Tuesday, 29 March 2011

An interesting sidelight on abortion

A friend of mine was reporting a conversation with someone he knows that was very interesting. She (my friend's acquaintance) did a research project many years ago operating out of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. They were investigating the impact of different approaches to supporting women who had attempted suicide.

This involved interviewing several hundred women at length, and recording the data they were looking for. However, she also noticed, after 20 or 30 interviews, a piece of information they weren't interested in for the research. Practically every one of these women who had attempted suicide, when asked about their suicide attempt and subsequent life, referred to an earlier abortion (ie before the suicide attempt). Having noticed this, she listened out for it subsequently, and with practically no exceptions, without being asked specifically about it, all the remaining women in the study mentioned the same thing.

Of course, there could be sociological explanations for some aspects of this: women who attempt suicide and women who have abortions may come from similar socio-economic backgrounds and so on. However the link was so hight that she suspected - and now strongly maintains - a causal link: not least because of the womens' evident need to talk about this, even, in some cases, decades later.

Strangely, I know of no formal academic research into this correlation....

4 comments:

sanabituranima said...

This is interesting and very sad.

Suicide attempts and sexual abuse tend to go together and women who become pregnant as the result of sexual abuse often have abortions.

Ben Trovato said...

I hadn't seen that connection, but what you say makes a lot of sense, tragically. And of course abortion can serve to keep sexual abuse hidden...

marmal60 said...

Have you heard of the book Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, by Theresa Burke? I believe it can be obtained at the Priests for Life website. The book examines the multi-faceted results of abortion on women. It's worth a look!

Ben Trovato said...

M60 - no I haven't seen that one - will look out for it. Thanks for the recommendation!