A recent study has shown that women who have an abortion have an 81% increased risk of mental health problems.

Dr Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, conducted a meta-analysis of 22 American and international studies examining a total of just under 900,000 women, including about 160,000 who had had an abortion.

The analysis, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, showed that abortion is associated with various form of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, and suicide behaviours. Ten per cent of this increase is directly attributable to abortion.

Abortion is also associated with higher levels of substance abuse, including misuse of alcohol and marijuana.

The study confirms “hundreds of studies” over the past few decades which indicate increased “adverse psychological outcomes” associated with abortion. It also refutes claims that abortion has no negative effects or even has beneficial effects, exposing methodological flaws in several recent studies.

Notably, Coleman’s study also showed that women who carry unintended pregnancies to term are also less likely to suffer adverse mental health issues.

An estimated 70-80,000 abortions are performed in Australia each year.

An interview with Dr Coleman an be read here.