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Study: Post-abortive women at increased risk of mental health issues after subsequent pregnancies

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A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that abortion increases a woman’s risk of developing postpartum mental health issues in subsequent pregnancies that she carries to term.

In looking at the first live births of 1,939,078 women using Medicaid, the study authors found that 10.7% of these women (207,654), experienced at least one postpartum psychiatric treatment (PPT) within six months of the delivery and 11.2% (216,828) had at least one pregnancy loss by either abortion or miscarriage prior to their first live birth.

“Overall, the 216,828 women with one or more pregnancy losses prior to their first live births were about 35% more likely to require PPTs than women who delivered their first pregnancies,” reads the study. “[…] Overall, PPT treatment was twice as likely to occur within the first 90 days after delivery compared to the next 90 days, but a history of pregnancy loss was associated with a 43% increased risk of PPT within the first three months and a 21% increased risk in the second three months.”

In addition, the risk of requiring inpatient versus outpatient treatment for those mental health concerns was 83% higher for those with a history of pregnancy loss, and there was a 22% increased risk that PPT treatment was sought in an emergency room setting.

READ: Traumatized by a past abortion, she was unable to hold her newborn son

The abortion industry has long ignored women suffering from post-traumatic stress and mental health issues related to abortion trauma, but abortion has been known to increase a woman’s risk of depression, alcohol and drug use, and suicide. This latest study shows that these issues can be triggered by the births of other children.

“For at least some women, the joy of a newborn child arouses memories and feelings of grief, and even self-blame, for previously lost pregnancies,” said the Elliot Institute’s David Reardon, lead author of the study. “These new findings show that this phenomenon occurs frequently enough to show up in statistically validated analyses of large populations.”

While a prior history of mental illness was a strong predictor of the increased risk of postpartum mental illness, it could not fully explain the effects observed in this study. For women with no prior history of mental illness, nearly 40% required PPT treatments after their first delivery following abortion or miscarriage. However, for women who received mental health treatments within a year before their first pregnancy loss, over 99% required PPT treatment after their first delivery following abortion or miscarriage.

“Pregnancy loss is its own independent risk factor,” explained Reardon. “But there are also interactions between prior mental health and pregnancy loss. And the timing of the first occurrence of mental health problems is also important.”

Abortion can cause new mental health concerns in women, but it can also aggravate pre-existing mental health conditions, according to Reardon. In addition to the study, women’s own testimonies describe the negative effects of abortion on their mental health.

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