SPRINGFIELD, IL, October 29, 2002 ( - Mental health officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have designated October as National Depression Awareness and Education Month. The Elliot Institute, an organization that deals with the effects of abortion is taking the opportunity to draw attention to three studies published this year linking abortion to higher rates of clinical depression and suicide.  The first of the three, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (2002; 24:151-2), examined a national survey of American women whose first pregnancies were unintended. Examining depression scores an average of eight years after the unintended pregnancies, researchers found that women who women who have abortions are at significantly greater risk of clinical depression than women who carry their unintended pregnancies to term.  The second study, from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (2002; 72(1):141-52), reveals that after controlling for prior history of mental illness, women who abort subsequently require more mental health treatments than women who deliver. The researchers examined Medi- Cal records for 173,000 low-income California women for four years following their pregnancy outcomes. Abortion was most strongly associated with higher rates of subsequent treatment for neurotic depression, bipolar disorder, adjustment reactions, and schizophrenic disorders.  In the third study (2002; 95(8):834-841), researchers examined death records linked to Medi-Cal payments for births and abortions and discovered that women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following two years. They also discovered that the higher mortality rate of aborting women persisted over at least eight years. After controlling for prior psychiatric history, abortion was associated with a three times higher risk of death from suicide over the eight years examined. A similar study of all women in Finland found that compared to non-pregnant women and delivering women, women who had abortions were 3.7 and 6.5 times (respectively) more likely to commit suicide within one year.  For more information see the Elliot Institute at:

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