Objectives: We set out to assess the occurrence of new depression and anxiety diagnoses in women 3 years after they sought an abortion.
Methods: We conducted semiannual telephone interviews of 956 women who sought abortions from 30 US facilities. Adjusted multivariable discrete-time logistic survival models examined whether the study group (women who obtained abortions just under a facility's gestational age limit, who were denied abortions and carried to term, who were denied abortions and did not carry to term, and who received first-trimester abortions) predicted depression or anxiety onset during seven 6-month time intervals.
Results: The 3-year cumulative probability of professionally diagnosed depression was 9% to 14%; for anxiety it was 10% to 15%, with no study group differences. Women in the first-trimester group and women denied abortions who did not give birth had greater odds of new self-diagnosed anxiety than did women who obtained abortions just under facility gestational limits.
Conclusions: Among women seeking abortions near facility gestational limits, those who obtained abortions were at no greater mental health risk than were women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term.