Does abortion harm a woman?

When carried out under adequate medical supervision, an abortion is very safe and safer than childbirth. The earlier the abortion happens, the safer it is.

There is no evidence that an abortion harms a woman’s mental health. The widest, most thorough, evidence-A Systematic Review of the Mental Health Outcomes of Induced Abortion conducted by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal Society of Psychiatrists in 2011 is categorical: it shows that abortion does not increase risk of mental health problems. The report clearly states: “The rates of mental health problems for women with an unwanted pregnancy were the same whether they had an abortion or gave birth.”

However, there is clear evidence that women are harmed in countries where abortion is highly restricted, such as in Ireland. Restrictions on abortion forces women to access care without medical supervision. Highly restricted regimes provoke feelings of anxiety and depression and are linked to an increased risk of suicide.

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