NRL News

Pro-abortionists use junk science to attempt to disprove Post-Abortion Trauma Syndrome

by | Oct 20, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D.

Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D.

What is the three-legged stool on which abortionists and their apologists rest their case?

That abortion is free of complications—emotional and physical; any research that demonstrates otherwise is, by definition, “junk science.” That abortion is not only free of aftershocks, it is for many women a rite of passage on their way to adulthood; in other words, killing your unborn children is a positive.

And that the American public is in the pro-abortionist’s corner, ready, willing, and eager to make sure that there is no “restriction” on access, here or anywhere else in the world; in other words, they agree there can never, ever be enough abortions. None of them is true, as we have patiently demonstrated on a few hundred occasions.

Today I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about the first of these by discussing a piece written by Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D., who has compiled some of the best research proving how detrimental having an abortion is to women.

The title of her analysis which appeared today is, “They’re Still Trying to Disprove Post-Abortion Trauma Syndrome: And still resorting to junk science to do so.”

This is a long, in-depth critique which you can read at your leisure. So let me touch on just a few of the highlights.

Dr. Coleman uses as a starting point an essay by Zawn Villines titled “Is So-Called Post-Abortion Trauma Syndrome a Myth?”

Click here to read the October issue of
National Right to Life News,
the “pro-life newspaper of record.”

What is the Villines strategy? On the one hand, choose not to “focus on the large international body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence indicating that abortion increases women’s risk of experiencing mental health problems.” On the other hand “exclusively describe results of the flawed ‘Turnaway Study,’ led by Diana Greene Foster.”

Randall K. O'Bannon, Ph.D.

Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.

The study was a “failed attempt to prove that women really are better off economically, physically, emotionally having an abortion, even if those happen to be late abortions, than they would be if they gave birth,” to quote NRLC’s own Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon. Dr. O’Bannon takes the systematically flawed study apart, finding it does not substantiate any of these claims [1]

Coleman explores the serious—and I do mean serious—methodological problems, which include that fewer than a third of the women agreed to participate in the study and that “Villines neglected to mention that 60% of the women in the Turnaway group who continued their pregnancies expressed happiness about their pregnancies.” Not exactly an incidental finding, wouldn’t you say?

Two other important considerations. Villines and others who share her views are determined to marginalize the findings that have been replicated around the world. But as Coleman explains

“The results of hundreds of studies published in leading peer-reviewed journals over the past 4 decades indicate abortion is a substantial contributing factor in women’s mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and death from suicide.”

In 2012 Coleman published what is called a “meta-analysis”–a study of the studies–which “has much more credibility than the results of individual empirical studies or narrative reviews.”

So what did “Abortion and Mental Health: A Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published from 1995-2009” reveal? According to Coleman, that

“women who aborted experienced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. When compared specifically to unintended pregnancy delivered, women were found to have a 55% increased risk of experiencing mental health problem. This review offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world.”

There is much, much to read.  It is very much worth your time because Dr. Coleman’s article (and all the other work she is doing) clearly document that abortion has a lasting impact on the mental health of a significant percentage of women.

[1] Dr. O’Bannon published an exhaustive five-part series detailing the “Turnaway Study’s” numerous inadequacies. The final segment, with links back the first four parts, can be read here.

Categories: Abortion Risks