March 13th 2012 – The Irish Times
Looking for the Truth about Abortion
Sir, – Patrick Walsh (March 8th) takes issue with me (Opinion, March 5th) for not referring to the recent systematic review by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) and its comments on mental health outcomes for women following abortion.
Mr Walsh also says that the review holds that unwanted pregnancy rather than abortion itself is linked to mental health problems. However, the review states that whether an unwanted pregnancy is continued or ends in abortion makes no difference to the mental health of the mother. This, therefore, undermines the argument that the termination of pregnancy by abortion will protect women’s mental health.
This feature of the review also completely undercuts the medical justification for abortion in countries like England where the vast majority are carried out on alleged mental health grounds. It is odd how some pro-choice groups are using the latest review as evidence to back up their case when it does nothing of the sort.
In addition, the review points to situations where abortion poses adverse outcomes for women. There is also mounting peer- reviewed evidence showing that abortion has negative consequences for women with no prior mental health problems. We need to acknowledge this honestly and factor it into the debate. – Yours, etc,