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New Study on the Psychological Harm of Abortion

A new study entitled Late-Term Elective Abortion and Susceptibility to Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms has been published in the Journal of Pregnancy by Dr Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University in the US.   This is the first study ever to show detail of the experiences of women having early abortions (up to 12 weeks) compared to those having late abortions (13 weeks onwards). 52% of the early abortion group and 67% of the late term abortion group met the American Psychological Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD).

The results show breakdowns of whether partners desired the pregnancy, and if there was pressure to abort from people other than partners.  In both sets of data, women faced high levels of external pressure, but later in pregnancy they faced particularly high pressure (47.8% compared to 30.5%).

Sadly nearly 40% of women in the survey said they wanted the baby and fewer than 14% said they received adequate pre-abortion counselling or information on alternatives or physical and emotional risks.

Although these read as ‘just figures’, each of these statistics represents a woman who has suffered a terrible injury as a mother.  In each case, a child has tragically died through lack of care and support for its mother.  Is this really a ‘woman’s right to choose’?  The right of women to be protected during their pregnancy is being compromised in the name of ‘choice’.

Rebecca Ng from the ProLife Alliance comments that when women are at their most vulnerable and should be supported, it is terrible that so many are pressured in this way.  Small wonder that they suffer long-term psychological problems.  The ProLife Alliance joins the authors of the study in calling for more counselling and support for women considering abortion at any stage.

The full study can be accessed on http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jp/2010/130519.html.