In these days of efficient contraception, postponement of childbearing, and a small number of carefully planned// pregnancies, low fertility and embryonic and fetal loss often cause disappointment and grief when they occur. A study has been conducted in women to address the issue of whether abortion increased a woman’s chance of suffering from depression.
The study that looked at US women who aborted or delivered an unwanted pregnancy reveal that pre-existing mental health might be a better predictor of depression risk. Surprisingly, women who opted for a termination reported less depression than those who chose to carry on with the unwanted pregnancy.
However, the observed effect could be due to the differences in education and income between the two groups. Women who went for abortion also tended to have fewer children already, consistent with the association between a large family and depression.
While any distressing life event has the potential to affect an individual person's mental health, this study supports earlier research that abortion, as opposed to bringing to term an unwanted pregnancy, does not increase the risk of later depression.
Dr Michael Jarmulowicz, of The Guild of Catholic Doctors, has questioned the results of the present study. He said the evidence suggesting that abortion increases the risk of suicide or self-harm attempts, as well as depression and a possible increased risk of death from all causes, was much stronger.
Even if abortion did no emotional or physical harm to women, it would still be wrong because it always takes an innocent, defenceless human life, according to those against abortion, who hope that the act would be seen as a grave denial of basic human right in the future. The research also focuses on the necessity of preventing unwanted childbearing, in young women particularly to reduce women’s risk of depression.
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