A new report shows that having an abortion might be less traumatic to a woman's mental health than having a baby.
The study -- which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week -- tracked 365,550 girls and women in Denmark who had a first-trimester abortion or first-time delivery between 1995 and 2007. Researchers selected females with no history of mental health problems prior to getting pregnant. They then compared the rate of mental health treatment (as measured by an inpatient admission or outpatient visit) within the 12 months after the abortion or childbirth as compared with the 9-month period preceding it.
The study found that women who had an abortion sought psychiatric treatment at roughly the same rate before and after that event, while the incidence with which women who gave birth sought counseling increased dramatically after having a baby.
So it would seem that a woman who has an early-term abortion wouldn't face the kind of harm to her mental health that some in the pro-life camp would attest to.
Perhaps this is a productive way to investigate the abortion debate in terms of policy-making: by looking at the data and statistics surrounding it, rather than letting our personal beliefs take over.
What do you think?