A new study finds the later a woman has an abortion the more likely it is that she faces mental health risks and is under pressure from a partner or others to have an abortion she may not otherwise want.
-- From "Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms" Copyright © 2010 Priscilla K. Coleman et al., Bowling Green State University; posted at Journal of Pregnancy, Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 130519
The primary aim of this study was to compare the experience of an early abortion (1st trimester) to a late abortion (2nd and 3rd trimester) relative to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms . . .
Later abortions were associated with . . . likelihood of reporting disturbing dreams, reliving of the abortion, and trouble falling asleep. Reporting the pregnancy was desired by one's partner, experiencing pressure to abort, having left the partner prior to the abortion, not disclosing the abortion to the partner, and physical health concerns were more common among women who received later abortions. Social reasons for the abortion were linked with significantly higher PTSD total and subscale scores for the full sample.
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From "Study Finds Later Abortions Linked to Mental Health Risks, Women Pressured" by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor 8/30/10
The study found women after 13 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to report that their partner desired the pregnancy (22.4 percent of women who had later abortions vs. 10.3 percent of women who had early abortions) and that they were pressured by someone other than their partner to abort (47.8 percent vs. 30.5 percent).
"In general, these results are indicative of more ambivalence and conflict surrounding the decision and the likelihood of less stable partner relationships among women who obtain later abortions," the authors wrote. "Logically, women who are unsure about how to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to put off the decision to abort, perhaps hoping their circumstances will improve and enable them to carry to term."
The new study also found high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for women having both early and late abortions, with 52 percent of the early abortion group and 67 percent of the late term abortion group meeting the American Psychological Association's criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD).
The 2004 Medical Science Monitor survey found that 65 percent of American women who had abortions reported experiencing symptoms of PTSD, which they attributed to their abortions. Other studies have also linked abortion to increased rates of depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems.
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