Cutting Through the Misinformation Around This Hot-Button Issue

Abortion is a very complicated subject matter. Regardless of your personal opinion, abortion isn’t a comfortable situation for a woman to face. The decision to have an abortion is not an easy one to make, and the ramifications can be huge. There is a lot of guilt and shame that goes into it, putting women at risk for a myriad of mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, and suicide are just a few of the dangers women face post-abortion. Even if you don’t agree with the act itself, we hope you can empathize with someone who has had to make such a difficult decision. Because of the immense gravity of the situation, it is easy to understand why women who undergo an abortion are more likely to contemplate non-fatal suicide.

A Look at the Numbers

A recent study seeks to illuminate these statistics. While women who have had abortions are at higher risk for non-fatal suicide attempts than those who have not had one, that high risk was prevalent before and after the abortion. This data suggests that abortion is not the only contributing factor for the higher chance of non-fatal suicide attempts. The study—the results of which were published in Lancet Psychiatry—attempted to overcome the limitations of self-reported surveys by using Danish population registries. The study examined women born between January 1st, 1980, and December 30th, 1998, an age range of 18-36. A follow-up period was established on the woman’s 18th birthday or January 1st, 2000, whichever came last, and ended on the first suicide attempt, date of emigration from Denmark, date of death, or December 31st, 2016. The researchers identified 9.4% of women who had more than or equal to first-trimester abortion and 2.0% who had a suicide attempt during the follow-up. The study sought to compare the risk of suicide or self-harm between women who had an abortion, and those who had not.

The study found that approximately 2.9% of women who had an abortion had a documented suicide attempt after. It turned out that these numbers were similar to those found in women without a history of abortion. After an abortion, the risk would also decrease over the next few years. 

Does Abortion Really Increase the Likelihood of Suicide?

This means that the likelihood of a woman attempting suicide is not dependent on her receiving an abortion. Instead, their odds of attempting suicide are determined by unrelated factors. An abortion may be a catalyst for suicidal ideation, but the core issue is something that exists before it. However, this doesn’t mean that the gravity of abortion should be understated or minimized. There is still a significant amount of emotional, physical, and mental support that a woman needs before, during, and after the process. Seeking help when undergoing life-altering procedures is paramount to dealing with them healthily. It is essential to remember your own state of mind when making such decisions. You have to keep your own health in mind and speak with your professional to figure out what the proper course of action is for you. Speaking with a professional is often the best option. For most women, abortion is complicated to discuss with our loved ones, as they can have very different reactions and beliefs. As always, keep yourself in mind and make sure that you are not making a decision without considering every single possibility. 

Overcoming the Stigma of Abortion

Abortion is a difficult thing to talk about and think about. It is an ongoing discussion and debate in our world, and various places around the world have their own policies governing it. The good news is that it isn’t necessarily a driving factor for women to engage in non-fatal suicide attempts. While there is still something underneath it all that needs to be addressed, this does help us better understand and stay better informed of the situation. As with all difficult topics, a certain level of patience and understanding is necessary. We know how hard it is to broach these kinds of subjects, but we want you to know that there are safe places to go to. We want you to know that you are valued, no matter your beliefs, and we want to help you be the best you possible. 

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]