue a pregnancy. An even more striking statistic is that women who have an abortion are twice as likely to drink to dangerous levels and three times more likely to be dependent on illegal drugs than women who do not abort their pregnancy.

The study was undertaken by Professor David Fergusson, who supports "unrestricted access to abortion" and so can hardly be accused of political bias in reaching these findings.

As Professor Fergusson points out, it becomes difficult to justify abortion on the grounds of protecting the mental health of women, when abortion is more likely to have the effect of harming a woman's psychological well-being.

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