1 in 3 Women Worldwide Become Depressed after Abortion: Study
One out of every three women who has an abortion develops full-blown depression because of her choice, according to a scholarly review of data tracking post-abortive women around the world.
“[T]he occurrence of post-abortion depression was found to be highly prevalent,” concluded a meta-analysis published in BMC Psychiatry in October, in which researchers reviewed 15 studies involving 18,207 post-abortive women globally. “Individuals who have undergone an abortion should receive additional care and psychological support from healthcare providers, as well as their spouse, family, and community.”
“The findings revealed that the worldwide prevalence of post-abortion depression was estimated to be 34.5%,” the meta-analysis revealed. Planned Parenthood has often normalized abortion by claiming, “One in four American women will have an abortion by age 45.” Experts found that one in three of those women will develop depression as a result of their abortion.
In some nations, the share of women who feel depressed after undergoing an abortion is as high as 85%, noted the meta-analysis.
“Depression is a major public health concern, with women being twice as likely as men to experience depression during their lifetime. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide,” the experts wrote.
The 15 studies the authors compared spanned the globe: three studies from China, two studies each from Germany and Iran, and one study each from Australia, Denmark, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Turkey.
Yet the experts’ findings fall in line with studies focused on the United States and Canada. A 2011 meta-analysis found “a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion.” A survey taken earlier this year found that 55% of women who call themselves “pro-choice” struggle emotionally after an abortion, and one-third of women (34%) who had a chemical abortion “reported an adverse change in themselves, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.” A Canadian study found that post-abortive women more than double their chance of becoming addicted to alcohol, and more than triple their likelihood of drug abuse thanks directly to the abortion, after researchers controlled for other factors.
The increasingly undeniable universality of post-abortion depression in women across multiple nations and cultures has led the abortion industry to deflect blame from the abortion itself to “abortion stigma.” But pro-life advocates say the facts speak for themselves.
“The new meta-analysis revealing that one in three women suffer serious depression after an abortion affirms what we all innately know to be true: Abortion goes against a woman’s very nature. From the moment of her child’s conception onward, a mother’s life will always exist in relationship to her child. That child is, and always will be, a part of her. Science demonstrates this very clearly,” Mary Szoch, director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. “A mother’s own DNA is altered by the child she is carrying. A mother’s unborn child literally leaves behind an imprint in her mother’s DNA changing that mother’s DNA to include a part of the child.”
“When the abortion industry peddles the lie to a mom that killing her unborn child will save her future, what they are really asking that mother to do is to kill her unborn child and part of herself,” Szoch told TWS.
The meta-analysis found the average rate of depression after an elective abortion varied little by continent, with the highest level in Asia (37%), and the lowest in Europe (33%), wrote Natnael Atnafu Gebeyehu of Walaita Sodo University and seven other Ethiopian researchers in their paper, “Global prevalence of post-abortion depression: systematic review and meta-analysis.” But income seemed to significantly impact the scores: lower-middle-income nations saw the highest levels of post-abortion depression at 43%, with high-income nations experiencing depression at 25%. Studies surveyed by the new meta-analysis ranged from a reported low of 8.6% (in a study involving a low number of subjects) to 85% of women in 2019, shortly after the People’s Republic of China ended its one-child policy, with a regimen of compulsory abortion.
The new meta-analysis also found rates of depression varied widely based on the criteria researchers used to diagnose depression. Studies which used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale as their diagnostic tool found roughly half as many depressive people as those that employed the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale.
“It is tragic that so many women and their children have been victims of the abortion industry,” Szoch told TWS. “It is important that post-abortive mothers know God’s mercy is unfathomable, and it is stronger than our misery and sin. All anyone has to do is to open their heart to the Lord and ask for His healing love. He will take care of everything else.”
“Project Rachel Ministry is a wonderful resource for any woman struggling with post-abortive depression,” Szoch added.
If there is one thing post-abortive women should remember when they begin to feel discouragement, said Szoch, it is this: “There is hope!”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.