Abortion Doesn't Cause Depression or Low Self-Esteem in Teens, Study Says
Compared to pregnant teens who give birth, those who have abortions are no more likely to suffer depression or experience low self-esteem, a new study says. We think the whole topic of teenage pregnancy is pretty depressing in and of itself and, again, we're just presenting a new study, not making any pro-life or pro-choice claims (not our job... a job that might be right up there with bee keeping).
Researchers from Oregon State University and University of California, San Francisco studied survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and after comparing data on teen girls before, during and after pregnancy, found that having an abortion did not make a teenage girl more likely to become depressed or have low self-esteem within the first year of pregnancy or five years later.
According to the study's lead author, Jocelyn Warren, previous research has shown that adolescent girls who get pregnant report more depression and lower self-esteem compared to those who don't get pregnant at all. Well... that's not too hard to believe, especially if you've seen MTV's Teen Mom. Warren says, "We know most teen pregnancies are not wanted pregnancies and an unwanted pregnancy can be very stressful." She explains, "What we didn't know was whether psychological outcomes are worse for girls who choose abortion [versus having the baby]. This study says, 'No.'" Warren stresses that individuals who have abortions experience very different emotional responses, but "on average, they do not appear to have major psychological consequences."
Laws in seven states mandate that women be advised of abortion's negative psychological consequences, including "post-abortion traumatic stress syndrome," a disorder that isn't recognized by the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association. Mary Harvey, an OSU public health professor, says, "I cannot think of any other type of health practice where a doctor is forced by law to tell a patient about negative consequences that have not been proven or validated." This study, however, does not necessarily provide evidence to disprove the existence of post-abortion traumatic stress syndrome.
Oregon State University (2010, September 25). Abortion does not cause depression or low self-esteem in adolescents, national U.S. study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/09/100924122537.htm