In news that is unlikely to surprise much of anyone, having a baby is much harder on a woman's mental health than having an abortion. This comes from a Danish study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
But most of us parents would say obviously this is true. In fact, the only people who seem surprised are the pro-lifers who want us to think that any woman who has an abortion is in lifelong agony. Is it an easy choice? Probably not. That doesn't mean it's the wrong one or a devastating, crippling one.
Although abortion is a very difficult choice for many, a baby is a lifelong commitment and can drive even the sanest person to need help mentally. The Danish study looked at 365,550 pregnant teenagers. None had a history of psychiatric problems that required hospitalization. During the study period, 84,620 had an abortion while 280,930 gave birth. According to The Huffington Post:
Researchers compared the rate of mental health treatment among women before and after a first abortion. Within the first year after an abortion, 15 per 1,000 women needed psychiatric counseling -- similar to the rate seeking help nine months before an abortion ... while first-time mothers had a lower rate of mental problems overall, the proportion of those seeking help after giving birth was dramatically higher. About 7 per 1,000 women got mental health help within a year of giving birth compared with 4 per 1,000 women pre-delivery.
The fact is, it makes sense. Despite the pro-life stance that abortion permanently harms women, the fact is, for many, it's difficult choice. But that doesn't mean they suffer their whole lives because of it. Sure, they may think of what might have been, but that doesn't mean they wish they had done something different. The abortion, in many ways, is just the end of the episode. Having a baby, of course, is just the beginning.
LifeNews -- a pro-life website -- is trying to say the study is flawed:
The bottom line is the fact that they found comparable rates before and after abortion does not negate a possible causal link between abortion and mental health.
Typically, I prefer to get my news from reputable sources like the New England Journal of Medicine over propaganda machines like LifeNews. Plus, this study just makes sense. Having a baby is a lot harder mentally than not having one.
What do you make of this study?