by Cullen Herout
A study published last week in the journal JAMA Psychiatry claims to show that women facing an unwanted pregnancy do not suffer any negative impact on their mental health after abortion. Carried out by the ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health) program at the University of California, San Francisco, the study sought to respond to former Surgeon General Everett Koop who articulated in 1989 that there was not enough conclusive evidence to determine the effect of abortion on a woman’s mental health.
The longitudinal study attempted to show the differences in mental health outcomes between women who had an abortion and women who wanted an abortion but were unable to have one. The study claims to be the first of its kind because it measures only women who wanted abortions, noting that this demographic of women has a qualitatively different experience of pregnancy than women who do not want abortions and proceed to give birth.
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Note: If you are experiencing pain or loss because of an abortion, please know there are many organizations where you can find help. Call 1-800-5WE-CARE.
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