Abortion Drugs Linked to Anxiety, Depression: Another Reason to Choose Life

Abortion Drugs Linked to Anxiety, Depression: Another Reason to Choose Life
A woman displays a sign in support of abortion legislation during a pro-life rally outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Center in St Louis, Mo., on June 4, 2019. Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
Nicole Russell

For years, the pro-life community has tried to deter women from having abortions, not just for moral reasons, but for health reasons. Political bias over the contentious topic, however, has made it nearly impossible to confirm if abortion adversely affects a woman’s health.

Now a groundbreaking three-year study, led by a team of behavioral neuroscientists at Franciscan University in Ohio, has confirmed that there are negative biological and behavioral consequences caused by abortion drugs.

The study looked at how rats in a lab reacted to drugs that terminated pregnancies—mifepristone and misoprostol.

The scientists found significant and harmful behavioral changes in pregnant rats that were given the abortion-inducing drugs, compared to rats that didn’t receive the drugs—or the rats given the drugs that weren’t pregnant.

The pregnant rats that were given the drugs experienced effects such as loss of appetite, decreased self-care, and behaviors similar to depression and anxiety in humans.

In a statement, Dr. Stephen Sammut, the professor of psychology at Franciscan University who led the research, said: “This is breaking new ground. In the animal model, we observed depression-like behaviors, and we saw anxiety-like behaviors. The biochemistry indicated potentially long-term effects.”

According to Sammut, the findings suggest that social pressure or stigmas—which abortion advocates have long suggested were the cause of depression and anxiety in women who have had abortions, not the abortions themselves—don’t adequately explain the decline in mental health experienced by some women following a drug-induced abortion. This is part of what compelled him to research this.

“There is something more than social pressure on a person who feels depressed after an abortion,” Sammut said. “There are potential physiological consequences that have not been investigated.”

Now, they’ve established a correlation between pregnant rats given abortion-inducing drugs and depression and anxiety, Sammut hopes to see if there’s a way to reverse the effects of the drugs.

“If you have a desire to seek the truth through science, science will show you the truth,” he said.

Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-life OB-GYNs, commented in the statement about the lack of rigor in the abortion industry surrounding drug safety. “This study ... raises serious concerns about mental health effects of drug-induced abortions and the differences between spontaneous and induced abortion. Such studies should have been performed long before drug-induced abortion was allowed on the market,” she said.

I’ve written about abortion policy for years. I’ve cited small studies here and there on the effects of abortion on women, but often abortion advocates wave them off as not compelling enough.

Knowing that abortion not only hurts the baby but also mom, too, is another piece in the puzzle that will hopefully help persuade mothers unsure of what to do to choose life.

Nicole Russell is a freelance writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Politico, The Daily Beast, and The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter @russell_nm
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.