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EXPLAINED: Effects of Abortion on Women’s Mental Health

Dr. Antonia Biggs, of the University of California San Francisco, explains the most up-to-date research on the effects of abortion on women’s mental health.

For more information, watch the extended lecture version and download the video companion materials.

The following links provided the research used in this video:

Adler NE, David HP, Major BN, Roth SH, Russo NF, Wyatt GE. Psychological responses after abortion. 1990;248(4951):41-4.
American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Report of the APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Washington, DC: The American Psychological Association; 2008.
Biggs MA, Gould H, Foster DG. Understanding why women seek abortions in the US. BMC Women’s Health. 2013;13(1):29.
Biggs MA, Upadhyay UD, Steinberg JR, Foster DG. Does abortion reduce self-esteem and life satisfaction? Qual Life Res. 2014;23(9):2505-13.
Charles VE, Polis CB, Sridhara SK, Blum RW. Abortion and long-term mental health outcomes: a systematic review of the evidence. Contraception. 2008;78(6):436-50.
Foster DG, Steinberg JR, Roberts SC, Neuhaus J, Biggs MA. A comparison of depression and anxiety symptom trajectories between women who had an abortion and women denied one. Psychol Med. 2015:1-10.
State policies in brief: Counseling and waiting periods for abortion. New York, NY: Guttmacher Institute; March 2016.
Koop CE. A measured response: Koop on abortion. Fam Plann Perspect. 1989;21(1):31-2.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Induced abortion and mental health: a systematic review of the mental health outcomes of induced abortion, including their prevalence and associated factors. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists; 2011.
Robinson GE, Stotland NL, Nadelson CC. Abortion and mental health: guidelines for proper scientific conduct ignored. Br J Psychiatry. 2012;200(1):78-80.
Robinson GE, Stotland NL, Russo NF, Lang JA, Occhiogrosso M. Is there an ‘abortion trauma syndrome’? Critiquing the evidence. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2009;17(4):268-90.
Steinberg JR, Trussell J, Hall KS, Guthrie K. Fatal flaws in a recent meta-analysis on abortion and mental health. Contraception. 2012;86(5):430-7.
Stotland NL. Induced abortion and adolescent mental health. Curr Opin Obstet. Gynecol. 2011;23(5):340-3.