Summary: Increased Psychiatric Admissions of Women Following Abortion

Psychiatric admissions are more common among low-income women who have an induced abortion than among those who carry a pregnancy to term, both in the short and longer term.

  • Canadian Medical Association study explored the controversy of whether abortion or childbirth is associated with greater psychological risks. Psychiatric admission rates of women (ages 13-49) in time periods from 90 days to 4 years after either abortion or childbirth were compared (in 1989). Only women who had no psychiatric admissions or pregnancy events during the year before the target pregnancy event were included in the study. Overall, women who had had an abortion had a significantly higher relative risk of psychiatric admission compared with women who had delivered for every time period examined. In post abortion women, depression, negative emotion and dissatisfaction with their decision to have an abortion increased with time. The study also found that psychiatric admissions are more common among low-income women who have an induced abortion than among those who carry a pregnancy to term, both in the short and longer term.1

1Psychiatric Admissions of Low-Income Women Following Abortion and Childbirth, Canadian Medical Association, May 13, 2003, p. 1253.

 

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