sad woman girl

Abortion and suicide: the grim statistics

sad woman girl

Pro-Choice groups and organizations such as Planned Parenthood maintain that abortion is beneficial to women. They claim that women do not have emotional problems after their abortions. Planned Parenthood’s slogan “Care. No Matter What” implies that their workers care about women and are dedicated to helping them in difficult circumstances.

On their website, Planned Parenthood claims:

Research studies indicate that emotional responses to legally induced abortion are largely positive. They also indicate that emotional problems resulting from abortion are rare and less frequent than those following childbirth.”

Unfortunately, statistics tell a different story.

Two studies from Finland(1) show that women who had abortions were 6 to 7 times more likely to commit suicide than women who gave birth. These studies were based on medical records rather than interviews. Researchers looked at the death certificates of women to ascertain how many died by suicide. Then they used medical records to see how many of these women had abortions. The fact that this study was based on medical records is significant, because of a phenomenon called “recall bias.” Recall bias occurs when women are asked on questionnaires or in person whether they had an abortion. Many times, because of the stigma attached to the abortion procedure, women do not answer this question honestly. This tendency to hide a past abortion often skews the results of such studies. Therefore, studies that are based on medical records rather than interviews are considered to be more accurate.

The study only covered the first year after women’s abortions. Many post-abortion testimonies reveal that grief after an abortion can surface years later; sometimes a wanted pregnancy, seeing ultrasound pictures or photographs of unborn babies, or holding a friend’s baby triggers regret, depression, and suicidal feelings. So in reality, these studies may actually reveal only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to suicidal feelings after abortion.

Other statistics show that women have a higher rate of suicide after abortion. Suicide rates among women of childbearing age are approximately 11.3 out of 100,000.

Postabortion women have a rate of 34.7. Interestingly enough, women who have given birth have a suicide rate of 5.9 per hundred thousand. Birth, then, seems to give some protection against suicide. Perhaps women who have children discover they’ve something to live for, or do not want to hurt the children that depend on them by committing suicide. In any case, giving birth seems to be a detriment to suicide – whereas abortion increases the suicide rate.

Shortly after the Finnish studies, researchers in Great Britain conducted their own survey of abortion medical records. They found a similar correlation between abortion and suicide. They found an 8.1 rate of suicide per thousand women who had abortions, and a 1.9 rate of suicide among women who carry to term.

The statistics for teenagers who have abortions are even more disturbing. Teen girls are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide if they have had an abortion in the last six months than girls who have not had an abortion, and 2-4 times more likely to commit suicide after abortion compared to adult women.(2)

A study done by Doctor David C Reardon, and abortion researcher and mental health professional who helps post-abortion women revealed a 154% higher suicide rate among women who aborted.(3) In interviews for his book, Aborted Women: Silent No More (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002), he discovered that up to 60% of women experienced suicidal feelings. Dr. Reardon’s research was done on women who regretted their abortions, so his data may not be applicable to all women who have abortions. However, a 60% statistic cannot be ignored. 28% of the women he interviewed had actually attempted suicide.

Another survey of post-abortion women, which appeared in Women’s World, revealed that 45% (well over a third) of women had suicidal feelings following their abortions.(5).

These are just some of the studies connecting abortion with suicide. Pro-life organizations need to reach out to post-abortion women and give them encouragement, support, and compassion.

  1. Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, “Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Journal of Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996; and M. Gissler, “Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,” European J. Public Health 15(5):459 63,2005.
  2.  B. Garfinkel, et al., “Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,” Responding to High Risk Youth (University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et. al., “Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland: 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996; and N. Campbell, et. al., “Abortion in Adolescence,” Adolescence, 23:813-823, 1988. See the “Teen Abortion Risks” Fact Sheet at for more information.
  3. DC Reardon et. al., “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, Aug. 2002.
  4. B. Garfinkel, et al., “Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,” Responding to High Risk Youth (University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et. al., “Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland: 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996; and N. Campbell, et. al., “Abortion in Adolescence,” Adolescence, 23:813-823, 1988


  • Lilian Stoltzfus

    :( This is so sad. These poor women and girls.

  • PrincessJasmine4

    What’s a few dead women compared to Richard’s $400k salary?

  • Mamabear

    Guilt causes depression, so this should be no surprise. A woman going through “baby blues” is having a hormonal reaction that will pass and she often has a strong support system to get her through it. A woman who had an abortion and feels guilty, her depression will stay, even after hormones settle, and who is she going to turn to for support?

  • shrgngatlas

    This is sad, but reason would tell you that it is true. Liberals tend to pick data that supports the way they wish it would be. But when all data is considered in an unbiased manner, generally what reason and common sense tells us would probably be true, is true. This is just another example

  • Colorado_Patriot60

    Yeah. try explaining this to a demoncrap!!

  • jongnagy

    Why is it called Planned Parenthood if they specialize in abortion?

    It’s founder Margaret Sanger believed the poor and blacks should minimize bringing children into the world for reasons of eugenics not for the sake of the mother. It’s first clinics were in poor and black sections of the cities.

    Hitler got his eugenic ideas of controlling the races from her and other Americans like Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (see Wikipedia).

    300,000 abortions a month. Close to 60,000,000 since Row vs. Wade.

    Extreme floods, droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. like the U.S. has never seen before.

    If we don’t succeed in fighting the evil of abortion there will be a great reckoning in store for us.

    Be afraid.

    Be very much afraid for the future of our country.

  • Carl G. Oehling

    I am a Christian who includes the bible literature in his studies. In Romans 1 it states we all know there is a God and we are afraid of the Judgment Day when murderers will be sent to hell. I consider that a reason to be very depressed. Suicide is only one solution, but the only one available to a non-christian or a Jehovah denying psychologist. I suggest accepting Jesus’ forgiveness.

  • researchermyself

    I find a couple things problematic. First, this does nothing to adjust for the fact that the women who get abortions are likely of a different socioeconomic status, younger, and have smaller support systems in terms of friends and family, all of which are groups with higher suicide rates. These factors can be controlled for in scientific study, but weren’t in this case. Secondly, it’s possible that people with mental health issues in the first place are more likely to act in sexually irresponsible ways and therefore more likely to have unplanned pregnancies. Thirdly, it is also not far-fetched to wonder whether women who are already suicidal or have other mental health issues that could lead to suicidal ideations feel less able to take care of a baby or endure the psychological stress of pregnancy (even if choosing adoption) and are therefore more likely to opt for abortion than giving birth.