Monday, 9 July 2012

Guest Post: Abortion & maternal mental health report

Many thanks to Family Planning NZ for allowing me to publish the below from their e-newsletter:

A report released in December 2011 by the United Kingdom National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health was commissioned to review the best available evidence on any association between induced abortion and mental health outcomes, and draw conclusions where possible.  The report concluded that, on the best evidence available: 
  • The rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same whether they had an abortion or gave birth.
  • An unwanted pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of mental health problems.
  • The most reliable predictor of post-abortion mental health problems for women was having a history of mental health problems before the abortion. 
  • The factors associated with increased rates of mental health problems for women in the general population and following abortion were similar. 
  • There were some additional factors associated with an increased risk of mental health problems specifically related to abortion, such as pressure from a partner to have an abortion and negative attitudes towards abortions in general and towards a woman’s personal experience of the abortion. 
Here's a link to the full PDF of the report.

1 comment:

Captiver said...

Thanks Julie. Now wish the endless letter writers to the Southland Times touting the 'abortion causes mental health problems' line would take a look. i.e. the letter writers who want to ensure that Southlanders seeking abortion care have to travel extra distances to Dunedin, just because they care so much about, you know, the stress and emotional troubles allegedly associated with abortion. (Background to this comment: Southern DHB wants to provide abortion care for Southlanders by setting up a local service, instead of sending people to Dunedin for care. Scads of antis oppose this, even though it won't change abortion numbers, it will just mean a local service instead of extra travel.)