Abortion and subsequent mental health: Review of the literature
Authors: Carlo Bellieni, MD and Giuseppe Buonocore, MD.
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2013; 67: 301-310.
“The studies analyzed here show that abortion is a risk factor for subsequent mental illness when compared with childbirth; data show that even when compared with the other two possible outcomes (miscarriage or the birth of an unplanned baby) the risk is greater or similar. Even miscarriage is a risk factor for subsequent mental illness, although the evidence for this risk has not been investigated so widely and seems lower than for abortion. Some consequences can be drawn. The first is that fetal loss is traumatic. It is a risk factor for mental illness – both in the case of abortion and in miscarriage – and its impact on a woman’s life can erroneously be underestimated. Most studies show that abortion has a greater impact on women’s mental health than childbearing; all remaining studies show similar mental consequences and only one seems to have noted a worse outcome for childbearing.”