Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pro-Abortion Researcher Dismayed by His Own Findings

This news story from the New Zealand Herald is today's "must read." It is a riveting piece about the largest international study ever on the psychological effects of abortion, a study that has been received with deliberate disdain by journalists and biased researchers and even with dismay by the pro-abortion director of the study itself. But the facts are clear --

Researchers found that at age 25, 42 per cent of women in the study group who had had an abortion also experienced major depression at some stage during the past four years.

This was nearly double the rate of those who had never been pregnant and 35 per cent higher than those who had chosen to continue a pregnancy.

"Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviours and substance use disorders," said the researchers, whose study has been published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

Professor David Fergusson, the lead researcher, is frustrated with the results of his own study because he knows they will be used to bolster arguments against abortion. And as someone who adamantly supports abortion rights, the preponderance and clarity of the evidence has confounded him.

Nevertheless, after going through all that tax-funded work, Professor Fergusson avoided the Hwang Woo-Suk Syndrome and dutifully reported the facts as uncovered. That's a lot more than can be said about Fergusson's peers in the field...

Professor Fergusson...said the paper was declined by a number of journals, he suspects because of the "controversial" nature of the topic.

"We went to four journals, which is very unusual for us - we normally get accepted the first time."

He knew that by publishing the paper, he and the group would be throwing themselves into a vicious political arena, and their science would be claimed as "proof" of a certain ideology by one side, and damned by the other.

The draft paper was sent to a number of organisations for comment and analysis.

The Abortion Supervisory Committee, which supervises all legal and compliance aspects of terminations, concluded that it would be undesirable to publish the results in their "unclarified" state as they would be used as "a political football".

As I said, the story is today's "must read" and I thank the Family Research Council for the tip to check it out.