(LifeSiteNews) — A recently published peer-reviewed study shows that women who end their first pregnancy through abortion use mental health services at significantly higher rates than women who had a live birth.
The women who gave birth to their first children actually used mental health services at a higher rate prior to their pregnancy than those whose first child was killed through abortion, suggesting that the abortion itself increases mental health issues.
A team of Charlotte Lozier Institute experts uncovered the findings by analyzing Medicaid claims data for over 4,800 women over a 17-year period in states where all claims for the period were submitted.
“By doing so, the team avoided the limitations of surveys that rely on self-reporting, such as low participation, loss to follow-up, and recall bias,” Charlotte Lozier Institute noted.
The researchers found that compared to women who gave birth to their first child, women who had their first child killed in abortion increased their use of mental health services in three categories:
- Outpatient visits – 3.4x more likely to increase.
- Inpatient hospital admissions – 5.7x more likely to increase.
- Days of hospital stay – 19.6x more likely to increase.
Tessa Longbons, Lozier’s senior research associate and a co-author of the study, concluded, “The evidence is clear that abortion of a first pregnancy is associated with substantial mental health harms to women. Women have a right to know this and to understand the extent of these harms before they make such a life-changing decision.”
Lead author James Studnicki, Sc.D., CLI’s vice president and director of data analytics, pointed out that the team’s findings corroborate studies from Finland, Italy, China, Germany, Korea and the United States which have all linked abortion with a heightened risk of worsened mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and suicide.
“Some researchers insist that any limits on abortion to protect mothers and children create ‘mental health harms,’” said Studnicki in a statement for CLI. “Our study using years of claims data adds to an extensive body of international, peer-reviewed science showing the opposite – abortion itself has a significant negative impact on several measures of mental health.”
The Institute’s Unwanted Abortion Studies has found that the majority of women who have had abortions describe their abortions as unwanted, coerced or inconsistent with their own values, which CLI noted is in turn “strongly associated with a self-described decline in mental health.”
One survey of 226 women with a history of abortion found that 33 percent identified their abortion as wanted, 43 percent as “accepted but inconsistent with their values and preferences,” and 24 percent as unwanted or coerced.
One study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that women who underwent an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems.
The research revealed that abortion was associated with a 34 percent increased risk for anxiety disorders; 37 percent greater risk of depression; 110 percent greater risk of alcohol abuse; and 220 percent greater risk of marijuana use/abuse.
Abortion was also linked with a 155 percent greater risk of attempting to commit suicide.
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