For decades, abortion proponents have argued that the procedure is one without psychological side effects. There’s no doubt that some women have abortions and come through it without problems–some seem almost cheerful about it. What I’ve noticed, however, is that those who have come through unscathed tend to assume that only those who were already mental cases are likely to be harmed by the experience. Not so, says an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Mary Davenport reports on it for the American Thinker:

An important meta-analysis published today in the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry demonstrates that nearly 10% of mental health problems in women are directly attributable to abortion.  “Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009,” by Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green University, shows that women with an abortion history have an 81% increased risk of mental health problems and 155% increased risk of suicide.  This meta-analysis combines 22 studies of 877,181 women, 163, 831 of whom have had abortions.  A meta-analysis is an especially powerful type of study because it includes a large number of subjects, and by combining studies is much more reliable than a single study.

This review, which is larger than any study to date, contradicts the recent and biased and less systematic review by the American Psychological Association, which fails to find a relationship between mental health problems and abortion.  The new meta-analysis also contradicts the stance of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which has been silent on the mental health impact of abortion in its official publications despite overwhelming evidence over the last two decades of abortion’s adverse effects.

This new review in a prestigious psychiatry journal sheds important light on the mental health of women. For example, South Korea not only has had a major increase in suicide but also holds the world record for the highest rate of female suicide.  This country is also called “the abortion paradise” because at least 43.7% of pregnancies end in abortion.   Suicide of young women is also a significant public health problem in China, which compounds the harmful psychological impact of abortion by governmental policy of forced abortion.  The most sobering finding in the Coleman review is found in the section on “Population Attributable Risk,” (PAR), in which the PAR for suicide was found to be 34.9%. PAR estimates the proportion of deaths in an entire population that could be prevented if the cause of death is eliminated (in this case abortion as the cause of suicide in women). By so powerfully linking abortion to mental health problems, the Coleman study helps us comprehend the magnitude of the damage done to entire nations by reckless, permissive abortion policies.

At least a couple of things jump out at me. One is this pair of numbers: “81% increased risk of mental health problems and 155% increased risk of suicide” in women who have abortions. I think  it’s safe to say that if a drug was found to have those kinds of side effects, it would be pulled from the market in short order, with feminist organizations leading the charge. You don’t have to argue for a total ban on abortion to see in these numbers a public health problem of large enough proportions that it should result in it being significantly curtailed. Not that it will, but it should.

The other is Dr. Davenport’s reference to the ACOG and APA. At this point in history, I think one could make the argument that most if not all professional medical associations in the United States are so politicized on the issue of abortion that their judgments are no longer to be trusted. Certainly there are plenty of professionals within those organizations who still look at the facts and render judgment on the basis of them (Dr. Davenport is obviously one of those), but the leadership is another story. Just remember that the next time the American Medical Association, for example, makes a pronouncement on abortion, or for that matter any other cultural hot button issue within their purview.

(Via Stand Firm.)