Women who are denied access to an abortion are likely to develop long-term health problems, new research suggests.The study, conducted by the University of California, found that women whose requests were denied reported higher rates of chronic pain in the five years after seeking an abortion than those who were granted terminations in their first or second trimester.The researchers tracked the self-reported physical health of around 900 women who sought abortions across the US between 2008 and 2010.This included women who were close to or slightly beyond the gestational limit for performing abortions – which differs by region in the US – as well as those who received first and second trimester abortions.In all, 328 women had a first-trimester abortion, 383 had a second-trimester abortion and 163 were turned away. Each participant provided information about their pain, chronic conditions and overall health when the study began, and twice a year for the next five years.When the study first started, 20 per cent of women who had a first-trimester abortion described their pre-pregnancy health as "fair or poor".In comparison, 17.5 per cent of those who had a second-trimester abortion and about 18 per cent of those who were turned away said the same. After the five years of follow-up, about 20 per cent of women who had an abortion at either stage of pregnancy reported "fair or poor" health.However, among women who were denied an abortion and went on to give birth, the percentage of those who said their health was "fair or poor" rose to 27 per cent.According to the researchers, women who went on to give birth reported higher rates of chronic conditions including headaches, joint pain, asthma and high cholesterol. Meanwhile, two of the women who were denied terminations died from maternal causes, which Lauren Ralph, the study co-author, said “could have been avoided had these women had access to the health care they had sought”.“Our study demonstrates that having an abortion is not detrimental to women’s health, but being denied access to a wanted one likely is,” Ralph told Time magazine.Beyond complications involved with pregnancy and birth, such as excessive bleeding, gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension, Ralph added that the financial implications and stress that may come as a result of being denied an abortion could also negatively impact a woman’s health.The researchers suggest that the findings are especially poignant given the recent slew of US states passing legislation to restrict abortion rights.Ralph said that while many of these policies argue that abortions are dangerous, either mentally or physically, this study proves otherwise. “The argument that abortion harms women is certainly not supported by our data,” Ralph explained. “When differences in health were observed, they were consistently in the direction of worse health among those who gave birth. “The findings from the study can really highlight some of the consequences if we continue to restrict access to wanted abortion.”Several high-profile individuals have publicly condemned the new abortion bans being instated in the US, including Rihanna, Lady Gaga and London mayor Sadiq Khan. Over the last few months, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio and Alabama have all passed so-called “heartbeart bills” which place restrictions on the gestation time and circumstances in which a woman can obtain an abortion. You can find out more about which countries have the strictest abortion laws here.
The singer used a cake emblazoned with the words 'Abortion is Healthcare' to promote her partnership with Planned Parenthood.
Tess Holliday has opened up about having an abortion following the birth of her second child when she was in the midst of postpartum depression and “experiencing suicidal thoughts”.Following the restrictive abortion laws that have been passed in several US states, the Mississippi-born model spoke about her own termination, describing the decision as “awful” but “necessary” for her mental health.“I had postpartum depression and then severe delayed postpartum and that’s what I was dealing with,” Holliday told People. “When I found out that I was pregnant again, I thought there’s no way I could do this. I was already, for the first time, experiencing suicidal thoughts. I literally didn’t want to go through any day at all. So, the thought of having to do it, to go through all of that again, destroyed me.”Holliday told the publication that she wished she didn’t have to share her story, but felt obliged to speak out against the abortion laws that are making it incredibly difficult, and in some states impossible, for women to terminate their pregnancies, even in cases of rape and incest.“In my home state of Mississippi, we had the one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy, the highest rates of school dropout, and it kind of blows my mind that all of that can be happening, but yet we don’t get taught sex ed in school,” she continued. > View this post on Instagram> > YouKnowMe- I’m from Mississippi, living in California, married with 2 kids, & I had an abortion. If I was still down south, I might not have been able to get the abortion I wanted & needed. My mental health couldn’t handle being pregnant again & I made the best decision for ME & ultimately my family. It wasn’t the “easy thing to do”, it was excruciating on many levels, but necessary. Do I regret it or question my choice? Not at all. – I’m not alone either. Did you know the majority of abortions in Alabama in 2017 were already parents? Did you know 1-4 women have had an abortion? This isn’t something that only affects women either, In the words of my friend @alokvmenon: “Abortion is a queer issue. Abortion is a trans issue. Abortion is a non-binary issue. A lot of people still mistakenly believe that only cis women & heterosexual people can get pregnant / have abortions & this rhetoric erases queer women, trans men, and non-binary people who have a disproportionately difficult time accessing abortions.” .. – Abortion is healthcare & folx living down south need safe access to abortions. I just donated to @yellowfund which is a grassroots organization funding safe abortion access in Alabama & if you can, please consider donating to them or @abortionfunds, @prochoiceamerica, @sistersong_woc ❤️ Don’t let these old white men tell us what we should do with our bodies. prochoice abortionisahumanright> > A post shared by T E S S H🍒L L I D A Y (@tessholliday) on May 16, 2019 at 8:38am PDT“I feel like we’re shaming people for needing to get an abortion, but then you’re not actually educating them beforehand. “We need more education and we need to talk about all of this more.”Holliday’s interview comes after she first posted about her abortion on Instagram on Friday, describing the experience as “excruciating”.The body positivity spokesperson went on to encourage her 1.9 million followers to make a donation to the Yellowhammer fund, a grassroots organisation that is raising money to give women safe abortion access in Alabama, which now has the strictest abortion laws in the US. It has banned the procedure in all instances unless it is necessary for the mother’s health.The law came into force after the state senate voted 25-6 in favour of the bill earlier this month. All 25 of those who voted in favour were men, with a compilation image of their faces having now been shared thousands of times on social media after Rihanna posted it on 16 May, writing “shame on you”.> take a look. these are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. > Governor Kay Ivey...SHAME ON YOU!!!! pic.twitter.com/WuAjSVv6TH> > — Rihanna (@rihanna) > > May 16, 2019“Don’t let these old white men tell us what we should do with our bodies,” Holliday’s post concludes.