Women who have abortions are twice as likely to suffer mental health problems, compared to other women, and one in 10 of all mental health problems were as a result of abortion, a new study has found.

The study, endorsed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry and looks at a number of studies carried out between 1995 and 2009.

It is the largest quantitative study of mental health risks associated with abortion. The report's author, Priscilla Coleman, said: "There are in fact some real risks associated with abortion that should be shared with women as they are counselled prior to an abortion."

The study found that abortion was linked with a 34 per cent greater chance of anxiety disorders and a 37 per cent greater chance of depression. It also led to a greater increase in the risk of alcohol abuse, cannabis use and suicide.

Posted by Robert Mair on 1.9.11 Please send your comments on this article to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com