“Women seeking abortions should be informed that abortion is associated with significant physical and mental health risks, and it also deprives them of numerous physical and mental health benefits associated with childbirth.” David Reardon, Director of the Elliot Institute
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Numerous studies have now found that suicide rates among women who have recently had an abortion are much higher than women who were not pregnant, who recently had a baby, or even who recently miscarried. Suicide rates are the lowest among women who have recently had a baby.
A newly released 13-year Finnish study has found that the suicide rate among women who have undergone abortion was six times higher than for women who had given birth in the prior year and double that of women who had miscarriages. This study, conducted by Finland’s National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health, studied data on all deaths among women of reproductive age (15-49).
Another study conducted in California examined the death records of 173,000 women by looking at medical payments regarding birth and abortion. David Reardon, Director of the Elliot Institute and main author of this study, claims that record-linkage studies reveal the most accurate picture of pregnancy associated mortality rates. Data relating abortion and suicide was scant prior to Reardon’s study because coroners would not know that the deceased recently underwent an abortion, and therefore, abortion was not included in autopsy reports. Reardon’s study found that there was a 62 percent higher chance of death for aborting women than delivering women over the eight-year period of the study. The increase in deaths was due to suicides and accidents.
Many professional counselors are already aware of the link between abortion and suicide. Meta Uchtman, director of the Cincinnati chapter of Suiciders Anonymous, as David Reardon cited in his article entitled “The Abortion/Suicide Connection”, reported that in a 35 month period her group worked with 4000 women, of whom 1800 or more had abortions. Of those who had abortions, 1400 were between the ages of 15 and 24, the age group with the fastest growing suicide rate in the country.
Similarities between Suicide and Abortion
As Reardon has noted in his studies, a strong link between suicide and abortion likely exists because the two are much alike. Both are a cry for help from people who are in despair. Some right-to-die groups think that suicide should be legalized and that clinics should be established to help ease people through their suicide decisions. Medical professionals, however, recognize that an attempt at suicide represents a need for support and counseling. If suicide were legal and promoted, then suicide rates would skyrocket just as abortion rates did in the 1970s.
Just like the proposed suicide clinics, abortion clinics also exploit people in need. In describing abortion clinics, David Reardon says, “They pose as places of compassion, but they are actually reaping huge profits through the harvest of the lonely, frightened, and confused people who are ‘unwanted’ by society. In place of life, they offer the ‘compassion’ of death.” By helping one to commit suicide or obtain an abortion, they are not helping but rather abandoning these women.