Voluntary abortion does not harm mental health

Abortion is a difficult problem to solve, leaving behind ideological filters. It has always aroused many passions and strong opinions, which has polarized the debate. This is partly why many women are very concerned about the prospect of having an abortion; it is an option that has received a lot of importance, either to present it as a form of murder or to make it an expression of the freedom to decide about one’s own body.

But just because there are political and religious ideologies at play doesn’t mean science has nothing to say. In fact, a thorough investigation has recently been carried out in which studied, over 5 years, how abortion or its absence affected the well-being of a number of women. In this way, it was possible to know if in most cases the abortion produces a great feeling of sadness and guilt which can lead to frequent anxiety attacks, trauma, depression, etc.

Abortion and psychological damage

Part of the negative factors that are often associated with abortion is the high risk of being traumatized, becoming depressed, or generally damaging your mental health as a result of this process. However, the most comprehensive research that has been done on this topic has concluded that no, there is no negative psychological effect that must necessarily occur after a voluntary abortion.

Does this mean that the fear engendered by the prospect of abortion was the result of a propaganda campaign against the practice? It is too complex a subject to have a clear answer at the moment.

But there is more. Not only do the women who approach do not have significant psychological distress years after their visit to the clinic, but it happens with the other group of women, those who cannot have an abortion.

like that, women who are not allowed to have an abortion are those who have symptoms related to mental disorders and general discomfort. Specifically, these women were more likely to show low self-esteem, significantly more anxiety, and a high level of general discomfort. In addition, her desire for an abortion remains and her level of anxiety affects many areas of her day-to-day life.

How was the study conducted?

To develop this research, a group of 956 volunteers was used and interviewed 11 times in 5 years. Some of them were able to have an abortion, while others did not have this possibility, having gone to the clinic in a state of too advanced pregnancy.

Therefore, a large sample was used which was studied as part of a longitudinal study, conducting two interviews per year be able to monitor the psychological well-being of these people.

As the waves of interviews followed one another, an image of the happiness (or lack of it) of these women, in terms of abortion, was created.

The results of this research were published in the scientific journal JAMA Psychiatry, and you can view them by clicking here.

Psychological impact

These results bear witness to the psychologically harmful impact of the inability to abort women who opt for this option. While it may seem like pregnancy is the ‘normal’ option and fighting it means stepping out of the natural path, this data points to the opposite: faced with an unwanted pregnancy, the path is bifurcated into two options, and abortion does not produce the mental effects that according to the myth it would engender.

Of course, this may be information that serves to weaken one of the positions in the abortion debate, but it is nonetheless true that the design of the study was not made to favor the ‘one of these result options. Would have more chances to get out.

Anyway, in the end, it is a struggle of moral ideas, and in this regard science can only provide data that is used as a tool in such debates (without this having to be particularly bad in itself).

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