In an election year in which women’s reproductive health issues are already front and center, allow me toss one more log onto the fire. A new study has been released challenging the notion that abortion has long-term mental health effects for women.
The study – which was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research – is actually a refutation of an earlier study in the same journal which purported to show that mental health disorders (like panic attacks, depression, substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder) were higher in women who had terminated their pregnancies.
This initial study was used to inform a number of recent state efforts to restrict abortions, including – most recently – the controversial Virginia proposal that would have required women to undergo a transvaginal ultra-sound before going ahead with the procedure.
But apparently, the methodology in the original study was deeply flawed. By including all lifetime mental health disorders of the women in their sample – rather than only those instances occurring after the abortion took place – the study’s claims were utterly unsubstantiated.
Read the rest of this post at The Washington Post’s She The People blog…
Image: I had an abortion by Willem Velthovenen via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.