Thursday, August 25, 2016
Human Reproduction (July 7, 2016): Is Underage Abortion Associated with Adverse Outcomes in Early Adulthood? A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study up to 25 Years of Age, by Suvi Leppälahti, et al.:
A recent study conducted in Finland followed all women born in 1987 (n=29,041) and queried whether having an abortion at less than eighteen years of age is associated with adverse socioeconomic and health outcomes in early adulthood as compared with giving birth to a child at less than eighteen. The researchers looked at socioeconomic, psychiatric and risk-taking-related health outcomes up to twenty-five years of age after underage (<18 years) abortion (n = 1041, 3.6%) and after childbirth (n = 394, 1.4%). Compared with the external control group consisting of a group with no pregnancies up to twenty years of age, both pregnancy groups were disadvantaged already prior to the pregnancy. The study found that "underage abortion was not found to be associated with mental health problems in early adulthood, and socioeconomic outcomes were better among those who experienced abortion compared with those who gave birth." The study confirmed that teenage motherhood is linked with numerous adverse outcomes in later life, including low educational levels and poor physical and mental health. The results of the study can be generalized to settings of high-quality social and health-care services, where abortion is accessible and affordable to all citizens.