Pro-life experts skewer methodology of study that denied post-abortion depression
LifeSiteNews 21 December 2016
Family First Comment: More advocacy ‘research’ that should be binned.
Beware of research that goes against common sense and the overwhelming weight of evidence already presented.
Eager to prove that abortion is harmless to mothers and informed consent warnings are unnecessary, researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) kept data for five years on 917 women who either had an abortion or sought an abortion.
After one week, the women who sought but did not get an abortion (often because they were past the gestational limit of the abortuary they visited) reported greater anxiety, lower self-esteem and lower life satisfaction than the women who did get abortions, according to the researchers.
The data showed those negative effects dissipated after six months. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.
Researchers concluded not only that abortion causes no psychological ill effects, but there is no such thing as Post-Abortion Syndrome. In addition, the study’s authors imply that being “denied” an abortion does have psychological ill effects.
But pro-life doctors say the study is fundamentally flawed.
First of all, there is no control group of women who choose to give life to their baby. Both sets of pregnant women in the UCSF study chose to abort.
Second, only 40 percent of invited women agreed to participate in the study. No attempt was made to inquire as to their motivation for having an abortion. Furthermore, nearly a third of participants did not complete all five years of follow-up.
Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D, the National Right to Life director of education, refuted every major point of the study.
“We know that some women do eventually have serious negative psychological responses to their abortions, some within a year or two, but most several years down the road,” O’Bannon explained. “There is actual ample evidence that this is so, evidenced by reputable studies such as that by Fergusson, et al, ‘Abortion in Young Women and Subsequent Mental Health,’ from the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.”
That study found that women who procured an abortion experienced significantly elevated rates of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors, and substance abuse.
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