Free Effects Of Abortion On Mental Health Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Pregnancy, Psychology, Women, Health, Abortion, Social Issues, Mental Health, Medicine

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/28



The last two decades have proved that there has been an increment in the mental health outcomes associated with abortion. The mental health outcomes result in anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal behavior. These outcomes are both inconsistent and controversial. According to the report of the Academy Royal Colleges in London, abortion increases the risk of several problems of a woman. A woman suffers mental stress with an unwanted pregnancy. Scientists have conducted a number of researches and have addressed a number of complications to prevent clear conclusions associated with abortion on the mental health of women. A number of threats have been discovered in this area which include inadequate ascertainment exposure of abortion on mental health outcomes. Such threats are very pervasive and can be overcome. Women who have demographic and psychological characteristics are more vulnerable to suffer mental health problems. Women with unwanted pregnancy feel alone and desperate, fearing about their future and altered relationships and are ill-prepared to accept any responsibility.


The implications of abortion can be seen in 1987 when Ronald Reagen, an ex-President directed General C. Everett in a public debate. After a comprehensive review of the report, Koop declined it and issued a letter to the ex-President about his inadequate scientific findings. In order to provide a scientific assessment, a panel of experts reviewed the literature responses on abortion. They found that the psychological status of those women who were illegally pregnant showed negative reactions in the first trimester. They experienced severe distress and such symptoms were clearly associated with abortion (Zittel, 2010). Due to such situations, a new Task Force on mental health was established in the critical review of the recent literature. The council focused on the collection, examination and summarization of the mental health factors related to abortion. The American Psychological Association (APA) has presented that women have the ability to make the decision for childbearing according to their health that includes physical and mental health (Wright & Cummings, 2005). Abortion is important in controlling fertility, and it has the most prominent response of women.

Medical and Legal Perspectives on Mental Health of Women

Abortion related to mental health in several different ways and these differences are very important to frame as different researchers are based on them to answer both the scientific and ethical considerations. Medical definitions are not only limited to psychiatric illness, but they also discuss the social and economic impact of a woman's life. A mental health of a woman is influenced by gender, race, culture and age. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not ignore important factors such as socioeconomic status, poverty, urbanization and technological change. A woman who is living in such factors faces mental health disorders and continues to bear the responsibility of the society. A woman's response to her pregnancy depends on her economic and social circumstances to plan for a child with her partner. The outcome of a stressful life depends on income, education, employment and marital status as shown in psychological studies (Ayers, 2007). On the legal perspectives, the authorities have addressed the mental health effects on those women have no choice except to have an unwanted pregnancy because they cannot afford to abortion. Women who carry an unwanted pregnancy suffers from severe fetal deformity which impacts the negative mental health. The United Nations, Human Rights Committee, categorizes this psychological effect as a violation of a human right. Justice Harry Blackmun denies the choice of a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy. He imposed the detriment by denying this choice. Physical and mental health must be taxed by child care. An abortion can alleviate risk and can adversely impact the health of a woman; this step is largely encouraged and supported by psychological research and legal authorities (Oritz, 2005).

Abortion and the Emotional Effects

The empirical studies of the American Psychological Association Task Force have concluded that:
The risk of problems associated with mental health is no greater in adult women who can deal with unwanted pregnancy in the first trimester abortion.

Termination of a wanted pregnancy can cause negative psychological impact than the death of a newborn.

Mental health problem and multiple abortions may predispose a woman due to unexpected conditions, behaviors, and circumstances.
A woman who has a history of mental health problems is likely to have a stressful situation after abortion.
An intense pressure of family or partner to terminate a pregnancy can present negative attitude about abortion.
Reasons of Fetal Abnormality
Women who are going through first-trimester are reviewed and differentiated from later-trimester abortions. The majority of abortion are of unplanned pregnancies in the United States and are of the first trimester. The use of ultrasound technology and the increasing accessibility are increasing the prenatal diagnosis of anomalies (Burt & Hendrick, 2005). After the diagnosis, when the fetal anomaly is informed, the couples are elected for their pregnancy termination. Under such circumstances, abortion becomes very different physically and psychologically than an abortion of unplanned pregnancy. The significance of the abortion and the pregnancy are said to be different from loss experienced. The complex experiences require comparison of woman responses who have undergone the induced termination of pregnancy and experienced the miscarriage of a desired pregnancy. Studies have identified that psychological experiences of women who have terminated the wanted pregnancy due to the fetal anomaly. These studies have high attrition rates and low response rates (Donatelle, 2009). The negative psychological experiences of women are not different from those women who have experienced a second-trimester prenatal loss.


Abortions have been made legal in many countries in the past decades, and its outcome has been undertaken on the psychological and physical impact on a decision-making process for women. Women who have experienced an unwanted pregnancy face mental health problem under several factors. These factors reflect co-occurring and preexisting conditions in the life of a woman. The strategies used in resolving her pregnancy deal with emotions in her decision. Now-a-days, there are an interpretation of laws which permit abortion for an economic and social circumstances. This woman-centered interpretation is supported by legal and medical approaches for positive medical outcomes. The substantive studies have proved that abortion is a benign procedure with an emotional effect. Some risk factors have been addressed for psychological distress for abortion on the mental health of women. Moral opposition to abortion is the first risk factor and has more negative post-effects when women are opposed more to abortion. The second risk is fetal disease which can lead to more severe outcomes not only for her, but also for her partner.


Ayers, S. (2007). Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, and Medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Burt, V., & Hendrick, V. (2005). Clinical manual of women's mental health. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Pub.
Donatelle, R. (2009). Health. San Francisco, CA: Pearson/Benjamin Cummings.
Oritz, M. (2005). An approach from the women's fundamental rights perspective to the statutory defense for abortion based on health risks in Mexico.
Wright, R., & Cummings, N. (2005). Destructive trends in mental health. New York: Routledge.
Zittel, K. (2010). Postpartum mood disorders. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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Free Effects Of Abortion On Mental Health Research Paper Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Feb 28, 2021. Accessed March 27, 2023.

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