Monday, December 01, 2008

Abortion can cause harm to mental health

One of the main cited reasons that more than 18,000 women have abortions each year in New Zealand is that to give birth would harm the woman's mental health.

But abortion increases the risk of mental health problems by 30 percent according to a recent Otago University study published in the December issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry. Does this mean that both giving birth and an abortion is harmful to the woman's mental health? Or is it just that giving birth is likely to increases the risk and having an abortion is even more likely to harm the woman's mental health. If so, an abortion is not really the best option, is it?

Perhaps they should compare women who are married and solo women on a benefit or at school and see who is more likely to have mental problems.

Not surprisingly, the study supports international research on the subject which also revealed a link between abortion and mental health. Like this one from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK more than 18 months ago that shows that continuing with an unwanted pregnancy does not outweigh the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion. Their statement is here[PDF].

The nutters from the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand, who would like the law reformed to fit in with current practice - try that with child abuse - have called for more research, that subscribes to their views. This is their view:
Whether or not a woman is more likely to suffer mental health problems as a consequence of having an abortion should not be the determining factor in making a decision about abortion.
The decision is not about abortion. The law states the decision is about whether to give birth or not and whether a woman is more likely to have problems, including mental problems, in giving birth. Abortion is the intended consequence of a decision not to give birth. If a woman was to have greater mental problems after an abortion than she would were she to give birth is exactly the test that should be applied for every abortion in this country.

But isn't. But that's the law. And the group that is paid to supervise this law is advocating that the law be broken for every single abortion in this country. That is why this group should be scrapped.




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