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The anti-choice fanatics make a lot of arguments against choice.  Most of them are hogwash.  But one that at least sounds reasonable is that abortion causes psychological problems for the woman who has one.

There's one problem with this argument.

It isn't true.

More below the fold

I subscribe to Scientific American Mind which is full of fascinating articles.  This month, they had a short article about the risks of abortion.  Their summary:

Research shows no credible evidence that a single abortion causes psychological problems for women

In 2006, the American Psychological Association sponsored a task force of experts to review all studies of abortion published since 1989.  Although they found that some women do have sadness or even depression after an abortion, there is no evidence that rates of sadness are higher in women who have single, legal, first-term abortions than they are in women who deliver from an unplanned pregnancy.  

Many studies in this area are deeply flawed, most commonly by failing to include a suitable control group.  It is not appropriate to compare women who have abortions to women in general - because women who have abortions are already pregnant and wish not to be.  Therefore, the only proper control groups are women who have unplanned pregnancies.  Other flaws related to failure to account for factors that are known to be related to psychological problems - such things as poverty, substance abuse, exposure to violence, and a history of mental health problems.

The full APA report is available in a link at that site.  It runs to 105 pages.

Originally posted to plf515 on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 02:06 PM PST.

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