Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Expert critiques claim there’s no link between abortion and mental health issues
LifeSiteNews ^ | 3/10/12 | Ben Johnson

Posted on 03/11/2012 11:49:22 AM PDT by wagglebee

BOWLING GREEN, OHIO, March 9, 2012, ( – An editorial in a psychiatric publication criticizing a recent study is being cited as a “refutation” of the idea that abortion leads to higher rates of mental illness. But an expert tells the other side is far from disproving the notion – and has an agenda of its own.

The editor-in-chief of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Alan Schatzberg of the Stanford University School of Medicine, co-authored an article that criticized a 2009 study conducted by Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which found high incidence of mental problems in post-abortive women.

A year later, Julia Steinberg of the University of California-San Francisco and Lawrence Finer of the Alan Guttmacher Institute claimed, “For many women, psychiatric illnesses occurred before the abortion.” This, they said, rendered Dr. Coleman’s findings invalid.

Schatzberg recently wrote that he believes their criticisms had merit but stopped short of retracting the article, which his journal published.

On Tuesday, Coleman said she corrected her data to include only incidents of mental health issues after abortion, and the results “did not change much.”

Nonetheless, a number of outlets reported her findings had been “debunked.”

That is far from true, according to Dr. Martha Shuping, M.D., an expert in post-abortion issues. The North Carolina-based psychiatrist told the link had been tested numerous times.

“It’s not only one study” that establishes a link, Dr. Shuping wrote, “but many statistically significant studies published in peer reviewed journals with statistically significant results that demonstrate that abortion puts women at risk for mental health problems. The website has one bibliography listing more than 40 such studies, and additional studies have been published since that bibliography was posted in 2008.”

A similar discussion took place in 2008, Dr. Shuping said, after the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released a report drawn up by its Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. The study was widely cited to imply abortion presented no more negative side effects than a live birth.

But that study had methodological flaws of its own. It “excluded everyone under 21 that is having abortions, which is not insignificant,” she said. That totals at least 18 percent of all abortions, well over 100,000 a year.

They also said their study applied only to women who had a single abortion. Yet Susan Cohen of the Alan Guttmacher Institute wrote in 2007, “About half of all U.S. women having an abortion have had one previously.”

And they said the decision must be by a woman who does not want her baby and is not coerced. “I think there’s a lot more coercion out there than anyone realizes,” Dr. Shuping noted, relating personal anecdotes of women who were bullied, physically assaulted, or drugged before being led into an abortion clinic.

“They’re excluding the majority of women in America who are having abortions every day.”

Shuping pointed to a 2007 study conducted by Sharain Suliman that 18.2 percent of post-abortive women “met criteria for a diagnosis of” Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder within three months of their abortion. The research was carried out in an effort to help abortionists find a better means of anesthetic.

Dr. Shuping told LifeSiteNews the truth is simple: “There are many, many women who have mental health issues because of their abortion.” However, researchers are constantly looking for any other explanation.

“If any of those women had said, ‘I was raped and now I have trauma symptoms,’ no one would dispute that,” Dr. Shuping told, “because we all know that rape is a bad thing for women.”

But when it comes to abortion, “No one wants to believe the women themselves.”

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; mentalhealth; moralabsolutes; prolife
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-27 last
To: Tax-chick
It’s estimated that 50% of women who have reached adulthood since 1973 have had at least one abortion. Wouldn’t that mean that 50% of women had serious pre-existing psychological problems?

Estimated by whom? I believe that number is used by abortion advocates who want to inflate the numbers so as to promote the illusion that abortion is a common method of birth control used by many women. They use that illusion to try to convince more women to have abortions.

However, if you look at the numbers, the 50% estimate just doesn't hold up. Rough and dirty estimate, ignoring confounders such as number of women in childbearing age, statistical analyses, and so forth:

  1. Total number of people in the US: ~300 million.
  2. Total number of women: about half that, or ~150 million.
  3. Total number of abortions committed since 1973: ~50 million.
  4. Percentage of abortions performed on women who have already had at least one abortion: ~50%.

So, the number of women who have had abortions is roughly (50 million / 150 million) x 0.5 = 17%.

21 posted on 03/11/2012 3:30:35 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

YEah, they probably are depressed people who get impressed by inner city gangsters’ views and rap attitudes on “life”. It reminds me of the movie “The Departed”.

22 posted on 03/11/2012 3:32:38 PM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
I believe that number is used by abortion advocates who want to inflate the numbers ...

That's entirely possible. Maybe I remembering a number from Russia or something.

23 posted on 03/11/2012 3:41:06 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Maybe it IS about contraception. Read "Planned Parenthood v. Casey" decision, 1992.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee; Tax-chick
I have had my moments. :)

I've had three (or more) women confess to me that they had abortions. I didn't know them pre-abortion, but post-abortion, they did seem to have some real problems.

24 posted on 03/11/2012 4:51:41 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: huldah1776

A seared conscience maybe.

25 posted on 03/11/2012 7:24:32 PM PDT by christianhomeschoolmommaof3
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: a fool in paradise

The so called experts also said there was no connection between homosexuality and mental health issues.

Then why the short lived relationships, physically abusive relationships, short life span, chemical dependencies, and desire to mutilate their bodies?


That is just them expressing their “love”.

26 posted on 03/11/2012 10:04:22 PM PDT by Morgana (I only come here to see what happens next. It normally does.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
this ministry disagree with the author of this article.

27 posted on 03/12/2012 8:12:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-27 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson