Women and girls considering an abortion can now breathe a sigh of relief, as recent research has discovered that there is more risk of new mothers suffering post-partum mental health problems, than the woman who chooses to terminate her pregnancy.
According to the Associated Press, the comprehensive study carried out by scientists in Denmark debunks previous studies of a similar nature that declared the opposite – ie; that women who had abortions were more likely to suffer mental health issues.
The rates of mental health treatment before and after a first abortion were compared and it was found that 15 out of 1,000 post-abortion women sought psychiatric treatment, a rate almost identical to those seeking treatment nine months prior to the abortion. And although overall, first-time mothers had a lower rate of mental problems, the proportion of those seeking help post-partum was substantially greater with 7 out of 1,000 women seeking help with their mental health compared with 4 out of 1,000 before childbirth.
The previous studies that blamed pregnancy terminations as a trigger for mental ill-health were deemed unreliable as they were poorly designed and badly administered. Whereas, new mothers can experience sleep deprivation, hormonal issues and many other demands that might trigger mental disturbances. None of which are experienced by women who have had an abortion.
The conclusion of the studies echo previous research carried out in 2008 by the American Psychological Association, which found no evidence that terminating a pregnancy posed a threat to a woman’s mental health.
Having a baby is stressful and life-changing and this new evidence goes to show that only those people who are really ready and capable of raising a child, should be doing so.
The push me/pull me abortion debate will perhaps go on forever with anti-abortionists still insistent that a foetus – even whilst still an amorphous collection of cells with no personality – has the right to be brought into a harsh world and dropped into the hands of an unwilling mother. The mother/child relationship is a profound one and children growing up without such a bond often experience maternal deprivation issues; have difficulties forming relationships and more often than not find it difficult to trust other people.
Bringing an unwanted child into a world where their mother is ambivalent seems undesirable from every angle and the newly pregnant girl or woman should be informed that having the pregnancy terminated will not make her more susceptible to mental health issues. In this way, she can make an informed choice when deciding whether to keep the baby, without making a decision based on fear.
Please tell us your thoughts on the new study, or share your experiences of abortion or post-partum depression by leaving a comment.
Celebrities that have suffered post-natal depression include Angelina Jolie, Courtney Cox and the ethereal Gwyneth Paltrow who endured “painfully debilitating” PND after the birth of her second child, Moses. Read more about postpartum depression.
images: jazzineando.blogspot.com, new.taringa.net