Laws Requiring Waiting Periods Before Abortion Reduce Suicide Rate

Mandatory waiting periods before abortions reduce the suicide rate among women ages 25-64, according to a study.

In the study “Mandatory Waiting Periods for Abortions and Female Mental Health”by Jonathan Klick, it was determined that the suicide rate of women between 25 – 64 dropped by 10% in states where waiting period and counseling  (informed consent)  legislation was passed. When adjusted for other factors, the number increased to 30%.

The study came to the following conclusion:

It would appear as though waiting periods (and the counseling that usually accompanies them) induce a more reasoned approach to the abortion decision, avoiding rash decisions on the part of the pregnant women. Better decision-making processes presumably lead to fewer regrets later on, lowering the incidence of depression and, ultimately, suicide. These results suggest mandatory waiting periods represent public policies that generate large welfare gains for women faced with unwanted pregnancies.

The study appeared in Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, volume 16, P 183, 2006 FSU College of Law, Law and Economics Paper number 05 –27

Suicide rates are much higher among women who have aborted versus women who have not. For example, one study shows that the suicide rate for women who aborted 6 to 7 times greater than in women who have never had an abortion.

(Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, “Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Journal of Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996; and M. Gissler, “Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,” European J. Public Health 15(5):459 63,2005.)

Another study shows that Up to 60% of aborting women have suicidal thoughts.  31% had thoughts of suicide after abortion. In another survey, approximately 60% of women with post-abortion problems reported suicidal thoughts, with 28% attempting suicide and half of those attempting suicide two or more times

D. Reardon, Aborted Women, Silent No More (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002).

Teen girls are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide if they have had an abortion in the last six months than girls who have not had an abortion.

B. Garfinkel, et al., “Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota,” Responding to High Risk Youth (University of Minnesota: Minnesota Extension Service, 1986); M. Gissler, et. al., “Suicides After Pregnancy in Finland: 1987-94: register linkage study,” British Medical Journal, 313: 1431-1434, 1996; and N. Campbell, et. al., “Abortion in Adolescence,” Adolescence, 23:813-823, 1988. See the “Teen Abortion Risks” Fact Sheet at for more information.

Planned Parenthood another pro-choice organizations vehemently oppose laws that would require a waiting period and counseling before abortions. For example:

One proposed law would require the abortion clinic or hospital to provide a woman with information on the probable age of her fetus and details of the abortion procedure and to offer her information about the pregnancy and other options available. Unless her life is at stake, the woman would then have to wait 24 hours before having the abortion. The information could be given by phone or in person.

According to pro-choice groups, these laws are unnecessary and burdensome to women.

“I just think it is patronizing and unfair to women and women’s health.”

Delegate Clifton A. “Chip” Woodrum, Roanoke Democrat

Stephen Dinan “24-Hour Abortion Wait Progresses in House” February 3, 2001 The Washington Times,  8

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Author: TA Smith

Sarah Terzo is a pro-life writer and blogger. She is on the board of The Consistent Life Network and PLAGAL +

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