Skip to comments.Major study on abortion/mental health risk under attack, but criticisms baseless
Posted on 12/12/2011 6:28:30 AM PST by thesaleboat
It did not take long for a new study finding a link between abortion and mental health to spark unfounded criticism of the paper and attacks against the author.
The prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP) recently published Abortion and Mental Health: Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995-2009. The paper, a culmination of Dr. Priscilla Colemans extensive experience in the field of abortion and mental health, finds that women who have undergone abortion have an 81% increase in the risk of mental health problems, and an even greater risk for substance misuse and suicidal behaviour (230% and 155% respectively). Nearly 10% of the incidence of all mental health problems was shown to be directly attributable to abortion.
Dr. Coleman uses a methodologically stringent criteria for the selection of studies. The sample encompasses 22 studies, 36 measurements of mental health effects and 877,181 participants of whom 163,831 had experienced an abortion.
One of the largest studies available on the subject, its robust conclusions warranted serious attention.
And attention is what it got. The Irish Times, Washington Times and the Daily Telegraph in Britain as well as US and foreign pro-life organizations reported on it. The article appeared right at the time Conservative MP Nadine Dorries forwarded a proposal to end the monopoly of abortion providers, such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International, to counsel on abortion.
Within the academic community, ad hominem attacks questioned Dr. Colemans scholarly objectivity, calling her an anti-abortion campaigner with an agenda-driven bias and obvious conflict of interest undermining her ability to critically review the primary studies. The journal allegedly failed to detect egregious scientific errors and left the readers to sort through the serious flaws themselves. Several critics called on BJP to retract the article. This reaction is in some way similar to the reaction British medical journal Lancet received when it reported in 2010 on false estimates made by the UN on maternal mortality.
Disparaging comments on the methodology apparently resulted from the failure to read Dr Colemans section on it. Critics also ignored the data supplement with details on the selected studies. Dr Colemans methodology is sound, the selection criteria are clearly specified, and her strategy is in line with the generally accepted guidelines for meta-analysis.
One point of valid criticism recognized by Dr. Coleman is the heterogeneity of the underlying studies. In response, a follow-up meta-analysis was conducted by Professor David Fergusson of the University of Otago, Christchurch, that was limited only to studies that used an unwanted/unintended pregnancy comparison group. In this study (which is under review), the increased risk of developing mental health problems is lower than in Colemans, which uses several control groups. However, the results are the same: unswerving evidence that abortion is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems.
The study has implications for the womens rights debate at the UN. Despite claims by abortion proponents and some UN staff that legal abortion fosters the empowerment of women, mounting scientific evidence demonstrates the opposite: women who undergo abortion face a higher risk of alcohol and marijuana abuse, depression, anxiety and suicide.
Among other things, the studys implications for public health include the need for health practitioners to inform women of the possible effects of abortion on mental health. It further demonstrates that health systems should not consign women seeking abortion to be counseled by abortion groups who ignore findings of links between abortion and mental health.
Thank you for the post
It is a no brainer that any woman with a conscience is going to have mental problems when she comes to the inescapable conclusion that she murdered her baby.
My son’s ex-wife decided to have an abortion before she ran off with her new lover, but she had a mental health problem long before she murdered her child.
I am not sure ,but I believe many of those who have abortions already had mental health problems.
Probems like Nymphomania, Selfishness, love for no one or anything except themselves,shopper mania, and credit card charging.
Ok so she was a pig who had hot pants, I don’t know if that is a mental health problem but it sure is prevalent these days.
A friend of mine had one last year, which I tried desperately to talk her out of. However, her so-called boyfriend got to her and she succumbed to his selfish reasoning.
It’s been a year and she’s already marking the “anniversary” of it ...(not in a happy way). It’s definitely hitting her — but I don’t know what to tell her. I just have nothing to offer her in the way of comfort or condolences. I can only be silent on it.
I know she is destined for mental issues and depression. I can see it already. She actually married this guy, right after it had occured (I think out of panic and guilt) ...and now it seems she definitely regretting “rushing into” the marriage.
It’s sad. Young people really need better education and training and upbringing on this subject. They get into these situations and succumb to abortion for fear of angering their families as well. People need to have frank talks with their kids about the “what if’s.” Abortion providers are only too ready to prey on young people who are weakminded and in crisis.
“I believe many of those who have abortions already had mental health problems.” I agree. It seems logical that the problems existed before the baby’s conception. How many stable women get into that sort of situation?
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Of course being a killer of one's own child causes terrible emotional repercussions. Guilt and remorse eat away at anyone with a conscience. Also anger at those who may have influenced or pressured into having the abortion. This is entirely natural. In fact, those who appear to not be bothered by their abortion have a bigger problem - with remorse can come repentance and forgiveness. There is at least one organization that helps women who have had abortions, maybe someone remembers the names. The best counseling of course is to do it before the abortion and thereby prevent it by choosing life; but millions of women only realize afterwards what a terrible choice they have made. Sometimes years later.
I think one of the organizations that helps women who have had abortions is called Rachel’s Vineyard. Do a search, I know there are organizations that help women post-abortion. I know wagglebee knows about this.
Sorry about that...short for BooKMarK. A placeholder for articles that I want to keep for later reading or reference. Thanks for posting this article.
Check your PMs.