Abortion mental health risk revealed in major study

Women who have had an abortion are at a much greater risk of mental health problems than those who have not, according to major new analysis of research.

The analysis, which was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, said: “Overall, the results revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 per cent increased risk of mental health problems”.

It added that almost 10 per cent of mental health problems in those studied were directly linked to abortion.


The study came from an analysis of projects which looked at the experiences of 877,000 women, 163,831 of whom had opted for an abortion.

Prof Priscilla Coleman, who carried out the study, said it 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”.

Prof Coleman concluded: “This review offers the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature.

“The results revealed moderate to high increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.”


The analysis revealed that abortion was linked with a 34 per cent higher risk for anxiety disorders and a 37 per cent higher risk of depression.

In May sobering statistics revealed that the number of abortions in England and Wales had risen by eight per cent over the past decade.

The figures from the Department of Health also revealed that the number of babies aborted because of a disability had leapt by nearly ten per cent in just one year.

Last year 189,574 abortions were carried out on women residing in England and Wales. In 2000 175,542 terminations were recorded – more than 14,000 fewer.

Related Resources