US Study: Abortion Bans May Increase Suicide Risk

According to a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), US women of reproductive age between 1974 and 2016 may have been at a higher risk of committing suicide due to abortion restrictions.

US Study: Abortion Bans May Increase Suicide Risk

Facts

  • According to a study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), US women of reproductive age between 1974 and 2016 may have been at a higher risk of committing suicide due to abortion restrictions.
  • The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry on Wednesday, found that 21 states had implemented at least one targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws, such as regulating where abortions can be performed or minimum measurements for clinic room sizes.
  • The study's authors found that the suicide rate of reproductive-age women in those states was almost 6% higher than in prior years when the laws weren't enforced.
  • Furthermore, it found no such association among older women and ruled out factors such as the economy or a state’s political climate.
  • Though the findings don't prove that abortion restrictions directly cause higher suicide rates and the study didn't account for the experiences or mental health of individual women, the researchers say the analytical approach was one of the most rigorous methods to enable causal inference.
  • As the data collection dates only to 2016, the study doesn't include the impact of new abortion regulations implemented in the wake of SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade.

Sources: Dev Discourse, Guardian, NBC, and Medical Xpress.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Forbes. Both empirical research and common sense tell us that the fear of potentially having to carry a baby to term if one mistakenly gets pregnant only grows when abortion restrictions are enshrined into law. Most women who have abortions have already given birth at least once, meaning they understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll it will take on them if forced to endure another pregnancy.
  • Right narrative, as provided by AACC. While pro-abortion advocates label it a myth, studies have also shown that having abortions can lead to increased depression, anxiety, post-abortion stress syndrome, eating disorders, and suicide among women. Sometimes these effects come immediately, and sometimes they appear years after the procedure, but either way, women aren't being given all the facts related to this issue, and that is what's dangerous to their mental and physical well-being.

Predictions