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The Psychological Complications of Therapeutic Abortion

  • G. Zolese (a1) and C. V. R. Blacker (a2)

Psychological or psychiatric disturbances occur in association with therapeutic abortions but they seem to be marked, severe, or persistent in only a minority (approximately 10%) of women. These consist mostly of caseness depression and anxiety. Psychoses are very uncommon, being repotted in only 0.003% of cases – most of whom have a history of previous psychiatric illness. Certain groups are especially at risk from adverse psychological sequelae; these include those with a past psychiatric history, younger women, those with poor social support, the multiparous, and those belonging to sociocultural groups antagonistic to abortion. This is not to overlook the fact that, adopting a crisis-resolution framework, subsequent termination of an unwanted pregnancy is itself ‘therapeutic‘. A better understanding of the nature of the risk factors would enable clinicians to identify vulnerable women for whom some form of psychological intervention might be beneficial.

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The Psychological Complications of Therapeutic Abortion

  • G. Zolese (a1) and C. V. R. Blacker (a2)
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