Women who have abortions are at risk of severe mental health problems, new research has found.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries has put down an amendment to a Health Bill which requires women seeking abortion to see an independent counsellor first 

By Daily Telegraph reporter

7:08AM BST 01 Sep 2011

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The study showed that those who undergo abortion face nearly double the risk of mental health difficulties compared with others and that one in ten of all mental health problems was a result of an abortion.


The findings come as Tory MP Nadine Dorries, backed by Labour’s Frank Field, has put down an amendment to a Health Bill which requires women seeking abortion to see an independent counsellor first.


Currently organisations which provide abortions offer counselling, but critics say the advice given can often be biased.

The latest research was carried out by American academic Priscilla Coleman and published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

It adds to previous findings made public by the journal three years ago which first questioned the assumption of abortion campaigners that terminating a pregnancy reduces rather than increases the health risks to women.

Professor Coleman’s study was based on an analysis of 22 separate projects which analysed the experiences of a total of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had had an abortion.

It said: “Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure.

“Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10 per cent of the incidence of mental health problems were shown to be directly attributable to abortion.”

The study said that abortion was linked with a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders, and 37 per cent higher possibility of depression, a more than double risk of alcohol abuse – 110 per cent – a three times greater risk of cannabis use – at 220 per cent – and 155 per cent greater risk of trying to commit suicide.

Professor Coleman said her research was intended “to produce an unbiased analysis of the best available evidence addressing abortion as one risk factor among many others that may increase the likelihood of mental health problems”.

She added: “There are in fact some real risks associated with abortion that should be shared with women as they are counselled prior to an abortion.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2033806/Depression-women-doubles-1970s-try-all.html#ixzz1X3ykm3yj