London, Mar 16 : A medical royal college has warned that having an abortion can increase the likelihood of young women later developing some sort of mental health problem.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, women should not be given the permission to have an abortion until they are aware of the possible risk to their mental health.
Over 90 percent of the 200,000 abortions in Britain every year are believed to be done because doctors believe that continuing with the pregnancy would cause greater mental strain.
However, the new research is contradictory to the belief that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health comes if a woman continues with an unwanted pregnancy.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has urged to update the abortion information leaflets so that it includes details of the risks of depression.
"Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information," Times Online quoted the college, as saying in a statement.
MPs will soon vote for a proposal to decrease the upper time limit for abortions 'for social reasons' from 24 weeks to 20 weeks, a move not supported by the government.
According to a Sunday Times poll, 59 percent of women would support such a reduction, with only 28 percent supporting the status quo.
Taken together, 48 percent of men and women want a reduction to 20 weeks, while 35 percent want to retain 24 weeks.
Some MPs also insist women to have a cooling-off period, in which they would be counselled on the possible risks of abortion, including the effect on their mental health, before they could go ahead.
Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP campaigning for a statutory cooling-off period, welcomed the college's revised stance.
"For doctors to process a woman's request for an abortion without providing the support, information and help women need at this time of crisis I regard almost as a form of abuse," she said.
The warning came after an inquest in Cornwall heard that a talented artist hanged herself because she couldn't live with the guilt of aborting her twins.