The Colorado Campaign for Life, a state anti-abortion organization, recently posted false statistics about abortion on Facebook, in a meme calling abortion the “real” war on women.
The first statistic the campaign stated is that there is a 44 percent increased risk of breast cancer after abortion. Scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society website says,
“Abortion is an issue that can bring out strong feelings in people. These feelings are often linked to personal, religious, and political views that may have little to do with any connection to a disease like cancer.”
The second falsehood stated is that there is a 60 percent increased risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies after abortion. The Mayo Clinic stated that generally, elective abortion isn’t thought to cause fertility issues or complications in future pregnancies. They also identified that that the most common cause of a miscarriage is a genetic abnormality.
The last two statistics have to do with mental health; there is a six times greater risk of suicide after abortion, and there is a 65 percent increased risk of clinical depression after abortion.
Many research studies have found this link between mental health and abortion to be weak at best.
The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted an exhaustive review of the scientific research on the subject and concluded that legal abortion of an unwanted pregnancy “does not pose a psychological hazard for most women.”
University of California at San Francisco Professor Nancy Adler testified in Congress on behalf of the APA that,
“Severe negative reactions are rare and are in line with those following other normal life stresses.”
She observed that given the millions of U.S. women who had abortions, “if severe reactions were common, there would be an epidemic of women seeking treatment. There is no evidence of such an epidemic.”
In 2008, researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published its own analysis in which they concluded that,
“The highest-quality research available does not support the hypothesis that abortion leads to long-term mental health problems.”
The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) concluded that
“Rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same whether they had an abortion or gave birth. The authors determined that it was the unwanted pregnancy that was associated with an increased risk of mental health problems and that the most reliable predictor of post-abortion mental health problems was having a history of mental health problems before the abortion.”