by Chalea Marker

According to the Center for Disease Control, 664,435 legal abortions were performed in 2013. This number does not include illegal abortions, or those performed in states that do not publish abortion statistics. With abortions being so commonplace, it is important to understand the consequences of abortion. Although many women have different experiences following their abortion, research has shown that women who choose to abort their child are at greater risk for serious mental and physical health problems.

A study published in the American Journal for Child Psychology and Psychiatry concluded that women who terminate their pregnancy have higher rates of mental health problems than their peers who are either not pregnant or who were pregnant, but chose not to get an abortion. Another study showed that women who aborted their child had a 30% increase in mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. As a result of depression, women who have chosen abortion over a full-term pregnancy are 6-7 times more likely to commit suicide than women who do not choose to have an abortion.

Health problems are also a consequence for some women who choose to have an abortion. One study found that women who decided to have an abortion procedure were four times more likely than women who did not have an abortion to be dependent on alcohol and drugs. Women who have requested an induced abortion also have a 50% increase in their risk for developing breast cancer. The risk was found to be greatest for women under the age of 18 and over the age of 30. This is due to the way that a woman’s body changes in order to prepare for childbirth. Tissues in the breast begin to change so that a mother may produce milk for her child. When a pregnancy is terminated, it causes the breast tissues to halt in their change. Stopping this natural process increases the risk for a genetic mutation to occur, which has the possibility of developing into breast cancer.

Social risks also occur for those who choose to abort their child. Many women have expressed feelings of abandonment after proceeding with an abortion. This feeling may come from the reactions of partners, parents, friends, and others that comprise a woman’s social network. Although some women have support after terminating their pregnancy, there are many who are left without the help they need to deal with the after-effects of the procedure.

            The effects of an abortion are far-reaching. It is important to analyze the reasons why women are driven to elect an abortion in order to help them receive the help they really need. Feminists for Life is an advocacy group that focuses on the root causes of abortion. They feel that the real reason women decide to abort their children is because they feel a lack of support and opportunities that encourage them in their future role as mothers. Feminists for Life focuses on providing women real choices by helping them find flexible school schedules, understand medical insurance, and provide affordable housing so that each woman can choose to be both a mother and a professional, if she so desires.

By addressing the root causes of abortion, and talking about its after-effects, women can make a more informed decision and recognize the advantages of choosing life.

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