Intended for healthcare professionals


Abortion does not increase mental health problems in women, shows review

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8045
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Having an abortion makes no difference to a woman’s mental health, shows a major review of the evidence to date.

The finding, from a review carried out by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, should put an end to research investigating the psychological effects of abortion, said Tim Kendall, director of the centre and a member of the review’s steering group.

“A more fruitful line of inquiry is to look at the mental health needs of [women] with an unwanted pregnancy—not the resolution of that pregnancy,” he told a press briefing to launch the review.

The review claims to be the most comprehensive and systematic review to date of the evidence of mental health problems in women with unwanted …

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