Tuesday, July 12, 2011

UK: Christian Medical Fellowship on the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Review of Abortion and Mental Health

From the blog of Dr. Peter Saunders, head of Christian Medical Fellowship:

One of our main concerns with the RCPysch draft paper is that several of the summary evidence statements are stronger and more definitive than the actual research cited in their review supports. Whilst this might provide strong headlines and summary statements it is at the expense of accuracy and transparency.

On the basis of the available data the conclusions should be more nuanced and tentative.

In particular, the review is wrong to claim that there is no evidence of an elevated risk of mental health problems post-abortion compared to post-pregnancy. This definitive statement is simply not justified by all the data presented. Indeed, the four main research studies selected for this section of the review each found some mental health problems were more common following one or two abortions. It would have been more accurate simply to state, at the very least, that there is conflicting evidence about the relationship between abortion and mental health.