What affect does abortion have on mental health?

A 2018 review of literature took an objective look at the abortion and mental health controversy.

“There is general agreement that (a) abortion is consistently associated with elevated rates of mental illness compared to women without a history of abortion; (b) the abortion experience directly contributes to mental health problems for at least some women; (c) there are risk factors, such as pre-existing mental illness, that identify women at greatest risk of mental health problems after an abortion; and (d) it is impossible to conduct research in this field in a manner that can definitively identify the extent to which any mental illnesses following abortion can be reliably attributed to abortion in and of itself.”

“Common ground among researchers exists regarding the very basic fact that at least some women do have significant mental health issues that are caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience. In many cases, this may be due to feeling pressured into an abortion or choosing an abortion without sufficient attention to maternal desires or moral beliefs that may make it difficult to reconcile one’s choice with one’s self-identity.”

It is clear that mental health should be considered when contemplating an abortion procedure.  We’ll explore more about emotional and psychological risks associated with abortion in future posts.

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To share or not to share: Telling others about an unplanned pregnancy

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, it is tempting to keep the news to yourself if you have not yet decided to parent, have an abortion, or make an adoption plan.  However, big decisions (especially ones involving parenting, abortion, or adoption) are rarely a good idea to make in isolation.  Big decisions benefit from feedback and the challenge of others’ opinions in order to help you think through how the decision will affect you and those close to you.  In addition, secrets, especially ones involving something as life-changing as pregnancy and abortion, are hard to bare alone.

When it comes to parenting, abortion, or adoption, it’s also important to know what support or resources might be available to you from family, friends, and organizations.  If you are tempted to not tell someone, ask yourself these questions:

  • What feelings do I have towards myself about being pregnant right now?
  • What do I fear will happen if others know of the potential pregnancy?
  • How will I feel carrying the secret of a pregnancy alone in the years to come?

If you are not yet ready to tell a family member or friend, our Clinic is here to talk through your situation and options, including the pro’s and con’s of telling others.  All information is free and confidential.  To text for an appointment: 443-333-8856.

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What are the laws regarding abortion?

State abortion laws vary greatly.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, states differ on whether:

  • Abortion must be performed by a licensed physician.
  • Abortion must be performed in a hospital.
  • A second physician must participate in the abortion.
  • Abortion can be done after a certain time in the pregnancy.
  • Partial-birth abortion is banned.
  • Public funds pay for the abortion.
  • Private insurance covers abortion.
  • Providers have a say in their abortion practice options.
  • Counseling prior to the abortion should include information on the Breast Cancer link, pain the baby might feel, and negative psychological effects of abortion.
  • A waiting period must happen after counseling and before the abortion.
  • Parental involvement is required for minors.

 

The abortion debate is a big one.  It’s easy to see that we can’t agree as a nation as to what is safe or right to do.  This leaves the patient needing to be an advocate for herself.  Depending on your state’s laws, consider your own feelings on who is providing abortion, how you feel about fetal pain, and what risks are non-negotiable.  If you would like a brochure on what questions to ask an abortion provider before the procedure, text us: 443-333-8856.  Our services are free of charge, and we can provide a free pregnancy test and possibly an ultrasound to verify if your pregnancy is viable.

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What happens if my abortion fails to terminate the pregnancy?

When an abortion fails to terminate the pregnancy, it is called a failed abortion or incomplete abortion.  In some cases, the baby will keep growing.  In other cases, only parts of the pregnancy remain.

According to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, an Incomplete Abortion is “the termination of pregnancy in which the products of conception are not entirely expelled or removed. It often causes hemorrhage that may require surgical evacuation by curettage, oxytocics, and blood replacement. Infection is also a frequent complication of incomplete abortion.”

If you have concerns about this or other risks of the abortion pill or surgical abortion, call or text us: 443-333-8856.

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Which women can’t have a medical abortion?

The Mayo Clinic web site notes that medical abortion is not an option for a woman if you:

  • Are too far along in your pregnancy.
  • Have an intrauterine device (IUD).
  • Have a suspected pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy).
  • Have certain medical conditions.
  • Take a blood thinner or certain steroid medications.
  • Can’t make follow-up visits to your doctor or don’t have access to emergency care.
  • Have an allergy to the medications used.

If you are seeking a medical abortion and have any of the criteria above, you may not be eligible for a medical abortion.  If you have concerns about the abortion procedure or what these criteria mean, text us: 443-333-8856.

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