Unwanted pregnancies leading to abortions are common life events, and they relate directly to youth. Approximately 22% of the 205 million annual pregnancies end in abortion (Sedgh et al. 2007), and in 2004 individuals less than 19 comprised approximately 17.4% of completed abortions while 32.8% were ages 20–24. Despite its prevalence, abortions raise a host of social and legal issues that challenge basic values and foster intense controversy. Indeed, researchers often charge that the scientific enterprise in this area of study is being manipulated and that research findings are being misrepresented to justify particular social agendas, especially efforts involving access to contraception and abortion (see Russo and Denious 2005). Those controversies likely will continue, especially as they relate to mothers’ mental health outcomes relating to abortions, and particularly as they relate to adolescents and their status (with research noting varied outcomes and mostly focusing on adult...
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