So says a comprehensive and exhaustive study of the matter done by actual scientists rather than conservative anti-abortion advocates.
No high-quality study done to date can document that having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a "post-abortion syndrome," and efforts to show it does occur appear to be politically motivated, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.
A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and found the high-quality studies showed no significant differences in long-term mental health between women who choose to abort a pregnancy and others.
"The best research does not support the existence of a 'post-abortion syndrome' similar to post-traumatic stress disorder," Dr. Robert Blum, who led the study published in the journal Contraception, said in a statement.
"Based on the best available evidence, emotional harm should not be a factor in abortion policy. If the goal is to help women, program and policy decisions should not distort science to advance political agendas," added Vignetta Charles, a researcher and doctoral student at Johns Hopkins who worked on the study.
"The U.S. Supreme Court, while noting that 'we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon,' cited adverse mental health outcomes for women as part of the rationale for limiting late term abortions," Blum's team wrote.
The researchers reviewed all English-language, peer-reviewed publications between 1989 and 2008 that studied relationships between abortion and long-term mental health.
They analyzed those that included valid mental health measures and factored in pre-existing mental health status and potentially confusing factors.
"The best quality studies indicate no significant differences in long-term mental health between women in the United States who choose to terminate a pregnancy and those who do not," they wrote.
"...studies with the most flawed methodology consistently found negative mental health consequences of abortion," they added. "Scientists are still conducting research to answer politically motivated questions."
It's all just another salvo in the War on Ideas, where some liberal fascists insist on clamping down on the freedom of every American to believe in things for which there is neither evidence nor rational basis in which to believe. They must be stopped before other Ideas are tracked down in the wilderness of the mind and unceremoniously garroted like habitual gamblers on the run from the mob. We all saw what happened to the Four Humours, didn't we?
I predict this will have exactly zero effect on the anti-choice movement. This was never based on research or even, really, mental health, but instead on tracking down women who could be convinced a.) that they were suffering from depression even if they weren't, and that depression was due to their abortions or b.) the depression from which they were suffering was the result of their abortions. This was if they could actually find women who'd had abortions - if they hadn't, they just made them up, and that's when the depression got ass-out crazy. Being told that the link doesn't exist doesn't matter, because they never needed it to exist in the first place.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to have a child. There's quite a bit more wrong with doing so because of the threat of crippling, lifelong depression based entirely on a lie.