Launch of SPUC report on Abortion and Women’s Health

10 Jan 2018

On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act, SPUC released Abortion and Women's Health, a fully referenced review about the impact of abortion on women. The review is based on global research and presents a number of physical and mental health problems linked to abortions. The research was carried out by Dr Gregory Pike, a medical researcher and the Founding Director of the Adelaide Centre for Bioethics and Culture. 

Some of the key findings from the report are:

  • suicide is around six times greater after abortion than after childbirth.
  • women described significant grief three years after abortion.
  • a 30% increased risk of depression and a 25% increased risk of anxiety following abortion
  • women who had abortions experienced mental health disorders 30% more often compared to women who had not had an abortion.
  • women who have had an abortion are at a higher risk of psychiatric admission compared to women who keep their babies.

At the launch of the report, Antonia Tully from SPUC said "The pro-abortion lobby and the abortion industry, which make millions of pounds from the taxpayer for carrying out state-funded terminations, don’t seem to care about the impact of abortion on women or refuse to look at what that impact is. The reality is that the impact is both heart-breaking and horrific for so many women......We really do care that women who have an abortion experience mental health problems 30% more often compared with women who give birth. It matters greatly to us that the risk of suicide is approximately six times greater after an abortion than after childbirth."   (As quoted by SPUC)

A few days later, on 2nd November, Labour MP Mary Glindon hosted an event to launch the report and this was attended by MPs and peers from all the major parties, and also representatives from nine pro-life organisations. SPUC Chief Executive John Smeaton, welcomed the guests and emphasised "It is important to say loud and clear that SPUC cares about women." (As quoted by SPUC)

Mary Glindon made a speech where she welcomed the report saying "It is only right that after 50 years of legalised abortion, those on both sides of the debate should examine the impact of abortion on women........There are some shocking findings in the report, for example women who have had abortions are 30% more likely to experience mental health problems and that women who have had abortions are 6 times more likely to commit suicide than other women.......The number of abortions at 8.8 million is staggering but it is equally worrying to read about the toll abortion takes on women.......I hope that everyone here will read the report – it’s really important that it gets to the people who can make a difference.” (As quoted by SPUC)

Clare Bremner from Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline said "When I told the women I’m currently counselling that I was coming here today, they were excited.....They kept telling me, make sure you tell them what it’s like for us – they need to know."  (As quoted by SPUC)

Dr Greg Gardner, a GP in Birmingham said that because a patients NS number does not need to be stated on an abortion form there is no way to put together any data on patient outcomes. He challenged the Department of Health to make research on patient outcomes following an abortion possible as with all other procedures saying: “The NHS should be a major contributor to the world literature on research on abortion, but it is not. (As quoted by SPUC)

The report is to be sent to GPs across the UK.

Read the full report here:’s-impact-on-women’s-mental-health