One of the issues that strikes a chord in me is that of suicide after abortion. This may be because I know how it feels to want to leave life behind. Maybe these suicidal urges are there in everyone and at times of stress and confusion become stronger until the only way to get relief is to act on the impulse.
A few years ago there was a story circulating about a young women who had aborted her twins and then, leaving a suicide note, took her life. She was the artist Emma Beck.
It seems that the projection of suicidal feelings onto the foetus/baby is recognised by some of the medical professionals. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1974-21185-001 but it sounds dry and dull when what I really want to know is how we are to understand the link between being pregnant, becoming un pregnant and then not wanting to be alive.
A friend sent me the following which I found insightful:
I have had a look at the study of Morgan, Evans and Peters. They are looking at attempted suicides, aren’t they? In the case of miscarriages, the relative risk is 2.84 (significant) before and 2.29 (significant) afterwards. In the case of abortions, the relative risk is 1.72 (non-significant) before and 3.25 (significant) afterwards. Their 2 findings are: 1. there is a deterioration in the mental health of women who have induced abortions and 2. poor mental health does not predispose women to have abortions; so they are on our side. Gissler and colleagues say that the results mean that there is a deterioration in the mental health of women who have abortions or there is a common cause, for example adverse environmental conditions (or even the unwanted pregnancy itself!), for the abortion and the suicide. They point out that there is a need to research the outcomes in the case of women with unwanted pregnancies who have and do not have induced abortions.
My thoughts are that the increase in the relative risk of suicide after an abortion is much higher than the relative risk of suicide before a miscarriage, so there would appear to be something about abortion that causes that increase; the fairly high relative risk of suicide prior to a miscarriage could be attributable to a number of causes such as anxiety about the pregnancy because of a previous miscarriage or because there are problems with the pregnancy; if the fairly high relative risk of suicide prior to a miscarriage is due to mental health problems, these mental health problems are not exacerbated by the miscarriage, unlike in the case of an abortion, where women who did not previously suffer from mental health problems suddenly seem to become very much more at risk than the women who suffer miscarriages; and, whatever the debate about the existence of mental health problems, the fact that the relative risk of suicide after a miscarriage decreases indicates that some added factor (possibly [probably] guilt) is present after an abortion.
Then there is this case below
The Finland study found an increased suicide rate after abortion and the discussion is interesting to read as it draws attention to the fact of the recorded verdicts of suicide, and also the women who have accidents after abortions. I am wondering if some of these accidents are due to lack of self protection. http://www.bmj.com/content/313/7070/1431