David Fergusson reacts to the APA Mental Health and Abortion task force report

I asked New Zealand researcher, David Fergusson, about the APA Mental Health and Abortion task force report out today. He was one of 20 reviewers who commented extensively on the draft report. I specifically asked him what he thought of this statement from Task Force chair, Brenda Major in a Reuter's report:"The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy, the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single … [Read more...]

APA abortion and mental health report: Single abortion not a threat to women's mental health

No surprises here. This news release from the APA was distributed late this evening.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, Aug. 12, 2008Contact: Kim I. Mills(202) 336-6048(571) 216-5596 - cellAPA TASK FORCE FINDS SINGLE ABORTION NOT A THREAT TO WOMEN’S MENTAL HEALTHCalls for Better-Designed Future ResearchBOSTON – There is no credible evidence that a single elective abortion of an unwanted pregnancy in and of itself causes mental health problems for adult women, acc … [Read more...]

Wall Street Journal previews APA Mental Health and Abortion task force report

Today's Wall Street Journal's Stephanie Simon has an article regarding the APA Mental Health and Abortion Task Force. Titled "New Front on the Abortion Battle," the article previews the APA committee's report due to be considered tomorrow (Wed. 8/13/08).The article begins:For decades, the cultural battle over abortion has been about what goes on inside a woman's womb. But more and more, the focus is shifting to what goes on inside her head.Activists on both sides are awaiting a … [Read more...]

Norwegian study finds abortion-depression link

A relatively recent study from Norway finds a link between abortion and subsequent depression. Titled, Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women, the research was conducted by Willy Pedersen and published in the 2008 Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, volume 36, pages 424–428. Here is the abstract:Induced abortion is an experience shared by a large number of women in Norway, but we know little about the likely social or mental health-related i … [Read more...]

Reports of adverse reactions to abortion: How should mental health professional groups respond?

In addition to my work in sexual identity issues, I am quite interested in policy relating to the psychological reactions of women who have had abortions.I have observed over the past several years that women who associate their abortion with mental health distress have approached the American Psychological Association with their concerns and stories. I blogged about an effort like this in 2007. Briefly, the letter sent by advocacy group, Silent No More, offered to put APA researchers in … [Read more...]

Handicapping the APA abortion and mental health task force report

Last week, I reported the concerns of peace advocates, Consistent Life, about the upcoming American Psychological Association report regarding potential mental health consequences of abortion. In one of their letters to APA President Alan Kazdin, CL Executive Director, Bill Samuel, wrote:It is accordingly with great concern we note APA has not taken sufficient care with a highly volatile issue, that of abortion. APA has held a position of abortion as being a civil right for women since 1969, … [Read more...]

Anti-violence group expresses concerns over APA abortion task force

Just over a year ago, I reported on the creation by the American Psychological Association of a task force to study the mental health issues related to abortion.The task force is slated to report findings at the August, 2008 annual convention. I have obtained letters of concern regarding the timing and composition of the task from a group called Consistent Life. Their mission statement reads:We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, … [Read more...]

Obama waffling on abortion policy?

If Obama supports the Freedom of Choice Act, how can he say this to Relevant magazine?I think it’s entirely appropriate for states to restrict or even prohibit late-term abortions as long as there is a strict, well-defined exception for the health of the mother. Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy . . .”This post provides more detail on the mental gymnastics about mental di … [Read more...]