Document Detail

Mental health and abortion: review and analysis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2682716     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This survey of studies which relate to the emotional sequelae of induced abortion, draws attention to the need for more long-term, in-depth prospective studies. The literature to this point finds no psychiatric indications for abortion, and no satisfactory evidence that abortion improves the psychological state of those not mentally ill; abortion is contra-indicated when psychiatric disease is present, as mental ill-health has been shown to be worsened by abortion. Recent studies are turning up an alarming rate of post-abortion complications such as P.I.D., and subsequent infertility. The emotional impact of these complications needs to be studied. Other considerations looked at are the long-term demographic implications of abortion on demand and the effect on the medical professions.
The majority of abortions performed today are due to social or psychological reasons. In the 1950's, 50% of all abortions were justified for psychiatric reasons; that figure today is closer to 95%. The reasons for therapeutic abortion cannot justify the psychological trauma that mentally unstable women go through after an abortion; data available today supports this theory. There have been a number of studies that have tried to prove that abortion is not harmful to a woman's state of mind. However, the flaws of these studies include: the lack of controlled studies where abortions are randomized as a treatment for pregnancy; not taking into account the woman's state of mind before the pregnancy; use of questionnaires to gain information on well-suppressed feelings; and few studies with comparison groups. It has also been discovered that women who had elective abortions suffered higher psychological trauma than women who gave birth to stillborn children. However, emotional distress was found to be higher among women that had repeat abortions. In other studies, it was found that women who had previous abortions and were looking forward to being pregnant were more anxious about the pregnancy than women who had never had abortions. Recent studies on women that have had abortions show that they run a greater risk of complications such as: eclampsia, bleeding, miscarriage, maternal mortality and post-partum complications. Past abortions may also have an effect on the relationship which exists between the mother and surviving children. Some studies have also discovered feelings of shame and uneasiness in medical personnel who conduct abortions. Factors such as amniocentesis, eugenics and demography figure prominently in the prevalence of abortions.
P G Ney; A R Wickett
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychiatric journal of the University of Ottawa : Revue de psychiatrie de l'Université d'Ottawa     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0702-8466     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychiatr J Univ Ott     Publication Date:  1989 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-12-19     Completed Date:  1989-12-19     Revised Date:  2004-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703518     Medline TA:  Psychiatr J Univ Ott     Country:  CANADA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  506-16     Citation Subset:  E; IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Abortion, Induced / adverse effects,  psychology*
Follow-Up Studies
Mental Disorders / etiology
Mental Health*
Mentally Ill Persons
Pregnant Women
Risk Assessment*
Comment In:
Psychiatr J Univ Ott. 1990 Sep;15(3):183-6   [PMID:  2243885 ]
Psychiatr J Univ Ott. 1990 Nov;15(4):237   [PMID:  2284379 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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