APA Reports on Abortion and Mental Health
On August 12th, the American Psychological Association issued a press release regarding the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion’s review of the evidence on abortion and the possibility of negative mental health outcomes. The release states:
“The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy, the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion or deliver that pregnancy,” said Brenda Major, PhD, chair of the task force. “The evidence regarding the relative mental health risks associated with multiple abortions is more uncertain.”
The task force found that some studies indicate that some women do experience sadness, grief and feelings of loss following an abortion, and some may experience “clinically significant disorders, including depression and anxiety.” However, the task force found “no evidence sufficient to support the claim that an observed association between abortion history and mental health was caused by the abortion per se, as opposed to other factors.”
The complete report can be freely downloaded as a PDF from the APA website. The Task Force noted a lack of well-designed research on the subject, explaining that “One of the task force’s chief recommendations is for better-designed, rigorously conducted future research on the topic to ‘help disentangle confounding factors and establish relative risks of abortion compared to its alternatives.'”
I’m working on a longer piece on this topic, so will not dissect it in detail for this post, but hope to share the link with you in the months to come.