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Abortion Hurts Women

3 January 2006.

Media Release

Abortion Hurts Women

Right to Life New Zealand welcomes the publication of the research conducted by the Christchurch School of Medicine. This study is important for women’s health; it reveals that having an abortion could increase the likelihood of young women developing a serious mental health condition.

This study reveals the tip of the iceberg as the study was conducted on 90 women aged 25 who had an abortion. It revealed that 42% of these women had experienced major depression during the previous four years- nearly double the rate of those who had never been pregnant and 35% higher than those who had chosen to continue with their pregnancy. Overseas studies reveal that mental health conditions following an abortion may last a lifetime.

The results of the study are not surprising as they replicate the results of studies in this area conducted overseas. This Society fully supports Professor Fergusson’s request for further national research into the potential damage being done to women’s health by abortion.

98% of abortions are authorised in New Zealand on the grounds that the pregnancy is a serious threat to the mental health of the woman. Professor David Fergusson states that having an abortion is a risk factor for the onset of mental illness. This Society supports the Professors statement that his research could undermine the legal basis for access to abortion when an abortion is legal when the pregnancy would threaten the woman’s physical or mental health.

This Society Requests that the Minister of Health, Hon Pete Hodgson urgently instigate a national study into the relationship of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol abuse resulting from abortion.

Women considering an abortion have a legal right to be fully informed about the potential complications following an abortion. This Society requests that the Abortion Supervisory Committee which is responsible for abortion counseling in New Zealand take immediate steps to ensure that the results of this study be given to all women considering an abortion.

ENDS

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