Research - Summary

In March 2008, following media attention on the suicide of a young English artist, The Royal College of Psychiatrists withdrew from its position on the safety of induced abortion, publicly calling for women to be warned of the serious psychological complications.

Four months earlier Queensland researchers presented findings at the World Psychiatric Association Conference (Melbourne) that supported the mounting evidence linking induced abortion to substance abuse and mental illness. This followed New Zealand researchers also reporting similar findings the previous year, despite originally setting out to demonstrate subsequent mental health problems could be attributed to other pre-disposing factors.

The Royal College of Psychiatrist’s shift in policy was inevitable. There are now at least 24 published studies linking induced abortion to substance abuse and growing international research linking it to psychiatric illness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, domestic violence and premature death in the categories of suicide, accident, homicide and natural causes. Further, in one major study, the high death rates associated with abortion persisted for eight years.

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