NRL News

Dr. Coleman Rebuts Criticism of Study Demonstrating Abortion’s Detrimental Mental Health Impact

by | Nov 19, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D.

It’s hardly news that research documenting abortion’s negative  mental health aftermath will come under scathing attack. Professor Priscilla Coleman may have come under the fiercest attack, a reflection no doubt of the depth and breadth of her research and the fact that her and her colleagues’ work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications, including most recently the prestigious British Journal of Psychiatry.

But it is this latest, “Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research,”  published September 1, which seems to have completely unhinged her pro-abortion critics.  But, understandably so.

The study–the largest, most definitive analysis of the mental health risks associated with abortion–examined 22 studies published between 1995 and 2009 involving 877,181 women, of whom 163,831 had abortions. Coleman found that aborting women showed an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, with particular risks (e.g., substance abuse, suicide) even higher.

Moreover, Coleman’s meta-analysis showed that 9.9% of the incidence of mental health problems in the population group of aborted women was directly attributable to abortion.  This also included 34.9% of suicides in this group!

Talk about challenging the pro-abortion orthodoxy! Such heresy could not go unpunished.

The British Journal of Psychiatry has subsequently published a series of letters, some defending Dr. Coleman, more vilifying her in an out-and-out ugly manner. There was little that was not criticized up to and including her scholarly bona fides and her objectivity.

This week the Journal published Dr. Coleman’s response ( Her rebuttals are as gentle and scholarly as the attacks were harsh and ad hominem.

I would strongly encourage you to read Dr. Coleman’s entire response which concludes with this:

“By raising concerns of publication bias and attempting to undermine the credibility of an individual researcher, who managed to publish in a high profile journal, several people have sought to shift attention from the truly shameful and systemic bias that permeates the psychology of abortion. Professional organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere have arrogantly sought to distort the scientific literature and paternalistically deny women the information they deserve to make fully informed health care choices and receive necessary mental health counseling when and if an abortion decision proves detrimental.”

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Categories: Abortion