According to an article published by Gina Rushton, from BuzzFeed, an article on abortion was removed from the website Mamamia.  The removed article (Post abortion syndrome: The condition so many don’t want to talk about) focused on post-abortion syndrome, which is often reported by groups opposed to abortion, but medical professionals and scientific research have widely discredited.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association does not recognise post-abortion syndrome as a diagnosis; the syndrome was originally termed by Dr Vincent Rue, an anti-abortion campaigner.

While the Mamamia article claimed division amongst psychologists and mental health providers, none were interviewed about post-abortion syndrome.  Mamamia’s article cited Julie Cook, national director of Abortion Grief Australia; an organisation that is not affiliated with a medical organisation.  Cook reportedly claimed that the trauma from abortion has parallels with child sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.  The American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion report found that the prevalence of mental health problems for legal, single, first-trimester abortion was the same as the general population.

Many risk factors of negative psychological responses to first-trimester abortion are also predictive in other stressful life events, such as childbirth.  These include perceptions of stigma, low levels of social support for the abortion decision, circumstances around the decision, and prior mental health.  Kate Marsh, of Children by Choice, believes there is a misconception that there is a lack of support services offered to women struggling after an abortion.  Marsh reports that these services are demand driven for the small number of women that require it.  Providing support prior to the abortion is the most effective, allowing the individual to make an informed choice of their own volition.

Research often cited by anti-abortion groups is from a 2009 study that failed to account for previous mental health conditions.  Several longitudinal studies have however factored in previous mental health.  The Journal of the American Medical Association published research that found that denying access to abortion services has a greater impact on mental health than an abortion itself.  Another study, by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, found that women with unintended pregnancies, and no previous mental health issues, were at a significantly higher risk of experiencing a psychotic episode if they delivered a baby than those who had an abortion.


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The original BuzzFeed article can be found at: