an After abortion

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Controversy flares over another medical study on post-abortion psychiatric issues.

The just-released May 13, 2003, 168(10) issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal contains an article, Psychiatric admissions of low-income women following abortion and childbirth.

The Vancouver Sun addresses the study in today's edition in an article headlined Study ties abortion, mental illness; Critics assail 'outrageous' report published in top Canadian journal.

Versions of that same article also appeared in the Windsor Star, Edmonton
Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald, and the Kingston Whig-Standard.

According to the article, a review of the medical records of 56,741 California
medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 2.6
times more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for
psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or

The same issue of the CMAJ contains a rebuttal article by Brenda Major, Psychological implications of abortion--highly charged and rife with misleading research.

This article asserts that "A truly definitive study of the psychological effects of abortion is impossible."

I'm not sure if she means that in the sense that truly definitive studies of nearly any psychological phenomena are impossible, or whether she means that "this is the eighth study in eighteen months published in a leading peer-reviewed medical journal that shows a correlation between abortion and later emotional distress; therefore, let's start reminding ourselves that it is impossible for studies like these to get to the truth."

David Reardon of The Elliott Institute is one of the co-authors of the new study. His reflections on it can be found here.

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