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Argument: Abortion often leads to regret, depression, mental illness

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Supporting studies

A longitudinal study from New Zealand completed in 2006 which used gathered data about children and young women (ages 15-25) living in a small geographic area in New Zealand who sought abortions over a 25-year period, found an increased occurrence of clinical depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and substance abuse among women who had previously had an abortion compared to women who have not sought an elective abortion. The study concluded, "Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders. This association persisted after adjustment for confounding factors”.[1]

Professor David M. Fergusson, Christchurch Health and Development Study, commenting on research he directed, interviewed on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (March 1, 2006). - "I remain pro-choice. I am not religious. I am an atheist and a rationalist. The findings did surprise me, but the results appear to be very robust because they persist across a series of disorders and a series of ages. . . . Abortion is a traumatic life event; that is, it involves loss, it involves grief, it involves difficulties. And the trauma may, in fact, predispose people to having mental illness."[2]

Brenda Pratt Shafer, registered nurse for late-term abortion doctor Martin Haskell at Women's Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, describing the procedure in sworn testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, 1995 - "If President Clinton had been standing were I was standing at that moment he would not veto this bill. . . A mother was six months pregnant. A doctor told her that the baby had Downs Syndrome and she decided to have an abortion. She came in the first two days to have the laminaria inserted and changed, and she cried the whole time. . . On the third day Dr. [Martin] Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby. . . On the ultrasound screen I could see the heart beating. . . Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms--everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startled reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. . . I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things. . . After that, the doctor delivered the baby's head, cut his umbilical cord and threw him into a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had used. I saw the baby move in the pan. . . I asked another nurse and she said it was just 'reflexes.'. . . The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned him up, put him in a blanket and handed him to her. . . She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me!'[3]


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