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Surprising Science

Does Having Abortions Cause Mental Distress?

A new study has found that having an abortion does not put a woman at risk for mental health problems. But you know what does? Having a baby.

A Danish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked 365,550 women over 12 years who’d either had a kid or terminated a pregnancy. They compared the rates at which women in each group sought mental health care. Among the women who’d had abortions, the rate of psychiatric counseling stayed more or less the same before and after the procedure. But in the group that gave birth, the number seeking mental health treatment jumped from 4 women in 1,000 before giving birth, to 7 women in 1,000 post-partum.


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