A new study, which compared the risk of non-fatal suicide attempts before and after a first, first-trimester abortion, has found abortion does not increase women’s risk of suicide.
As part of the study, published in the Lancet Psychiatry, researchers examined data on 523,380 Danish women aged 18 to 36 years and compared the risk of non-fatal suicide attempts associated with a first abortion relative to having no abortion between January 2000 and December 2016. They also examined whether the risk of suicide attempts changed before and after the abortion.
Overall 9.4 per cent of women had at least one first-trimester abortion, and 2 per cent of women had a suicide attempt during the study period.
The authors reported that while women who had abortions had a higher risk of non-fatal suicide attempts compared with women who did not have an abortion, this increased risk was the same both the years before and after the abortion, and therefore, it was not attributable to the abortion.
The strongest risk factors for suicide attempts were having a previous psychiatric contact, previous use of antidepressant medication, previous use of antianxiety medication and previous use of antipsychotic medication.