Several studies have derived an association between abortion and mental health issues. However, most of the research conducted on abortion and mental health had low accuracy and participation rates. The objective of this study is to assess the association between the first abortion and the first non-fatal suicide attempt.
This longitudinal cohort study included a total of 523,280 women aged 18-36 years, out of which, 48,990 (9.4%) women had data of at least one first-trimester abortion, and 10,216 (2.0%) had a suicide attempt during the study period. The researchers used survival analysis to investigate the risk of suicide attempts associated with abortion. The primary outcome of the study was the rate of suicide attempts.
The findings suggested that out of 48,990 women who had a first-trimester abortion, 1,402 (2.9%) had a first suicide attempt after the first abortion. Further analysis indicated a significant risk of first-time non-fatal suicide attempts in the year before an abortion (incident rate ratio 2.46) and the year after the abortion (IRR 2.54).
The research concluded that the women who had a first-time abortion were at a higher risk of non-fatal suicide attempts within a year before and after abortion compared with women who did not have an abortion.