Emotional repercussions of abortion

Kristin Hajek, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

There is a widespread opinion that women suffer emotionally from having an abortion, but only few longitudinal studies have actually investigated how abortion influences women’s well-being. By using fixed effects panel regression models I can explore if previous findings of emotional repercussions of abortion were due to a causal effect or a selection effect. In detail, I hope to shed light on the question if depressiveness decreases after an abortion or if women abort because they are depressed. Women that are depressed might be more inclined to abort than women that are emotionally stable. Therefore, if one does not consider a woman’s emotional state prior to pregnancy, one might overestimate the emotional repercussions of abortion. Furthermore, the emotional effects of abortion on male partners was neglected so far. The German Family Panel (pairfam) is a multidisciplinary survey focusing on partnership and family dynamics. So-called anchor persons from birth cohorts 1991-93, 1981-83 and 1971-73 are surveyed annually. Using data from waves 1-7 of the German Family Panel I will analyze if men and women suffer emotionally from having an abortion.

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Presented in Session 120: Abortion: attitudes and determinants