Abortion Linked to Mental Health Problems

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Two separate studies - one in the Journal of Psychiatric Research and the other, in the British Journal of Psychiatry - both stated the same thing: Women who had abortions experienced more mental problems than women who did not.

The problems included issues such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Such findings came as no surprise to Dr. Linda Mintle, who counsels women who've had abortions.

"Abortion is a loss," Mintle explained. "It's a loss of a life and so it only makes sense that even though you thought in your mind that this is what you wanted to do, it feels very out of control once they do it, so that out of control loss feeling results in anxiety."

Women sometimes reach for drugs and alcohol to escape those heavy emotions.

The Politics of Abortion

In contrast to the studies linking abortion and mental health problems, the American Psychological Association issued a report stating there was no connection between abortion and mental health issues.

But some experts dispute those findings.

"I have to tell you that I feel there is a lot of political pressure put on researchers and therapists to not really talk about the down side of abortion because there is such a strong pro-choice lobby in this country," Mintle said.

Mintle says women considering abortions should be warned about the negative feelings they'll experience when it's over.

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