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| | |-+  New Zealand Researcher: No Denying, Abortion Harms Women
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« on: April 26, 2006, 03:37:08 PM »

New Zealand Researcher: No Denying, Abortion Harms Women

by AFA Journal
April 24, 2006

(AgapePress) - - A self-described pro-choice atheist and rationalist set out to prove that abortion does not have any psychological consequences. He found the opposite, and the results were so profound that they cannot be ignored in the scientific field or the political arena.

Professor David Fergusson, New Zealand researcher at Christchurch School of Medicine and Health, said, "[F]rom a personal point of view, I would have rather seen the results come out the other way -- but they didn't. And as a scientist you have to report the facts, not what you'd like to report."

Fergusson and his colleagues were surprised by the study that followed 500 women from birth to age 25 and revealed that abortive women were one-and-a-half times more likely to suffer mental illness.

"Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance use disorders," according to the research published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

Numerous journals refused to publish the research, but Fergusson defended its relevance saying it would be "scientifically irresponsible" to overlook the findings. "To provide a parallel to this situation, if we were to find evidence of an adverse reaction to medication, we would be obligated ethically to publish that fact," he explained.

"Fergusson's study underscores the fact that evidence-based medicine does not support the conjecture that abortion will protect women from 'serious danger' to their mental health," added Dr. David Reardon, a seasoned researcher of abortion's impact on women. "Physicians who ignore this study may no longer be able to argue that they are acting in good faith and may therefore be in violation of the law."

As a result, the study is heating up the political debate over abortion in the United States while having a more profound effect on countries such as New Zealand and Great Britain where abortions are certified based on what was once thought to be in the best interest of the woman's health.

"If we were talking about an antibiotic or an asthma risk, and someone reported adverse reactions, people would be advocating further research to evaluate risk," Fergusson explained. "I can see no good reason why the same rules don't apply to abortion."

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