New Study: High Rates of Psychological Problems and Death Among Post-Abortive Women

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.

Related LifeSiteNews Coverage:

Study Confirms Abortion Increases Risk of Depression

New Research Supports Abortion-Mental Health Risk Claims

“Evidence Doesn’t Matter” in APA Abortion Advocacy

Abortion-Depression Study Flawed And Misleading

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  • DRF

    Yes, but these results go away when one controls for pre-abortion mental status. Women who are depressed or manic before they have an abortion tend to still be depressed or manic after.

  • DWC

    DRF – what are you talking about? What is your position? Site evidence please. This survey has some pretty aggressive numbers … one’s that I don’t think can be overlooked with your statement.


  • Pingback: Shocking Revelation: Abortion Bad for Women « Being Fed()

  • Lucky Mom of 7

    Even if DRF’s comments are true, it still warrants questioning the role abortion plays in the dynamic. I think it would certainly be prudent to conclude that abortion is part of a deeply dysfunctional dynamic even if they depression/manic status is a carryover from the pre-abortion phase.


  • GaryT

    DRF, the article above does not cite a control group (i.e. pregnant women diagnosed with psycological disorders but keep the child), so while asking about one is reasonable (I would), you are speculating what the answer is, unless you have seen the report yourself.

    That said, the number of post-abortive groups in existence today to support women who have had abortions and are struggling with the spiritual and psychological effects from it should be evidence enough that an abortion is NOT simply an elective procedure.

  • daughterofeve

    Abortion not only kills a child, it’s the ultimate form of abuse toward women. This only proves it.

  • plowshare

    Unfortunately, the reading of the study has been challenged by someone who says she has read the original study:
    An excerpt from her comment:

    It says: 80% AMONG THE WOMEN WHO DO HAVE A PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM AFTER ABORTION 80% show symptoms of depression. This is not the same as if 80% of ALL women having an abortion would suffer from these symptoms.

    Does anyone know how to access this study? It was careless of LifeSiteNews not to give a reference to the study itself. Nor did the Catholic News Agency in its report.