Depressed about Abortion Reports
We couldn’t get through the first week of the year without further debate on abortion.
Research in New Zealand has found that in a study of about 1,200 young women, those who had an abortion were a third higher to have mental problems, such as depression, than their peers who continued with their pregnancies.
Anti-abortionists have used this research to back their argument that abortion is harmful to women. Selena Ewing, interviewed on the 7:30 Report believed that the research showed “that abortion can certainly do great damage to women’s mental health.” Ewing is a prominent member of the anti-abortion group Women’s Forum Australia. Read more about this group on the latest issue of my website, Do Not Be Quiet
Others pointed out the flaws in the research. In a letter to The Age Professor Doreen Rosenthal from the University of Melbourne, explained that the study did not make comparisons between “those who had or had not terminated an unwanted pregnancy, but between those who had terminated a pregnancy and those who had continued a pregnancy that was probably desired and planned.” Meaning if you have an unplanned pregnancy, you’re going to be depressed whether you have an abortion or not.
Another letter to The Age, written by Lesley Cowie, questioned whether this depression could be linked to the isolation women feel who have an abortion because the topic is still taboo. More importantly, stated Cowie, “a significant potential exists for women’s mental health to suffer should choice ever be removed.”
Perhaps most shocking to me is how the press discussed the many other studies currently being conducted on abortion. Do we really need more research to tell us that abortion is a difficult and lasting decision?
I have two suggestions:
1. Why don’t we spend some of the money used on researching the effects of abortion on providing children with better sex education (yes this includes religious schools too).
2. Why don’t newspapers admit that half their staff are on holidays, nothing much is going on in the world, and there is just so much cricket reporting anyone can do – so we know when it’s going to be a big week for abortion “news”.
Not that I would ever enter the debate by writing an article on the subject….