Depression not linked to teen abortion

Sept. 27, 2010 at 2:31 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Teens who have abortions may be no more likely to become depressed than peers whose pregnancies do not end in abortion, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Jocelyn Warren, a post-doctoral research associate Oregon State University, and colleagues at University of California, San Francisco, used data from 289 respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They used three surveys beginning in 1994 to1995, again a year later and then five years later.

The study, published online ahead of print in the December issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, determined young women who had an abortion were no more likely to become depressed or have low self-esteem within the first year of pregnancy, or five years later, than girls who were pregnant, but did not have an abortion.

"We know most teen pregnancies are not wanted pregnancies and an unwanted pregnancy can be very stressful," Warren said in a statement.

"What we didn't know was whether psychological outcomes are worse for girls who choose abortion. This study says, 'No.'"

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