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Doctors for Choice (Malta)
PO BOX 15, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

Email: contact@doctorsforchoice.mt

Phone: +356 99316999

Registered VO/1816

Abortion and Mental Health

Scientific and medical expert bodies have repeatedly concluded that induced abortion does not harm mental health. The largest research reviews investigating the association between abortion and mental health problems are those conducted by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC), the American Psychological Association (APA) and Charles reviews, all of which concluded that there is no significant association. Mental health problems correlated with abortion are not causally linked, i.e. not caused by the abortion itself but relate to other social factors. The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) also summarised the evidence with these conclusions.

Unfortunately, anti-choice advocates have been using the term “Post-abortion syndrome" for years to suggest negative mental health outcomes from induced abortion, despite absolutely no scientific evidence. This is a made-up term which is not recognised by the medical community. In fact, there is absolutely no mention of this in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual by APA) or ICD (International Classification of Diseases by WHO) which are the established diagnostic systems for mental disorders used by clinicians and researchers.

Studies have even shown that many women actually experience a sense of relief after an abortion and it is actually a lack of access to abortion that causes psychological distress.