Friday, February 24, 2006

BreakPoint | The Elephant in the Living Room

And what is this elephant? Simply this: Pro-abortion people commonly argue that a woman's mental health will suffer if she doesn't get whatever abortion she's demanding at the moment. But from a professor of medicine in New Zealand, and one who wants to see women get their abortions as much as Kate Michelman does, comes a study that destroys the underlying assumption.

The typical argument runs like this: Laws restricting abortion are too onerous if they do not allow exceptions for the woman's life and health. As evidence--well, pro-abortion forces commonly assert that if a woman doesn't get an abortion, her mental health might suffer. That statement was always more asserted than proved, and it rested on one key unstated assumption: that the stress of pregnancy and childbirth, or perhaps the stress of the embarrassment attendant on the circumstances of the pregnancy, would have a significant impact on a woman's life.

Trouble is, no one has yet produced any studies showing what happens to women who have abortions, as opposed to those that do not, under the same or similar circumstances. So Prof. David Fergusson and his colleagues decided to study that subject themselves. And they found that women who have abortions are more likely, not less, to have mental problems later on! I quote:

Those having an abortion [under age 25] had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders...The findings suggest that abortion in young women may be associated with increased risks of mental health problems.
At least they were intellectually honest enough to publish those results as they got them, without trying to fudge them. They had to search a little harder to publish, but they did publish--this although some government agency had the brass to warn them not to, strictly on political grounds. And why did he publish? Again, I quote:
It verges on scandalous that a surgical procedure that is performed on over one in 10 women has been so poorly researched and evaluated, given the debates about the psychological consequences of abortion.
With the case of Gonzales v. Carhart now headed for Supreme Court oral argument and decision, this couldn't have come at a worse time for the abortion-mill lobby.
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