By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
MADRID, December 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A preliminary report by a working group of psychiatrists studying the psychological effects of abortion states that women who obtain abortions have significantly elevated rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, sexual disturbances, and other psychological disorders. They also die at higher rates than non-abortive women.
The report, which examines manifestations of Post-Abortion Syndrome, was authored by Carmen Gomez-Lavin of the University of Navarra in Spain. It states that 80 percent of women who had had abortions suffer from symptoms of depression, and 40 percent have contemplated suicide.
In addition, 70% of such women exhibit irritability, 60% suffer behavioral disturbances, 40% experience sexual disturbances, and 30% have been involved in drug abuse.
The report also states that women who obtain abortions have a mortality rate 3.5 to 6 times higher, and a suicide rate between 6 and 7 times higher than that of women who give birth.
Such high rates of psychological pathology among post-abortive women is particularly relevant in Spain, where the law does not currently permit purely elective abortions. Criminal penalties are waived only under certain conditions, including cases of rape and fetal deformity, and danger to the physical and psychological health of the mother.
The psychological health exemption, which requires a diagnosis by a psychologist, is believed to account for well over 95% of all abortions that occur in Spain. However, the revelations of Gomez-Lavin’s report may cast significant doubt on the claim that abortion can be a “therapeutic” measure for pregnant women.
Under Spain’s current legal regime, over a million surgical abortions have been carried out since 1985, and the rate has climbed substantially in recent years, exceeding 110,000 annually.
“The scientific evidence demonstrates that having an abortion, far from improving the psychological health of the woman, causes serious psychological disturbances in a majority of them,” writes Gomez-Lavin.
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