Abortion has a long history of research and controversy behind it

Abortion has a long history of research and controversy behind it

Abortion has a long history of research and controversy behind it. The question of lasting adverse mental effects is not new to research either. In the five articles researched there were differing results, some finding a correlation between abortion and mental health and others finding no significant relationship.







This research is significant to nursing because nurses should be able to identify potential causes of long-term adverse effects of elected procedures. Early intervention can be key in preserving a healthy mental state in women who elect to have an abortion. It is also important to include teaching about risks for adverse mental effects in the care of these patients.


Be aware of the risk factors for mental health problems after abortion (young age, single marital status, low socioeconomic status, poor education, history of abuse, existing mental disorders, family history of mental disorders, dysfunctional family, poor lifestyle

Being a supporter without bias

Suggesting community support groups and therapy


Boden, J. M. (2008). Abortion and mental health disorders: Evidence from a 30-year longitudinal study. The british journal of psychiatry, 193, 444-451. doi: 10.1192/ bjp.bp.108.056499

Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L., & Ridder, E. M (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal Of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 47(1), 16-24.

Mota, N., Burnett, M., & Sareen, J. (2010). Associations between abortion, mental disorders, and suicidal behaviour in a nationally representative sample. Canadian Journal Of Psychiatry, 55(4), 239-247.

Munk-Olsen, T., Laursen, T., Pedersen, C., Lidegaard, ø., & Mortensen, P. (2011). Induced first trimester abortion and risk of mental disorder. New England Journal Of Medicine, 364(4), 332-339. doi:10.1056NEJMoa0905882

Warren, J., Harvey, S., & Henderson, J. (2010). Do Depression and Low Self-Esteem Follow Abortion Among Adolescents? Evidence from a National Study. Perspectives On Sexual & Reproductive Health, 42(4), 230-235. doi:10.1363/4223010

The purpose of our research is to discover if there is any correlation between a woman having an abortion and negative mental health consequences. Furthermore, the goal is to identify implications for prevention and managing these negative mental health effects based on those given in the literature reviewed.

Databases: CINAHL & OVID

Limiters: Time frame 2006-2012, full-text



Abortion & Mental Health

Abortion & Depression

Psychiatric Problems & Abortion

Warren-Harvey, et al (2010)

Abortion showed no effect on women’s self-esteem and depression.

The only predictor for low self-esteem and depression was having either one prior to pregnancy.

(Denmark Study) Monk-Olsen, et al (2011)

No causal association between abortion and mental health diagnosis.

Rates of mental health diagnosis before and after a first-trimester induced abortion were found to be similar.

Independent: Elected Abortion

Dependent: Mother’s mental health




Department of Nursing Arkansas Tech University

Whitney Bovine, Lynsey Cook, Victoria Grim, Paige Olsen

Is There an Adverse Effect of an Elected Abortion on the Mother’s Mental Health?

(Canadian Study) Mota-Burnett, et al (2010)

Found a high relationship between mental health problems and abortion.

Found that violence played a key role in having an abortion and subsequently having a mental health problem after.

(British Study) Fergusson, Horwood, & Boden (2008)

30% higher rate of mental disorder for women who had an abortion than those that did not.

Mental health problems were found to be modestly increased with a loss of pregnancy.

Having a live birth was not related to any significant increase in the rate of mental health problems.

(New Zealand Study) Fergusson, Horwood, & Ridder (2006)

Young women who reported having an abortion had increased rates of mental health problems than women who did not get an abortion and those who were not pregnant.

Even after control of the confounding factors, there was still a link between abortion and mental health problems.

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