By Sasha Brodskaya
…but I will note that the latest research study is proving, once again, that that there is no link between mental illness and abortion. While Jon Stewart rightly pointed out that repeating a lie doesn’t make you a Nazi, it does make you a liar, which is obnoxious in and of itself since we feminists tend to believe women deserve accurate information about their minds and bodies so they can do that awesome thing we call making informed decisions. It’s the same reason we generally support sex-education, regardless of whether we believe teenagers and college students are ready to have sex.
The newest study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concludes that not only is there no increased risk of mental illness after a first-trimester abortion, but that *giving birth*, not abortion, is likely to trigger psychological issues. Obviously we all know raising a child can be extremely stressful, but this statistic also likely includes women who gave their children up for adoption. In fact, I’d be curious to read some sort of comparative study about which procedure actually is linked to more mental health issues, but I can’t seem to find any. In any case, while the pro-lifers may be screaming “bias!” due to the fact that this study was funded by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, I’ll note that the analysis method doesn’t look particularly biased, and beyond that every respected research organization out there has been saying for years that there’s no evidence of a link between mental illness and abortion. At best it’s inconclusive (U.K. Royal College of Psychologists), and at worst it just flat-out contrary to all the evidence (American Psychological Association). So to all those pro-lifers out there: just because you want it to be true doesn’t make it true, and just because it can’t be disproved doesn’t make it proved. Don’t make me compare some of you to creationists.
Here are the links to the stories, and a useful Wikipedia article (yes I know its Wikipedia, but it was *very* well-written and referenced, and blogs aren’t research papers, right?):
Abortion and Mental Health (Wikipedia)
Summary of Abortion Study
More detailed description