Thursday, July 4, 2019

How do abortifacients affect mental health? We still don’t know

Women should be no more reluctant to terminate a pregnancy than they should be to have their wisdom teeth removed. That is the conclusion one must draw from the pro-choice movement’s claim that abortion is merely a “women’s health issue”. But what if abortion itself has a negative impact on women’s health?

There is certainly some evidence that points in this direction. In September 2011, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a study of 877,000 women which suggested that women who had terminated a pregnancy were 81 per cent more likely to experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety, as well as alcohol abuse. Shockingly, they were 155 per cent more likely to commit suicide than women who hadn’t procured an abortion.

Pro-choicers counter this by arguing that these averse effects are actually caused by social pressure. They claim that a woman is subjected to a culture that “perpetuates shame” for making this decision about their “healthcare”. However, an exhaustive new study suggests that the effects are not social, but intrinsic to abortion.

Over the past three years, a team of neuroscientists from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Catholic university in Ohio, and San Sebastián University in Chile have tested mifepristone and misoprostol, two common abortion-inducing drugs (abortifacients), on pregnant rats. They found that the rats “experienced significant adverse effects including: depression, loss of appetite, anxiety, and decreased self-care”.

[Read more at the Catholic Herald.]

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