How the future of Roe V. Wade can affect mental health, according to experts – Forbes Health

Contrary to initial research findings, there is growing evidence that a lack of access to abortion is linked to negative mental health outcomes.

Dr. Monica P. Band, a licensed mental health consultant in Washington, DC, says clients are seeing anxiety and depression as the Court hears Dobbs v.

“The bullet revolution led to resignation, hopelessness and disappointment …” Band says. “[Individuals] As a result of the pre-existing conditions, those who experienced the constant grief of child loss, abortion, and infertility were equally concerned about leaving their future, especially with access to medical care, support, and education based on the past.

Fears of reduced access to abortion are shared along ideological lines, with 61% of U.S. adults reflecting on all or most of the circumstances supporting the right to abortion, according to data from the Pew Research Center. “It’s interesting because clients who are against abortion have also expressed empathy for women who need this medical service in certain situations,” says Kristen Casey, a psychologist licensed in Psy.D, Kansas City, Missouri.

Experts point out that they are becoming more anxious before the Court’s ruling:

Reproductive Elderly Women

Pec Indman is a recently retired marriage and family therapist with a degree in maternal and mental health. A graduate of Cupertino, California, Indman, who also worked as a physician’s assistant in family practice, hopes that this moment will encourage sexually active people to become more intelligent about the use of contraceptives. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that contraception is not 100% effective.

“Women became pregnant while using an IUD,” she says. “Women have become pregnant by taking the pill. Not all men are ready to use condoms. I think [repealing Roe vs. Wade] it will certainly increase anxiety knowing that, in the worst case scenario, abortion will not be available and they will be forced to. [pregnancy] for the time being. ‘

Jennifer Lincoln, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Portland, Oregon, explained the concerns of young followers of her TikTok viral account, a platform she uses to organize conversations about sexual health. Dr. Lincoln says young people are asking for advice on collecting emergency contraceptives and abortion pills in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. He says he also expresses concern about applications to track the period, worrying that their data could be used as evidence against them if they ever have an abortion.

For all people of childbearing age, Indman added that losing access to abortion care can affect their romantic relationships. “From a mental health perspective, [they] she will feel more anxious about having sex. And that hurts privacy. ”

Women with Families

In 2019, 60% of those who received an abortion were women who had given birth before, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Pew Research Center. These women probably understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll of childbirth and growth, Dr. Lincoln says. “Their limited ability to reproduce, especially when they know what it means to do so, is certainly causing fear in people.”

Women in vulnerable communities

Research shows that women in low-income situations are less likely to use contraceptives than their wealthy partners. This is five times the rate of unplanned pregnancies among women living in poverty, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.

1973 Roe v. Since the Wade resolution, the Guttmacher Institute has reported in a 2021 report that the U.S. has approved 1,336 abortion restrictions at the state level. Many state governments against abortion have closed their clinics and even more are expected to close Roe v. If Wade is the other way around. This will leave people hundreds of miles from the nearest clinic in certain states. And for those living in a low-income state, traveling long distances, by car or plane, can be incredibly expensive, says Dr. Casey.

“We know that poor and colorful women have less access to services. The [additional] Challenges to seeking abortion care will exacerbate anxiety, stress, and depression, ”says Indman.

Women who are victims of violence and sexual abuse

Research shows that pregnancy increases the risk of domestic violence during pregnancy and 1.5 years after childbirth, and the proportion of women is higher in reporting new cases of domestic violence after pregnancy and postpartum. Domestic violence is also a risk factor for unplanned pregnancy, creating a circular problem that puts victims of domestic violence at constant risk. Victims of domestic violence have higher rates of mental health, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation, according to the National Center for Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health.

“It’s very common [individuals] “Survivors of sexual assault can be treated well, so they feel traumatized when they give birth,” said Band.

Your Safety is Important

If you have survived a sexual assault and need assistance, call 800656.HOPE (4673) to contact a trained employee of a sexual assault service provider in your area.

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