By Gudrun Schultz
LONDON, United Kingdom, October 30, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New evidence that abortion causes significantly increased risk of mental illness in women cannot be downplayed by the medical profession, a group of leading UK doctors has warned.Â
The group of 15 senior obstetricians and psychiatrists cited a recent New Zealand study, published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, that found an increased level of mental health problems after abortions in women with no previous history of psychological problems, in a letter to The Times.
Women who have had abortions are twice as likely to have psychological problems and three times as likely to suffer from depression as women who have given birth or never been pregnant, the doctors said.
Women should be warned of the potential risk to their mental health caused by abortion, they stated, and the risk to the mental health of the mother must be a factor in doctors’ decision to approve abortions.
“Since women having abortions can no longer be said to have a low risk of suffering from psychiatric conditions such as depression, doctors have a duty to advise about long-term adverse psychological consequences of abortion,” the letter stated.
“We suggest the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Royal College of Psychiatrists revise their guidance and that future abortion notifications clearly distinguish between physical and mental health grounds for abortion.”
The doctors pointed out that the American Psychological Association, while avoiding any official warning of the dangers to mental health caused by abortion, did withdraw an official statement denying a link between abortion and psychological damage, in response to the New Zealand study.
The Times reported that of the more than six million abortions performed in Britain since abortion was legalized in 1967, 95 percent were done on the grounds of the mental or physical health of the mother, or the welfare of existing children.
In related new, The Times reported October 27 on a 44-year-old woman who attempted suicide while suffering from depression and psychosis after she aborted her third child in May, 2000.
Sue Hulbert, mother of two, had planned the pregnancy with her partner but the relationship began to deteriorate soon after and she felt unable to cope with the pregnancy and birth on her own.
She was distraught over the decision to abort the child, the Times reported, but was given no counseling by the abortion staff other than advice that she wait an hour and think about the decision.
“To this day I still don’t know why I did it. I woke up crying and knew I had done the wrong thing and sunk into a depression almost straight away,” Hulbert said.
A lecturer in exercise physiology, who describes herself as pro-choice, Hulbert suffered from nightmares and hallucinations after the abortion, and began to fall into debt. Despite going on antidepressants and seeking counseling with the organization British Victims of Abortion, Hulbert took a drug overdose in December 2001, more than 18 months after the abortion.
“I had never suffered from any mental illness before and I had never been depressed and, really, I am the last person who you would expect to react like this. But I was haunted by my abortion and it robbed me of all my confidence,” she said.
After her suicide attempt, she eventually received psychiatric help with support from her family and friends.
Read the UK doctors’ statement:
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Abortion Causes Mental Disorders: New Zealand Study May Require Doctors To Do Fewer Abortions
“Evidence Doesn’t Matter” in APA Abortion Advocacy