Abortion And Suicide The Grim
Abortion and suicide: the grim statistics
Pro-Choice groups and organizations such as Planned Parenthood
maintain that abortion is beneficial to women. They claim that women do not have
emotional problems after their abortions. Planned Parenthood's slogan Care. No
Matter What implies that their workers care about women and are dedicated to
helping them in difficult circumstances.
On their website, Planned Parenthood
Research studies indicate that emotional responses to legally
induced abortion are largely positive. They also indicate that emotional
problems resulting from abortion are rare and less frequent than those following
Unfortunately, statistics tell a
Two studies from Finland (1) show that women who
had abortions were 6 to 7 times more likely to commit suicide than women who
gave birth. These studies were based on medical records rather than interviews.
Researchers looked at the death certificates of women to ascertain how many died
by suicide. Then they used medical records to see how many of these women had
abortions. The fact that this study was based on medical records is significant,
because of a phenomenon called recall bias. Recall bias occurs when women are
asked on questionnaires or in person whether they had an abortion. Many times,
because of the stigma attached to the abortion procedure, women do not answer
this question honestly. This tendency to hide a past abortion often skews the
results of such studies. Therefore, studies that are based on medical records
rather than interviews are considered to be more accurate.
The study only
covered the first year after women's abortions. Many post-abortion testimonies
reveal that grief after an abortion can surface years later; sometimes a wanted
pregnancy, seeing ultrasound pictures or photographs of unborn babies, or
holding a friend's baby triggers regret, depression, and suicidal feelings. So
in reality, these studies may actually reveal only the tip of the iceberg when
it comes to suicidal feelings after abortion.
Other statistics show that
women have a higher rate of suicide after abortion. Suicide rates among women of
childbearing age are approximately 11.3 out of 100,000.
have a [suicide] rate of 34.7. Interestingly enough, women who have given birth
have a suicide rate of 5.9 per hundred thousand. Birth, then, seems to give some
protection against suicide. Perhaps women who have children discover they've
something to live for, or do not want to hurt the children that depend on them
by committing suicide. In any case, giving birth seems to be a detriment to
suicide whereas abortion increases the suicide rate.
Shortly after the
Finnish studies, researchers in Great Britain conducted their own survey of
abortion medical records. They found a similar correlation between abortion and
suicide. They found an 8.1 rate of suicide per thousand women who had abortions,
and a 1.9 rate of suicide among women who carry to term.
The statistics for
teenagers who have abortions are even more disturbing. Teen girls are 10 times
more likely to attempt suicide if they have had an abortion in the last six
months than girls who have not had an abortion, and 2-4 times more likely to
commit suicide after abortion compared to adult women.(2)
A study done by
Doctor David C Reardon, an abortion researcher and mental health professional
who helps post-abortion women revealed a 154% higher suicide rate among women
who aborted.(3) In interviews for his book, Aborted Women: Silent No More
(Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002), he discovered that up to 60% of women
experienced suicidal feelings. Dr. Reardons research was done on women who
regretted their abortions, so his data may not be applicable to all women who
have abortions. However, a 60% statistic cannot be ignored. 28% of the women he
interviewed had actually attempted suicide.
Another survey of post-abortion
women, which appeared in Women's World, revealed that 45% (well over a third) of
women had suicidal feelings following their abortions.(4).
These are just
some of the studies connecting abortion with suicide. Pro-life organizations
need to reach out to post-abortion women and give them encouragement, support,
1. Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, Suicides after
pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study, British Journal of
Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996; and M. Gissler, Injury deaths, suicides and
homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000, European J. Public
Health 15(5):459 63,2005.
2. B. Garfinkel, et al., Stress, Depression and
Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota, Responding to High Risk Youth
(University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et.
al., Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland: 1987-94: register linkage study,
British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996; and N. Campbell, et. al.,
Abortion in Adolescence, Adolescence, 23:813-823, 1988. See the Teen Abortion
Risks Fact Sheet at www.unfairchoice.info/resources.htm for more information.
3. DC Reardon et. al.,
Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income
Women, Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, Aug. 2002.
4. B. Garfinkel, et
al., Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,
Responding to High Risk Youth (University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension
Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et. al., Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland:
1987-94: register linkage study, British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996;
and N. Campbell, et. al., Abortion in Adolescence, Adolescence, 23:813-823,