Are there psychological consequences to medication abortion?

To date, no studies have specifically investigated the relationship between medication abortion and adverse mental health outcomes. There is no evidence that the use of medications to induce an early abortion is associated with psychological morbidities, such as depression, anxiety, or suicidality.

In recent years there have been increased attention to the relationship between abortion, in general, and adverse mental health outcomes. Several recent reviews of the scientific literature have shown that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.


References
American Psychological Association, Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Report of the Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Washington, DC: Author, 2008. Available here.
Charles V, Polis C, Sridhara S, Blum R. Abortion and long-term mental health outcomes: a systematic review of the evidence. Contraception 2008;78:436–50.
Steinberg J, Russo N. Abortion and anxiety: what's the relationship? Soc Sci Med 2008;67:238–52.

If you have questions about medication abortion, please visit our page on frequently asked questions.

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Last updated: September 2009