The president of a post-abortive group disagreed with a study from Denmark that asserts that abortion does not increase the risk of metal health problems in women.
Georgette Forney, a co-founder of Silent No More Awareness Campaign, criticized the study for not going deeper to find the true mental health issues that result for abortion. “They didn’t address the women who may be feeling depressed but don’t go into a hospital,” said Forney, also the president of Anglicans for Life.
The Danish study following post-abortive women between the years 1995 and 2007 concluded that having an abortion does not increase the risk of mental health problems.
The study conceded, however, that anxiety, stress and depression were common among those who sought help. However, researchers found only 15 women per 1,000 needed psychiatric counseling in the study’s 13-year time period.
"A woman should know that her risk of having a psychiatric episode is not increased" after an abortion, asserted Trine Munk-Olsen of Aarhus University, who led the study.
Researchers sampled 84,620 teenagers and women who had an abortion. They determined the women’s mental health status by following the women in various national registries to track admission to mental health counseling at a hospital or outpatient facility before and after an abortion.
But Forney said many women who are not hospitalized for mental health issues feel shame or guilt. Silent No More allows many of these post-abortive women to share their stories at rallies. Women who testify during rallies commonly reported feeling deep sorrow, remorse and regret. Those feelings, Forney stated, often keep women from seeking professional help.
“I think it is a kind of self-punishment,” she remarked.
Forney said of her own abortion that she felt she had to deal with the pain and emotion on her own since she had been the one who chose the procedure.
She also noted that post-abortive women cope with their decisions in different ways.
“God didn’t make us vanilla. Everyone doesn’t manifest [grief] the same way,” she said. Forney said she has seen women display eating disorders, drug and substance abuse, and birth date blues. Often, women dismiss those symptoms and their connections to the abortions, she noted.
Overall, Forney said, “This study does a disservice to women because what do the women [with] depression setting in do.”
“I spend hours and hours and hours on the phone with women crying.”
Researchers of the Danish study noted that women who seek abortions come from a demographic group more likely to have emotional problems to begin with. But Forney doesn’t expect abortion providers to screen women for emotional problems in the near future.
The abortion industry, she said, is a business that uses studies like these to “put abortion before women’s health” and assure women there are no risks associated with the procedure.
However, when women become traumatized, “Nobody wants to deal with their pain.”
Denmark legalized abortion in 1973, the same year the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalize abortion in the case of Roe v. Wade. The European country had about 13 abortions per 1,000 women in 2008. By comparison, the United States had almost 20 abortions per 1,000 U.S. women that same year, according to the Guttmacher Institute.