Women’s Mental Health and Well-being 5 Years After Receiving or Being Denied an Abortion: A Prospective, Longitudinal Cohort Study
This study has been widely reported in the press. But because the conclusions of it suit Leftists, I immediately went to the underlying journal article -- Abstract below. After many years of reading academic articles with conclusions that suit the Left, I was immediately 90% certain the underlying article would be a heap of bullshit. It is. Leftists are so out of touch with reality, that reality rarely suits them. So they have to spin like tops to claim support for their ideas.
This article purports to test the well-known intuitive claim that having an abortion damages a woman psychologically. But it does not test that claim at all. Why? Because it is a survey that includes only women who have sought an abortion. It has no control group such as a matched sample of non-pregnant women or women who have never sought an abortion but who have instead bravely decided from early on to continue with an unplanned pregnancy. And without a proper control group it tells you nothing. You have no basis for comparisons
M. Antonia Biggs et al.
Importance: The idea that abortion leads to adverse psychological outcomes has been the basis for legislation mandating counseling before obtaining an abortion and other policies to restrict access to abortion.
Objective: To assess women’s psychological well-being 5 years after receiving or being denied an abortion.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This study presents data from the Turnaway Study, a prospective longitudinal study with a quasi-experimental design. Women were recruited from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010, from 30 abortion facilities in 21 states throughout the United States, interviewed via telephone 1 week after seeking an abortion, and then interviewed semiannually for 5 years, totaling 11 interview waves. Interviews were completed January 31, 2016. We examined the psychological trajectories of women who received abortions just under the facility’s gestational limit (near-limit group) and compared them with women who sought but were denied an abortion because they were just beyond the facility gestational limit (turnaway group, which includes the turnaway-birth and turnaway-no-birth groups). We used mixed effects linear and logistic regression analyses to assess whether psychological trajectories differed by study group.
Main Outcomes and Measures: We included 6 measures of mental health and well-being: 2 measures of depression and 2 measures of anxiety assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory, as well as self-esteem, and life satisfaction.
Results: Of the 956 women (mean [SD] age, 24.9 [5.8] years) in the study, at 1 week after seeking an abortion, compared with the near-limit group, women denied an abortion reported more anxiety symptoms (turnaway-births, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.01 to 1.13; turnaway-no-births, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.39 to 3.18), lower self-esteem (turnaway-births, –0.33; 95% CI, –0.56 to –0.09; turnaway-no-births, –0.40; 95% CI, –0.78 to –0.02), lower life satisfaction (turnaway-births, –0.16; 95% CI, –0.38 to 0.06; turnaway-no-births, –0.41; 95% CI, –0.77 to –0.06), and similar levels of depression (turnaway-births, 0.13; 95% CI, –0.46 to 0.72; turnaway-no-births, 0.44; 95% CI, –0.50 to 1.39).
Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, compared with having an abortion, being denied an abortion may be associated with greater risk of initially experiencing adverse psychological outcomes. Psychological well-being improved over time so that both groups of women eventually converged. These findings do not support policies that restrict women’s access to abortion on the basis that abortion harms women’s mental health.
JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.3478