SIENA, ITALY, July 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – A new metastudy performed by researchers at the University of Siena seems to show a clear link between abortion and subsequent mental illnesses like depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leading the study’s authors to call for additional research dedicated to the issue.

Dr. Carlo V. Bellini and Guiseppe Buonocore analyzed 30 studies of post-abortive women published between 1995 and 2011 to find out whether the data supported a link between abortion and mental illness, especially depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD and substance abuse.

They found that in 13 studies, abortion was found to be a greater risk factor than childbirth for developing at least one of those disorders, while only one study found childbirth to be more likely to lead to later mental problems.  An additional five studies showed no difference in outcome, but among those five studies, at least one included among its post-abortion statistics women who had chosen selective reduction of multiples and whose desired remaining babies survived.

The study also compared post-abortive women to women who had experienced miscarriages, and found that while “short-term anxiety and depression were higher in the miscarriage group … long-term anxiety and depression were present only in the abortion group.”

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“[F]etal loss seems to expose women to a higher risk for mental disorders than childbirth,” the researchers wrote, and “some studies show that abortion can be considered a more relevant risk factor than miscarriage.”

The researchers concluded by saying “more research is needed in this field.”

A similar metastudy conducted in 2011 by Priscilla K. Coleman, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, examined 22 studies on post-abortive women and found that women who underwent an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.

The study also found that almost 10% of all women’s mental health problems are directly linked to abortion.

According to Coleman’s study, abortion was associated with a 34% increased risk for anxiety disorders; 37% greater risk of depression; 110% greater risk of alcohol abuse and 220% greater risk of marijuana use/abuse.  Abortion was also linked with a 155% greater risk of attempting to commit suicide.