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Abortion and Psychiatric Illness: Yes, There Is a Connection

Posted by John Jansen (May 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm)

Yesterday, Psychiatric Times released a short video of Dr. Nada Stotland — a former APA president and former board member of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health — explaining why she believes there’s no direct link between abortion and psychiatric illness:

Her central claim comes at the 0:30 mark, when she says, “The fact is that there’s no good evidence that induced abortion causes psychiatric illness in any meaningful numbers.”


A “Tidal Wave” of Data

Dr. Priscilla Coleman provides here a list of 30 studies published in the last five years alone that, along with hundreds more, make up what she calls a “tidal wave of sound published data on the emotional consequences of abortion”:

The evidence is accumulating, despite socio-political agendas to keep the truth from the academic journals and ultimately from women to insure that the big business of abortion continues unimpeded. The literature now echoes the voices of millions of women for whom abortion was not a liberating, health promoting “choice.” A conservative estimate from the best available data is 20 to 30 percent of women who undergo an abortion will experience serious and/or prolonged negative consequences.

Any interpretation of the available research that does not acknowledge the strong evidence now available in the professional literature represents a conscious choice to ignore basic principles of scientific integrity.

Women Who Have Abortions “More Emotionally Unstable in the First Place”?

In a 2008 Los Angeles Times article, Stephanie Simon reports that Stotland thinks that it “may be” that “women who have abortions are more emotionally unstable in the first place,” so this video wasn’t the first time she’s floated this idea. (Dr. Coleman responds in detail to Stotland’s claims about the lack of “causality” between abortion and mental health problems here.)

I also find it interesting that as strenuously as pro-choicers object to things like mandatory sonogram legislation on the grounds that these sorts of laws “patroniz[e]” and “infantilize” women, they don’t seem to have any problem with Stotland’s diagnosis of the collective mental health of women seeking abortion.

Then, of course, there are Stotland’s comments (at the 2:25 mark) about women who have abortions and their beliefs about motherhood:

Women have abortions because they feel very serious about motherhood — not because they don’t respect motherhood, but because they do.

How to begin to unpack that?

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Posted in Abortion, Abortion Aftermath, Health Care. Follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Abortion and Psychiatric Illness: Yes, There Is a Connection”

Note: Visitor comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pro-Life Action League.

  1. MEL says:

    It’s so easy to clear this up:
    Study the data on women who chose abortion who were college-educated, not poor, not abusing drugs or alcohol, not in an abusive relationship, and not mentally ill at the time of their abortion. See how the abortion affected them.
    I really believe in good science, not empty rhetoric.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm
  2. kim says:

    Abortion defently has a negative affect on your mental health, I am lively proof of it and so are millions of men and women in the country and around the world. Don’t let them tell you otherwise, they are lying to you. You will be adversely affected mentally in more ways than one. It just isn’t worth it. It is better for your mental health and well being to give the child up for adoption than to abort it. You won’t have to live with the repercussion for the rest of your life. Having a child is a beautiful thing no matter what the circumstances are. If you give your child up for adoption you will not regret it, but if you abort you will, if you come out of it alive and in one piece. Some women have been mutulated and can not have anymore children because of it and some have died because of the slip up of the abortionist. And they don’t care about you just the money they will make that is all.

    May 28, 2011 at 6:55 am
  3. (Prolifer)ations 5-31-11 - Jill Stanek says:

    […] Pro-Life Action League reports that despite the “tidal wave” of evidence showing 20-30% of women who abort have long-term negative effects, some abortion proponents insist the women who have these effects were “emotionally unstable” prior to their abortions. If ultrasound laws “patronize” and “infantilize” women (as pro-aborts claim), surely a collective diagnosis of mental illness does the same. […]

    May 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm
  4. Neil Bamber says:

    If you torture data sufficiently, it will confess to almost anything.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:58 pm

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