The Cost of Abortion

A new study from the University of Oslo compared women who miscarry and women who have abortions:

The Oslo team found that, after 10 days, 47.5% of women who had miscarried suffered from some degree of mental distress compared with 30% of the abortion group.
The proportion of women who had a miscarriage suffering distress decreased during the study period, to 22.5% at six months and to just 2.6% at two years and five years.
But among the abortion group 25.7% were still experiencing distress after six months, and 20% at five years.
The researchers also said that women who had an abortion had to make an effort to avoid thinking about the event.

Naturally, the article reporting the study, from the BBC, includes quotes from representatives of the British abortion industry denying any ill effects from their product. As you would expect the industry to say. But avoidance of the truth requires a sustained commitment to avoiding empirical study of the facts.

7 thoughts on “The Cost of Abortion”

  1. You can staticize anything. While I am favor of very liberal abortion rights, I do think it’s better to avoid the need through some intelligent contraception. However, deciding what stress is in the first place varies from person to person.
    My daughter died of a brain tumor 12 years ago. My wife and I had gone to support groups for a while, but really, neither of us agreed in how many of them dealt with the blow–not saying it’s wrong, simply different. One group we went to once was a miscarriage group. Now the way support groups work, you go around the room, identifying yourself and then discussing why you are there. Honestly, and I mean this, the miscarriage group bemoaned themselves far more than the bereaved parents groups. And this after my wife has had an ectopic pregnancy, three miscarriages, and four deliveries, so we have had much. No way were the miscarriages the same kind of stress, not even close. Except to them. I’m not minimizing it, simply stating my observations,
    And to state that there should be no stress after an abortion is silly too. Absolute arguments only work with fanatics on both sides of the aisle. I would think that any sapient being has to balance many things before deciding on an abortion. And they felt that they, and an unwanted baby would be better off not co-existing. And the adoption argument holds no water: very few abortion rights opponents adopt either. NOt to mention the difficulty of adopting, and the stigma we place on kids. Newspapers always call adopted kids just that, instead of kids.
    So IMHO, most abortion right opponents (and I always add the word rights) are using the same currency conservatives claim liberal use with money. Spending others’ parental rights without spending any of their own. I know this is a bit off the stat argument you made Crank, but let’s face it. The abortion argument is the slavery argument of the 20th and 21st century: one tha is splitting us apart. That’s another reason Reagan was so smart. He made some speeches, but really spent more time uniting than dividing.

  2. “The researchers also said that women who had an abortion had to make an effort to avoid thinking about the event.”
    That’s a key quote. There isn’t a huge bombardment of hateful and shameful speech associated with miscarriages. No one is going to try to shame you for having a miscarriage. Perhaps they can’t stop thinking about it because anti-abortion folks won’t let them stop. That could skew the statistics.

  3. Unless I see some metric which adds a third statistic — percentage of women feeling distress over giving birth to an unwanted child — I have a hard time drawing any useful conclusions here.
    Not to mention the distress of growing up as an unwanted child.
    And, the final & key point here: if someone is willing to feel distress as the “payment” for aborting an unwanted child, why is that distress anyone else’s business? If an abortion foe wants to argue about the fetus, that’s another thing and I’m not going anywhere near it. But the mother’s distress is her own business.

  4. I was going to add something, but Daryl largely covered it. It’s unlike you to ignore such things as opportunity costs – for some people abortion may (seem to?) be the best of a bad lot. I think education is a better antidote to possible cognitive bias than is paternalism.

  5. Kevin,
    Interesting thoughts.
    With regard to the stress of being an unwanted child, wouldn’t you be inclined to look at the percentage of unwanted children who chose to end their own lives due their status. I would imagine that this would give you an idea of the percentage of abortions which prevent a child from entering a life they’d rather be dead than live fully.
    I’m certain there would be biases with regard to the degree of “unwant,” but it would still likely be in the ballpark.

Comments are closed.