Is there a link between an Abortion leading to Mental health disorders?

Mental health problems are becoming increasingly more common. Rates of mental health for men and for women are nearly the same, however structures of mental health illness are more different. Some of the main psychiatric disorders for women are depression, anxiety and somatic complaints. Where as for men some of the main psychiatric disorders are antisocial personality disorder as well as alcohol dependable disorder. (WHO, ND)

 There is a lot of help available for people suffering from a mental health disorder but but we don’t always have the answers of what has caused a person to have a mental health disorder. In modern society one of the main areas of research that is still current for women’s mental health is whether there is any relation to women who are having mental health problems and have abortion history. This could have been years apart. Currently if a lady has had an abortion there is no need for them to have counselling afterwards. Counselling is offered but not mandatory for women in this situation. Many women go through this and feel that they need to deal with it themselves as well as the social stigma guilt and grief that women go through. It is a lot to deal with and it can take over a woman;s life trying to deal with it on their own, leading to more women having mental health problems.

One article suggests that most women don’t need counselling afterwards and that they should talk to a trusted friend. This is a good idea to start with but what happens if the feeling of guilt and grief take over. Or the trusted friend is not so supportive? The NHS also say that there is no link between abortion and long term mental health problems. However it does not say anything about short term mental health problems. (NHS, 2012)

However another article by Dr. Priscilla Coleman suggests that abortion has a clear link with long term health problems such as panic attacks, depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. (Coleman, P 2008)

This discussion of the implications of mental health and abortion having any relation have been traced back to as far as 1987. Yet it is still not seen as a need for proper counselling being mandatory for all women. There is a lot more research needed to see if there really is a link between the two, however research into this needs to be done ethically so that if the is a clear link it will be in the woman’s best interest and more help is given.

Read more:


Anon (ND) Do you require psychological counselling after you have had an abortion? Retrieved from (April 2012)

Anon (ND) Gender and womans mental health Retrieved from (April 2012)

Coleman, P (September 2008) Isolating the effects of abortion in the national comorbidity survey. Retrieved from

Major, B et al ( December 2009) Abortion ann mental health, evaluating the evidence. Retrieved from (April 2012)

Sifferlis, A (March 2012) Study Linking Abortion to Mental Health Problems Is Flawed. Retrieved from (April 2012)


One thought on “Is there a link between an Abortion leading to Mental health disorders?

  1. bonitadavies says:

    Rubin and Russo (2004) suggest that while there is currently little physical or mental health risks associated with legal abortions, but the politics surrounding abortion attempt to portray abortion as stressful and traumatic so as to create a ‘post-abortion syndrome’.
    However an issue with the findings of Major et al. (2009) is that the findings that there is little risk is that it was in comparison to the risk and likelihood of mental health issues associated with delivering an unwanted baby. This may be misleading as this in fact may be a traumatic event.

    Major, B., Appelbaum, M., Beckman, L., Dutton, M. A., Russo, N. F., & West, C. (2009). Abortion and mental health: Evaluating the evidence. American Psychologist, 64(9), 863-890.

    Rubin, L., & Russo, N. F. (2004). Abortion and mental health: What therapists need to know. Woman and Therapy, 27(3-4), 69-90.

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