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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Thursday, December 18, 2008

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.


Contact: Matthew Cullinan Hoffman


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Publish Date: December 17, 2008

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

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