Art Caplan, MD, is a physician and bioethicist, who is prochoice, but shares the significant reservations I have about a new blood test that helps a couple know early in a pregnancy whether they have a male or female baby. I’ve predicted this will result in more abortions and that physicians should rarely offer this test. Now, my colleague, who is prochoice, agrees.
Archives for posts tagged ‘abortion’
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Thursday, 10 November 2011
A recent study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry has concluded what pro-abortion groups have tried to discount for decades: abortion substantially increases a woman’s risk of mental health problems.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
On its front page, the New York Times (Subscription Publication) reported that according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “a simple blood test that can determine a baby’s sex as early as seven weeks into pregnancy is highly accurate if used correctly.” For some couples, this is good news. For unborn children, I predict it means more death.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
For those of us involved in caring for women and their unborn children, we must face squarely the question, “When does an unborn child have a soul?”
Thursday, 11 August 2011
The Food and Drug Administration has quietly released a new report about the deaths of and injuries to women from the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug and the Obama administration has done nothing to make the information available to women.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
In a past I blogged in the past on the contention that “More than 90% of women carrying a child with Down Syndrome choose abortion.” Readers seemed shocked by this information. But, now new statistics have been produced in England after a pro-life organization won its bid to make some abortion numbers public that the government had failed to disclose concerning abortions on disabled babies.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
A new study from Australia finds a high percentage of women using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug require hospitalization — undermining the argument that the drug (mifepristone) is safe for all women.
Friday, 11 March 2011
The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” shot blog notes that a recent study in the British Medical Journal reported on “a simple blood test that was able to determine whether a fetus had Down syndrome”; and reports in Science Translational Medicine and Nature Precedings “demonstrated the technical ability to analyze thousands of genetic markers with as little as 10 milliliters of blood.”
Friday, 28 January 2011
The Obama administration is still working to overturn conscience rights for medical professionals on abortion that were put in place at the tail end of the Bush administration. Here are the chilling details in a report from LifeNews:
In 2008, the Bush administration issued a rule that prohibited recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in medical procedures to which they have religious or moral objections, such as abortion.
The rule implemented existing conscience protection laws that ensure medical professionals cannot be denied employment because they do not want to assist in abortions.
New information about the state of those protections and efforts to repeal them comes from legal papers the administration filed in a case the state of Connecticut launched against the conscience protections.
In a document filed in federal court in November, Obama administration attorneys admitted that the administration wants to finalize a rescission of the conscience rules but has been delayed because of other business — likely due to the HHS working on implementing the provisions of the ObamaCare law.
HHS “hope[d] to have an internal draft final rule prepared in the near future, but that the schedule is necessarily tentative given the possibility of unforeseen delays and the need to devote time and resources to other agency priorities,” the November legal paper said.
Responding to the paper, the federal court asked for more information about the delay.
The Obama administration filed another legal paper December 1 stating “HHS still cannot be certain of a date for completing the rulemaking” but added “HHS expects to have a final rule published in the Federal Register within sixty to ninety days – i.e., as early as January 31, 2011, and no later than March 1, 2011.”
Obama officials asked the court to not mandate a time by which the rescission is made and said they hope to complete the rescission of the conscience rights prior to the court issuing a decision related to the Bush rules in the Connecticut challenge.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group, points out that the papers make it clear the Obama administration intends to repeal the conscience protections on abortion, citing language saying the administration would notify the court “when the final rule regarding the proposed rescission is published.”
ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman said the Obama administration “wants to dismantle” the conscience protections “leaving little defense for the regulation and for health care workers.”
“Medical professionals should not be punished for holding to their beliefs, and they should not be forced to perform abortions against their conscience,” he told LifeNews.com. “Those pursuing this lawsuit, including organizations such as Planned Parenthood, would like nothing more than to deny health care workers the only means that exists to defend their federally protected right to opt out of abortions.”
ADF has been defending the rights of a nurse who was forced to assist in an abortion and is she is now seeking to join the lawsuit to oppose Connecticut’s efforts to overturn the Bush rules.
As LifeNews.com reported in November, Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo lost a federal court ruling saying she doesn’t have the right to sue the hospital that forced her to participate in an abortion.
Now, the Alliance Defense Fund has filed a motion to intervene in State of Connecticut v. United States of America.
ADF is currently involved in a lawsuit in New York state court to defend Cenzon-DeCarlo’s conscience rights under state law, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the dismissal of her federal lawsuit, leaving only an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the means to defend her rights protected under federal law.
That investigation relies upon the conscience regulations implemented by former President George W. Bush that direct the department to conduct such investigations.
If Connecticut is successful or the Obama administration overturns the rules, “this case may cause Mrs. DeCarlo to again be illegally compelled to assist in abortions by her federally funded employer due to the removal of all her protective measures,” ADF legal papers say.
“Moreover, that Regulation has helped empower Defendant HHS’ Office of Civil Rights to actually and presently be investigating that violation on her behalf, explicitly telling Mrs. DeCarlo that the investigation is being pursued at least in part under the Implementing Regulation.
Yet in this case, Plaintiffs seek to invalidate that Regulation and Defendants have worked with Plaintiffs to stay the case based on their intent to rescind the Regulation,” the papers add.
ADF attorneys, working together with the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom, are simultaneously attempting to intervene in the Connecticut case on behalf of several pro-life medical associations.
The judge cleared the motions from his calendar for now but determined that they can be considered once the case, which is currently on hold, moves forward.
Although federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them, the regulation required institutions that get federal funding to certify their compliance with laws protecting conscience rights.
It also promoted education within the medical community regarding their rights and provided an avenue of recourse in the event of discrimination through the Office of Civil Rights within HHS.
At the end of February, the Obama administration announced it began “reviewing” the regulations implementing conscience laws, the first step toward rescinding the rule altogether.
In 2009, Obama told students at Notre Dame he wanted to find common ground on abortion and used the conscience clause as an example. but he came under criticism from pro-life lawmakers who said he was working to remove the protections.
Now, it’s clear that the President was either being less than truthful or has changed his mind. I doubt the latter.
Friday, 21 January 2011
A Philadelphia-area abortionist is facing eight murder charges today stemming from an investigation that began after the 2009 death of a 41 year-old woman. When authorities initiated their inspection of this “clinic,” they discovered a “house of horrors.”
According to a report from CitizenLink, “A grand jury was convened in May 2010, as the clinic was being investigated for drug-related complaints.” The jury’s findings were released two days ago.
The Grand Jury report says “The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment—such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff—was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house.”
Seven of the eight murder charges were filed after authorities discovered that Dr. Kermit Gosnell had performed “live birth abortions.”
According to the prosecutor, Gosnell “induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord.”
The Associated Press reports “State regulators ignored complaints about [Gosnell] and failed to inspect his clinic since 1993 …”
This story highlights not only the tragedy of abortion, but also the disturbing reality that the abortion industry remains one of the least regulated industries in America.
My friend Gary Bower wrote, “Isn’t it interesting that American leftists and progressives are in favor of heavy regulation of oil companies, insurance companies, the auto industry, pharmaceutical companies, etc. but not the industry that destroys over one million unborn children every year?”
He goes on to write, “While the Obama Administration has placed a high priority on healthcare ‘reform’ and ‘transparency,’ it turns a blind eye to the loss of life that goes on in “health clinics” across the country every day.
More transparency and serious reform of abortion facility regulations would save lives — and stop butchers like this.
Friday, 14 January 2011
In the past, I’ve blogged on the topic of fetal pain during abortion (Family Research Council Responds to British Fetal Pain Study, Says It’s Flawed). Although the science of whether and when the unborn child can feel pain remains uncertain, we still have a duty to avoid the possibility of inflicting undue suffering on an unborn child. To that end, I found this article by E. Christian Brugger to be though provoking and commend it to you:
A much-discussed new law in the state of Nebraska has banned abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, citing the contested notion of fetal pain. Of course, everyone can agree that we have a duty not to cause pain to others without a just cause. Bioethicists endorse the relieving of pain as an expression of the “principle of beneficence.”
And international bodies concur that access to pain relief without discrimination is a fundamental right. As a society we even take efforts to eliminate pain from the process of executing capital offenders whose guilt is manifestly established. But how do we approach the possibility of fetal pain when the science remains uncertain?
I should note that my argument is relative to a community in which abortion is legal. If abortion is wrong by virtue of the kind of act it is, namely an act of unjust killing, which I judge it to be, then aborting a fetus knowing that he or she will or might feel pain makes the act worse. But what about a society like ours where abortion is, sadly, legal?
First, pro-lifers and pro-choicers should be able to agree on the principle of full disclosure. If fetuses feel pain, then where abortion is legal, abortion providers should disclose to the gestational mother the effects of her choice on the fetus. We may disagree about whether abortion is wrong, but we should be able to agree that withholding information relevant to making an informed abortion decision would be unfair to women.
Second, if fetuses feel pain, then where abortion is legal, abortion providers should also take reasonable measures to suppress the pain. We should be able to agree that it would be wrong not to try to remove the pain, just as it is when political authority fails to take reasonable measures to remove the pain from the process of legal execution.
If, however, evidence demonstrates that fetuses do not feel pain, then, where abortion is legal, abortion providers obviously have neither the duty to relieve that which does not exist, nor to inform women of what’s untrue.
Our moral analysis then waits upon the settling of the empirical question of whether fetuses feel pain. This settling requires convincing data. But when speculative data is used to direct normative considerations of what ought to be done, the measure of certitude justified by the data is decisive for guiding action.
To clarify my meaning, let me use an example. Some abortion opponents have argued that a secondary effect of the most common drug used in emergency contraceptives–levonorgestrel–is to render the uterine lining inhospitable to an implanting embryo. If at commonly prescribed dosages this is the case, then the drug sometimes acts as an abortifacient. Whether this is the case is an empirical question. If it is the case, it has moral implications for the behavior of anyone concerned for embryonic human life and contemplating the legitimacy of taking the drug.
Let us say for the sake of argument that rigorous data is inconclusive. I am then left with a doubt as to whether or not levonorgestrel might render the uterine lining inhospitable. According to my practical knowledge, informed, let’s say for the sake of argument, by the best available evidence, I might kill an embryo if I use this drug in such and such a way. The possibility that my action will cause a death gives rise to the duty, stemming from the requisites of fairness, to refrain from that action. I would need to be reasonably certain that it will not cause death before purposeful action is justifiable. This reasonable certitude can also be called moral certitude. And reasonable doubt and moral certitude about the same fact are mutually excluding.
Let me propose one more example. If reasonable doubt existed as to whether the new device known as the “Mosquito,” which emits a high-pitched noise to disperse loiterers, not only caused minor auditory discomfort but severe pain, the burden of proof would fall upon the manufacturer to give evidence that it does not before the device should be approved for general use. Proof, of course, would be simple to arrive at: ask those exposed to the “Mosquito.” Since fetuses cannot yet provide self-report in language we cannot simply ask them whether they feel pain.
Yet I think the principle still stands: the burden of proof would fall upon defenders of the “Mosquito” to rule out a reasonable doubt that the device causes severe pain before its common use was approved, or to take action to assure that this possibility is mitigated.
The burden falls on the one who might be doing wrongful harm to rule out reasonable doubt that they are. If you were hunting in the woods and saw something moving in the distance, but were unsure of whether it was a deer or another hunter, you would be bound not to shoot until reasonable doubt was dispelled that what was stirring in the distance was not another hunter. When a doubt of fact bears on settling whether an alternative under consideration is immoral (e.g., it would be immoral to shoot in the face of reasonable doubt), one should withhold choosing till the fact has been settled.
So the question to be settled is whether or not reasonable doubt exists concerning a fetus’s capacity to experience pain. Since empirical certitude is not available, I propose, in light of what I said above, the following principle: that the judgment that fetuses do feel pain need only be a reasonable explanatory hypothesis in light of the settled evidence. Whereas the judgment that they do not requires moral certitude before providing a speculative ground for normative judgments about how to act.
Coming from one who is not a scientific expert on the question, but who has read considerably over the past four months on most all dimensions of the question, I conclude strongly that moral certitude that fetuses do not feel pain presently cannot be reached. In other words, fetal pain experience is a reasonable conclusion from the settled evidence. This evidence includes an appeal to fetal anatomical, neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral features, as well as responses to noxious stimuli (behaviors such as facial grimacing, the withdrawing of limbs, clenching of fists, opening of mouth and even crying).
Although we are not warranted in moving from these features and responses to a certain conclusion that fetuses do experience pain–I realize that fetal consciousness is a central factor in the equation–we are justified in concluding from the evidence–in fact, we are rationally required to conclude–that moral certitude does not exist that fetuses do not feel pain.
Unless and until contrary evidence is presented, we have a duty to act with the presumption that they do. In a territory such as our own where abortion is legal, we have a duty: 1) to inform women considering second- and third-trimester abortions that their actions may cause their babies pain; and 2) to guarantee that suitable analgesics and anesthesia be administered to fetuses during second- and third-trimester abortions.
E. Christian Brugger is Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. This paper is adopted from remarks given at the conference “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair-Minded Words,” held at Princeton University October 15th-16th, 2010. This opinion column first appeared in Public Discourse and was reprinted by LifeNews with permission.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
As breast cancer awareness increases among women, one leading breast cancer surgeon and professor has written a full explanation of one of the risks women need to keep in mind when talking with friends and family about the deadly disease — abortion.
Dr. Angela Lanfranchi is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. She is a surgeon who, as the co-director of the Sanofi-aventis Breast Care Program at the Steeplechase Cancer Center, has treated countless women facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Lanfranchi was named a 2010 Castle Connolly NY Metro Area “Top Doc” in breast surgery.
In an article she wrote for the medical journal Linacre Quarterly, Lanfranchi talks about why abortion presents women problems and increases their breast cancer risk. Here are some of the details from a report in LifeNews.com:
A growing amount of evidence from quality studies suggests that induced abortion, but not spontaneous abortion or miscarriage, increases risk of breast cancer.
Of course, induced abortion is not the only risk factor for breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have never had an abortion. Most women who have had an induced abortion will not get breast cancer. Like a family history of breast cancer, which is involved in about 15 percent of all breast cancer cases, induced abortion is just another risk factor.
Cigarette smoke is a carcinogen. While only 15% of cigarette smokers get lung cancer, the risk has been well acknowledged. In comparison, induced abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer is somehow not as widely publicized.
Induced abortion boosts breast cancer risk because it stops the normal physiological changes in the breast that occur during a full term pregnancy and that lower a mother’s breast cancer risk. A woman who has a full term pregnancy at 20 has a 90% lower risk of breast cancer than a woman who waits until age 30.
Breast tissue after puberty and before a term pregnancy is immature and cancer-vulnerable. Seventy five percent of this tissue is Type 1 lobules where ductal cancers start and 25 percent is Type 2 lobules where lobular cancers start. Ductal cancers account for 85% of all breast cancers while lobular cancers account for 12-15% of breast cancers.
As soon as a woman conceives, the embryo secretes human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG, the hormone we check for in pregnancy tests.
HCG causes the mother’s ovaries to increase the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body resulting in a doubling of the amount of breast tissue she has; in effect, she then has more Type 1 and 2 lobules where cancers start.
After mid pregnancy at 20 weeks, the fetus/placenta makes hPL, another hormone that starts maturing her breast tissue so that it can make milk. It is only after 32 weeks that she has made enough of the mature Type 4 lobules that are cancer resistant so that she lowers her risk of breast cancer.
Induced abortion before 32 weeks leaves the mother’s breast with more vulnerable tissue for cancer to start. It is also why any premature birth before 32 weeks, not just induced abortion, increases or doubles breast cancer risk.
By the end of her pregnancy, 85% of her breast tissue is cancer resistant. Each pregnancy thereafter decreases her risk a further 10%.
Spontaneous abortions in the first trimester on the other hand don’t increase breast cancer risk because there is something wrong with the embryo, so hCG levels are low. Another possibility is that something is wrong with the mother’s ovaries and the estrogen and progesterone levels are low. When those hormones are low, the mother’s breasts do not grow and change.
A woman can use this information to make an informed decision about her pregnancy. If she chooses to abort her pregnancy for whatever reason, she should start breast screening about 8-10 years later so that if she does develop a cancer, it can be found early and treated early for a better outcome.
If she doesn’t have the resources to raise a child or is not ready to be a mother, there are millions of couples waiting to adopt any child, even one with disabilities.
Women need to understand their own bodies so that they can make the best decision for themselves.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
A new study finds the later a woman has an abortion the more likely it is that she faces mental health risks and is under pressure from a partner or others to have an abortion she may not otherwise want. Women getting later abortions also are more likely to be ambivalent about having an abortion. Here are the details from LifeNews.com:
The results came from an online survey of 374 women who answered a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances leading to their abortions, their previous mental health history, history of physical or sexual abuse and emotional state following abortion.
Although small, the study, published in the Journal of Pregnancy by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, is the first to compare the experiences of women having early abortions compared to women having later abortions (in the second or third trimester).
The study found:
- women after 13 weeks of pregnancy were more likely to report that their partner desired the pregnancy (22.4 percent of women who had later abortions vs. 10.3 percent of women who had early abortions) and
- that they were pressured by someone other than their partner to abort (47.8 percent vs. 30.5 percent).
The women having later abortions were more likely to report:
- that their partner didn’t know about the abortion (23.9 percent vs. 12.5 percent),
- that they had left their partner before the abortion (28.3 percent vs. 15.6 percent) and
- that physical health concerns were a factor in having the abortion (29.8 percent vs. 14.7 percent).
Ambivalence about the abortion, unwanted abortion, and poor pre-abortion counseling were also commonly reported in the late-term abortion group, according to the Elliot Institute, an abortion research group that pointed LifeNews.com to the study.
Nearly 40 percent of women in the survey said they desired the pregnancy and only 30 percent said both they and their partner supported the abortion, while less than 14 percent said they received adequate pre-abortion counseling or information on alternatives or physical and emotional risks.
“In general, these results are indicative of more ambivalence and conflict surrounding the decision and the likelihood of less stable partner relationships among women who obtain later abortions,” the authors wrote.
“Logically, women who are unsure about how to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy are more likely to put off the decision to abort, perhaps hoping their circumstances will improve and enable them to carry to term.”
Meanwhile, the Elliot Institute noted a survey of American and Russian women who had abortions, published in the Medical Science Monitor in 2004, found that 64 percent of the American respondents reported feeling pressured to abort, while more than half said they felt rushed or uncertain about the decision and more than 80 percent reported receiving inadequate counseling beforehand.
The new study also found high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for women having both early and late abortions, with 52 percent of the early abortion group and 67 percent of the late term abortion group meeting the American Psychological Association’s criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD).
One possible cause may be a high number of women having unwanted abortions due to the reactions of those around them, the authors said.
“Concern regarding reactions of others to having a child” was the mostly frequently cited reason for abortion for both early (69.1 percent) and late (62 percent) abortions; however, they wrote, many women likely had abortions “despite ambivalence or actually desiring to continue the pregnancy.”
Feelings of ambivalence or having an unwanted abortion are known risk factors for psychological problems after abortion.
When it came to differences between the late and early abortion groups, women having later abortions were more likely to report having disturbing dreams, reliving the abortion, having trouble sleeping and experiencing intrusion, a PTSD symptom that involves having recurring memories, flashbacks or hyperactivity when confronted with reminders of the trauma.
The 2004 Medical Science Monitor survey found that 65 percent of American women who had abortions reported experiencing symptoms of PTSD, which they attributed to their abortions. Other studies have also linked abortion to increased rates of depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems.
The authors said that their new study is best viewed as a “pilot” study on which to base future research on the psychological impact of late-term abortion, and called for more counseling and support for women undergoing later abortions.
Other peer-reviewed studies have linked abortion to increased risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, sleep disorders and more. Recent studies have also linked abortion to higher rates of death from heart disease, which investigators believe may be a long term effect of elevated rates of anxiety and depression.
Related web site: Elliot Institute
Monday, 30 August 2010
According to a report from LifeNews, the Family Research Council has released a new report that refutes claims made recently by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) saying an unborn child is not able to feel pain before 24 weeks of development.
FRC is concerned that detractors are using RCOG’s study to uphold Britain’s current legalization of abortions up to 24 weeks.
The pro-life organization is also worried abortion advocates in the United States could also try to use this study to argue against Nebraska’s new law that states an unborn baby can feel pain at 20 weeks and which, as a result, prohibits abortions from that point.
Jeanne Monahan, the director of FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, responded to the study saying it is seriously flawed and could lead to a profound moral injustice, the more cavalier taking of unborn life.
She told LifeNews.com, “The [RCOG] report appears to be politically timed and motivated, given the growing momentum in the U.K. to protect the life of the unborn by lowering the time limits for legal abortion.”
Monahan says RCOG gets away with saying unborn children can’t feel by by “using a faulty definition of pain in this study.”
“A number of experts in the field of fetal development, who were not consulted for this report, previously have refuted the idea that the cortex needs to be fully developed for an unborn baby to feel pain,” she noted.
“On the contrary, it is possible that unborn babies between 20-30 weeks of development can experience greater pain than a full-term newborn or older child.”
“At 20-30 weeks, an unborn child possesses the highest number of pain receptors per square inch he or she will ever possess, and the baby’s nerve fibers are located closest to the surface of the skin,” she said.
Monahan suggests RCOG is trying to “dehumanize the baby to make abortion appear somehow more palatable” even though “the truth remains that abortion is a violent and painful procedure for the infant and mother.”
“The humanness of the unborn child is not contingent on its capacity for pain. Whether or not an unborn child can feel pain is irrelevant to the respect that an unborn person deserves – respect sufficient to be protected by law from conception until natural death,” Monahan concluded.
Dr. Steven Zielinski, an internal medicine physician from Oregon, is one of the leading researchers into the concept of fetal pain and published the first reports in the 1980s to validate research show evidence for it.
He has testified before Congress that an unborn child could feel pain at “eight-and-a-half weeks and possibly earlier” and that a baby before birth “under the right circumstances, is capable of crying.”
Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.
“The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb,” they wrote.
“Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body,” they continued.
With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.
The issue of fetal pain has captured headlines thanks to a landmark law enacted by the Nebraska legislature in April which restricts abortion after twenty weeks declaring that the state has a compelling interest in the life of a pain-capable unborn child at and after twenty weeks.
Friday, 27 August 2010
The more we learn about the physical and emotional side effects of abortion, the more concerning it becomes. Now, LifeSiteNews.com is reporting on a new study out of McGill University in Montreal that has found a strong link between a past abortion and premature delivery in subsequent pregnancies.
Dr. Ghislain Hardy, a third year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at McGill, and his team did a chart review of 17,916 women who delivered at Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill’s teaching hospital. Of their sample, 13% had obtained one abortion and 5% had procured two or more.
Dr. Hardy’s team found that women with one past abortion were 45% more likely to give birth before 32 weeks, 71% more likely to do so at less than 28 weeks, and more than 50% more likely at less than 26 weeks. They noted that the link was even greater where the woman had more than one abortion.
He presented the paper, entitled “Early Preterm Birth and Adverse Perinatal Outcomes in Women With a History of Induced Abortions,” at the 58th Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this year.
“Preterm birth is a major concern in our health-care system today. It is the most important cause of neonatal morbidity,” Dr. Hardy explained in his presentation, according to the Canadian Health Network. A study of the issue is important, he noted, because “an association between therapeutic abortion and prematurity has resurfaced in recent years.”
The link between abortion and subsequent premature delivery has been confirmed by a growing body of independent studies on the issue. Most significantly, in February 2009 a German team who evaluated over two million pregnancies between 1995 and 2000, found that the risk of very premature birth is increased by 30% after one abortion, and by 90% after more than one.
Dr. Hardy explained that abortion could lead to greater cervical sensitivity that might result in a greater proclivity towards premature delivery.
“Our study showed a significant increase in the risk of preterm delivery in the women with a history of previous induced abortion,” he said. “The association becomes stronger with decreasing gestational age and with an increasing number of therapeutic abortions.”
Here are some of my other posts on the topic:
- The Dark Side of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Surgeon Reports Abortion Ups Breast Cancer Risk
- New Study Finds 66 Percent Increased Breast Cancer Risk After Abortion
- Study: Elective Abortion More Than Triples Breast Cancer Risk
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
- Second Abortion Increases Risk of Premature Babies 93%: Canadian Study
- Abortion Linked to Subsequent Pre-Term Births, New Research Again Confirms
- Massive German Study Confirms Abortion Significantly Increases Premature Birth Risk
- Study: Previous Abortions Linked With Pre-Term Birth and Cerebral Palsy
National Academies of Science: Abortion Linked to Subsequent Premature Birth
Friday, 13 August 2010
A study out of Sri Lanka has found that women who had abortions more than tripled their risk of breast cancer. The study focused on analyzing the association between the duration of breastfeeding and the risk of breast cancer. But the researchers also reported other “significant” risk factors for breast cancer, such as passive smoking and being post-menopausal. The highest of the reported risk factors was abortion.
The study, entitled “Prolonged breastfeeding reduces risk of breast cancer in Sri Lankan women: A case-control study,” was led by Malintha De Silva and colleagues from the University of Colombo.
Here are some of the details from Life Site News: The researchers found that among women who breastfed for between 12-23 months there was a 66.3% risk reduction in comparison to those who had never breastfed and those who breastfed for between 0 and 11 months. The risk reduction climbed to 87.4% for those who breastfed for 24-35 months and 94% among women who breastfed for 36-47 months.
Dr. Joel Brind, an epidemiologist at the City University of New York, cautioned that the researchers do not clearly indicate whether they are referring specifically to induced abortions, as opposed to spontaneous abortions (miscarriage). Requests for clarification have not yet been answered.
However, in the study the researchers compare their findings with other studies that focused on induced abortions, seeming to suggest that induced abortion was their focus.
According to Dr. Brind, an expert on the association of abortion and breast cancer, the findings are consistent with studies from other populations where abortion rates are low. He explained that in epidemiology, risk factors are best analyzed in places where the particular factor is less prevalent. Once most people have that factor, however, it is much more difficult to study its influence, since it is difficult to find anyone with whom to compare.
“This study is consistent with the kind of data we used to see in China and Japan when abortion had a very low prevalence,” he said. But in China, where abortion has become rampant, research is now showing a higher risk of breast cancer following abortion.
Dr. Brind said that the study’s raw data supports the conclusion about the abortion-breast cancer link. But he criticized the paper about the study, which he said “has some errors in it which should have been corrected on peer review.”
Most significantly, he highlighted the researchers’ claim that a late age at first pregnancy strongly decreased the risk of breast cancer, which goes against all the other research over the last 50 years. “This is not a valid finding,” he said, because the researchers “actually miscalculated their own raw data.”
Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, said that the study shows that “women who abort forfeit the protective effect of breastfeeding.”
“The loss of that protective effect is incurred in addition to the effect of abortion leaving the breasts with more places for cancers to start.”
Malec said that given the lack of routine mammograms in Sri Lanka, “health professionals must focus on disease prevention,” which would involve publicizing the link between abortion and breast cancer.
“It is criminal that the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has covered up this risk for over a half century,” she said.
However, she continued, “It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the NCI to keep its fingers and toes in the dike,” in large part because “many researchers in other parts of the world do not depend on the agency for grants.”
Louise Brinton, a NCI branch chief, served as co-author in the U.S. study in which she and her colleagues admitted that “…induced abortion and oral contraceptive use were associated with increased risk of breast cancer.” The authors cited a statistically significant 40% increased risk.
If you are a woman who has had an abortion, this information means that you need to consider a couple of actions:
- Learn everything you can about how your can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer by proper diet, exercise, and sleep,
- Be sure to discuss breast cancer screening with our primary care physician, and
- Strongly consider seeing a post-abortion counselor. You can find one through your nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center or by contacting CareNet here.
Here are some of my other posts on the topic:
- The Dark Side of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Surgeon Reports Abortion Ups Breast Cancer Risk
- New Study Finds 66 Percent Increased Breast Cancer Risk After Abortion
Related web sites:
Monday, 14 June 2010
A philosophy professor at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in Halifax is drawing rebuke from experts in bioethics, medicine, and philosophy for a column in which he advocates abortion based on the notion that “a fetus is not a person.”
If pro-abortion advocates can show that the unborn child is not a person, argues Dr. Mark Mercer in an op-ed for the Ottawa Citizen, then a woman’s reason for aborting him or her “cannot be outweighed by the fetus’s right to life, for, not being a person, the fetus has no such right.”
But according to bioethicist Dianne Irving, who ripped into Mercer’s column in an essay of her own, Mercer’s science is “grossly objectively erroneous” and his concept of “delayed personhood” is “deceptively achieved by means of using academically indefensible ‘philosophy’.”
Mercer admits in his article that “abortion involves the deliberate killing of a human being,” but maintains that that is “no reason for abortion to be illegal,” and that one should not be “morally troubled by it.”
It would normally be unacceptable to kill a reader of the Citizen, he says, for example, because the reader is “a creature richly aware of its environment and full of beliefs and desires, including the desire to continue living. … To kill a reader of this paper would be to destroy a self-aware locus of experience, one, moreover, that prefers not to die.”
“A human fetus, on the other hand, though human, has only a rudimentary awareness of its environment and lacks self consciousness entirely,” he continues. “It has no interest in living, for it can have no interests at all.”
While he admits that an unborn child is “potentially a person,” he claims that this fact is only a concern “if it is better to have that particular future person walking around than it is to respect a here-and-now person’s autonomy.”
“The overall point is that abortion is not in any degree a morally fraught option,” he concludes. “A woman considering whether to have an abortion or, instead, to raise a child is making a practical decision, not a moral one. This is what we who are pro-choice have to make more widely known.”
Irving points out that Mercer’s arguments have been used by pro-abortion bioethicists, such as Princeton’s Peter Singer, for decades, “regardless of their fatal faults.”
If Mercer is right about the unborn not being a person based on the fact that they don’t have “rational attributes,” she says, we must also accept that the following are not persons: “the comatose, the mentally retarded, the mentally ill and depressed, drug addicts, alcoholics, a lot of teenagers, etc. – even Mercer, or the Readers when they are sleeping!”
In fact, she points out that Singer does indeed say that the mentally disabled and others are not persons.
Are Mercer and the readers, just like Singer, willing “to argue seriously that all these same living adult human beings could be intentionally killed, used in destructive medical research, dismembered and then pitched into mass graves, etc.,” she asks, “since they are just human beings but not ‘persons’ who actively exercise ‘rational attributes’?”
“We should demand no less than an immediate response from Mr. Mercer. Come on, Mr. Mercer – if Peter Singer has the gall to so conclude, why not you?” she adds.
Irving argues that “in the real world, there is no real distinction between a human being and a human person.”
In fact, Professor Michael Schintgen, the chairman of philosophy at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, pointed out that Mercer “takes a definition of person out of thin air – assuming without argument that what distinguishes a person from a non-person is awareness.”
Irving, on the other hand, relies on the traditional definition of person, as introduced by the philosopher Boethius in the 6th century, that a person is “an individual substance of a rational nature.”
“A human being, simply by virtue of being a human kind of being, with a specifically human nature, is a human person precisely because he/she is an individual of a rational nature,” she writes. “If allowed to grow, develop and flourish, these human persons hopefully will be able to eventually actively express ‘rational attributes’ and ‘sentience’ if possible.”
But even if the human being does not reach Mercer’s established attributes, Irving continues, they are still “innocent living human persons who possess a rational nature,” and who thus also possess “the same inherent rights as all other human persons – socially, ethically, legally, etc.”
Professor Schintgen noted that Mercer’s arguments are “just warmed over ideas from the Disco Era.”
“Mercer dredges up arguments used by Peter Singer, J.J. Thomson, Mary Anne Warren, and others from the 70s. The only thing missing is the bellbottoms,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Schintgen also said that Mercer assumes a false notion of autonomy. “Even if we grant that the fetus is not a person, why should I be allowed to do what I want with it?” he asks. “A great deal of modern talk about rights assumes this idea of autonomy without giving any reason for it. Does wanting to do something automatically give me a right to do it? I might like to have lobster for breakfast. Does that mean I have the right to have lobster?”
“One would expect a professor of philosophy to have arguments that meet the objections raised to these arguments in the past 30 odd years, but none are in sight,” he concluded.
Mercer also got a rebuke from Dr. Paul Claman, a professor of reproductive medicine at the University of Ottawa, who wrote in a letter to the editor that Mercer’s argument “does not hold water.”
“Extrapolating Mercer’s argument would make a parent’s decision to kill a month-old baby or a dependent parent with severe Alzheimer’s disease only a practical and not an a morale one,” he said.
Despite his abortion advocacy, Mercer did take a stand on behalf of pro-life students at his university in 2009, when he told media that SMU had given in to mob rule by allowing pro-abortion activists to silence a speech by Jose Ruba of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.
“I don’t want to defend what he said as non-hate speech because I think that’s irrelevant,” Mercer told the Chronicle Herald. “Even if he was saying ‘Black people suck,’ people who shout him down should be carried away.”
“We’re not to silence anybody on campus, not to prevent people from listening, not to prevent people from expressing themselves,” he added.
Saint Mary’s University was the first Roman Catholic university established in Canada, dating back to 1802, though it has formally separated from the Church.
Archbishop Anthony Mancini of Halifax, who sits ex officio as a ‘Visitor’ on SMU’s Board of Governors, told LifeSiteNews: “My personal position on the question of abortion is that of the Roman Catholic Church. I hold and uphold these views, knowing that everyone neither shares nor accepts this point of view.”
“As for the ideas expressed in the article in question, I do not agree with them professionally or pastorally,” he added. “No doubt there are professors at Saint Mary’s University who also hold views quite different than those in the article.”
Read Dianne Irving’s complete essay here.
Monday, 7 June 2010
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Manitoba finds women who have had abortions are about four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as those who carried their pregnancy to term. The authors confirmed a link between abortion and the substance abuse issues.
This study adds to the risks that we now know occur in women who have previously had an abortion (as opposed to a miscarriage), including mental health issues (especially depression) and, possibly, breast cancer. Before I share the details of this new study, I want to say something very important.
If you are one of the many women who has a secret abortion in your past, in no way do I intend to judge or condemn that choice. But, rather, I want you to overcome any risks that may come from the abortion. To that end, if you are a woman who has had an abortion, this information means that you need to consider a couple of actions:
- Learn everything you can about how your can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer and depression by proper diet, exercise, and sleep,
- Be sure to discuss breast cancer and depression screening with your primary care physician, and
- Strongly consider seeing a post-abortion counselor. You can find one through your nearest Crisis Pregnancy Center or by contacting CareNet here.
Now, here are the details on this study from LifeNews.com:
Natalie Mota, a PhD student in the U of M’s clinical psychology department, co-wrote the study with authors Margaret Burnett and Jitender Sareen.
The study appeared in the well-respected Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and it showed women having abortions were 3.8 times more likely to have substance abuse disorders.
That was the case even when other factors such as exposure to violence were included that could have raised the risk outside of abortion.
The Canadian study also found abortion associated with other mental health conditions such as mood disorders, but substance abuse proved to be the strongest link when it comes to post-abortion problems for women.
“These are associations only,” Mota told the Toronto Sun newspaper. “Further research needs to look at the different factors that might be playing a part.”
Still, the study provides more evidence that abortions hurt women as Mota told the newspaper hers was larger than many prior studies showing adverse mental health issues for women following an abortion compared with keeping the baby.
Mota and her colleagues told the Sun they also suggest abortion centers pre-screen women for substance abuse problems prior to abortions. Women who already have struggles with drug and alcohol abuse may see those problems exacerbated by the abortion. Currently, abortion centers typically don’t provide such screening or encourage women who struggle with those mental health issues to carry to term.
Priscilla Coleman, an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University, has already conducted multiple studies on the link between abortion and mental health problems for women.
Coleman analyzed the study further and found that, when compared to women without a history of abortion, those who had an abortion had a 61% increased risk for mood disorders. Social Phobia was linked with a 61% increased risk and suicide ideation with a 59% increased risk.
“In the area of substance abuse the increased risk for alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, drug dependence, and any substance use disorder were equal to 261%, 142%, 313%, 287%, and 280% respectively,” she told LifeNews.com. “Between 5.8% and 24.7% of the national prevalence of all the above disorders was determined to be related to abortion.”
Coleman told LifeNews.com the Canadian study affirms “results of many previous studies on abortion and mental health” and are generally consistent with our results using an earlier version of the National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) data.”
The Canadian researchers used the NCS replication data collected between 2001 and 2003.
“A large nationally representative U.S. sample was examined for associations between abortion and life-time prevalence of numerous mental disorders and suicidal behavior,” she said.
Coleman said researchers who support legal abortions “frequently claim the associations between abortion and mental health problems in the literature are due to an unmeasured history of violence exposure being related to both the choice to abort and to mental health problems.”
“Mota and colleagues tested this assumption by controlling for violence in all the analyses conducted. They also controlled for age, education, marital status, household income, and ethno-racial background,” she said. “The results revealed statistically significant associations between abortion history and a wide range of mental health problems after controlling for the experience of interpersonal violence and demographic variables.”
Coleman says the new study provides more evidence for the American Psychological Association in a challenge to its position that abortion presents no mental health problems for women.
“This report represents the latest in a series of articles from across the globe (U.S., New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and South Africa) published in recent years directly contradicting the findings of the American Psychological Association Task Force report released in 2008. Large scale, well-controlled studies using sophisticated data analysis methodologies consistently confirm a relationship between abortion and psychological distress that the national professional organization has dismissed,” the professor said.
“Standing above the political controversies regarding the legality of abortion, several contemporary researchers have demonstrated a willingness to publish data that contradicts many well-ingrained socio-cultural beliefs regarding psychology as a benign psychological experience. This is good news for science, the healing professions, and for women,” she concluded.
Monday, 4 January 2010
President Barack Obama, abortion, the Supreme Court, and healthcare dominated pro-life news in 2009. As we look back on 2009, the first with a new pro-abortion president, it seems to me that the pro-life movement essentially is on the defensive.
Thanks to a pro-abortion president and Congress, pro-life advocates spent most of their time this last year attempting to hold back the opening of the floodgates ushering in an expansion of abortion and taxpayer financing of it.
With the health care debate continuing into the new year, those efforts will be forced to continue — although the potential for pro-life gains in the 2010 elections provides significant hope for the future.
So, with that in mind, the following are the top ten pro-life news stories of 2009, ranked according to impact byLifeNews.com:
1. Health Care:
The health care debate has become the central focus of the pro-life movement during the latter half of 2009 and for good reason. If the abortion language in the final bill is anything like what is currently in the Senate version of the legislation, the result would be the greatest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortions since the 1970s when the Hyde Amendment was adopted.
The Senate bill not only would allow the forcing of taxpayers to pay for abortions but would let the Obama administration force insurance plans to pay for them as well.
The end result? With Hyde getting credit for stopping more than 100,000 abortions annually, the health care bill could result in a 10% or greater increase in abortions — all financed with government money.
2. Barack Obama promoting abortion:
The influence of the president of the United States on abortion policy can never be underestimated, despite some who still think the president doesn’t have any impact.
LifeNews.com has the most comprehensive chronicle that I have seen of Obama’s pro-abortion actions, but the most consequential ones include his overturning of the Mexico City Policy and allowing tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to flow to abortion businesses like Planned
Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International that not only do abortions by lobby pro-life nations to overturn or water down their laws.
Obama also reversed the prohibition on funding the UNFPA, which works hand-in-hand with the Chinese officials who implement the one-child policy and enforce it with forced abortions and other human rights abuses.
Obama has installed not only abortion advocates but former abortion advocacy group staffers in key places where abortion policy will be affected. He is working to overturn conscience protections, funded abortions in DC, zeroed out abstinence funding, and will continue promoting abortion at every turn.
3. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor:
Amid the health care debate, Sotomayor has been quickly forgotten, but her impact on the high court and abortion and pro-life issues may be felt for decades to come.
Sotomayor http://www.lifenews.com/nat5086.html never gave the pro-life movement the smoking gun it needed to show how extreme of an abortion proponent she will be on the high court. But her own judicial activist comments, membership and participation in groups that endorse abortion, and with Obama, pro-abortion senators and groups saying she’s “one of us” — that gave pro-life groups enough anecdotal evidence to oppose her.
Obama will likely have another chance to appoint a pro-abortion zealot to go along with Sotomayor before the 2012 elections roll around. The appointments will have the effect of cementing legalized abortion for another generation.
4. Barack Obama promoting embryonic stem cell research:
It hasn’t received near as much attention as it should have because of his abortion actions and because of the health care debate, but Barack Obama is the first and only president to fund new embryonic stem cell research where tax money will directly go towards the active destruction of human life.
Pro-life advocates also have reason to be concerned that this is just the beginning. With other issues providing news cover, Obama can push the overturning of the Dicker-Wicker law that forbids funding the purposeful creation and destruction of human life for scientific research and could push human cloning for research purposes. The Obama administration may also be the first to allow, through the FDA, human trials with embryonic stem cells that still pose problems when used with animals.
5. Americans are Pro-Life:
2009 was marked by the release of several polls showing a majority of Americans are pro-life on abortion. A Gallup poll showing 51 percent of Americans call themselves pro-life received the most attention, but more than a dozen polls on abortion itself and abortion funding had pro-life majorities popping up every time.
One poll that should have received more attention but didn’t: a new CNN survey with 63% saying they oppose all or most abortions, one of the highest measurements in recent years.
6. Notre Dame:
The scandal of scandals in the Catholic community came when the mother of all Catholic colleges decided not only to allow Obama the opportunity to give its commencement address but bestowed on him an honorary degree. Even evangelical pro-life advocates joined their Catholic friends in condemning the action — which saw Father John Jenkins and the Notre Dame trustees thumb their nose at the Catholic bishops, who years earlier told Catholic schools to not give a platform to abortion advocates and who directly condemned the decision.
With pro-abortion “Catholic” groups claiming to be pro-life yet promoting Obama in 2008 and pro-abortion health care this year, the scandal is merely a predictor of more intense battles to come within the Catholic community.
7. George Tiller:
The shooting death of George Tiller, the late-term abortion practitioner from Kansas, rocked the abortion world. Sadly it gave pro-abortion groups and the mainstream media yet another chance to paint the pro-life community as violent even though every pro-life group under the sun condemned the killing. And it came at a time with the local groups working against Tiller were on the threshold of getting his medical license revoked for legitimate reasons.
8. James Pouillon:
In September, a local man who didn’t like the use of graphic pictures of abortions took it upon himself to shoot pro-life advocate Jim Pouillon. The shooting death was notable for the nearly complete lack of coverage from the mainstream media, a very delayed reaction from Obama, and zero condemnation from pro-abortion groups.
9. Abby Johnson:
Greeted with a collective yawn by the mainstream media but wild enthusiasm by the pro-life movement, Texas Planned Parenthood abortion business director Abby Johnson resigned in October. Johnson’s resignation came about when she saw an ultrasound of an abortion procedure — confirming what pro-life advocates already knew about their power and use. Johnson has since exposed what a lot of pro-life advocates already knew about Planned Parenthood’s abortion business and industry. Planned Parenthood tried to shut her up but eventually lost in court.
10. Planned Parenthood:
As appears to be the case every year the exposing of the Planned Parenthood abortion business again makes the list. This year saw our friends at Live Action exposed a center in Wisconsin lying about abortion and fetal development, another hiding statutory rape, and other pro-lifers a California center injuring a woman. it also used underage girls in clinical trials. Fortunately, the abortion business closed several centers during the year.
Attacking Pregnancy Centers:
It didn’t receive the national attention that it might in future years, but pro-abortion groups are upping their aggressive attacks on pregnancy centers. Their effort culminated in the passage of a new law in Baltimore that makes pregnancy centers post a sign saying they don’t do abortions in an attempt to cut down their number of clients and boost abortion customers. Look for more of these kinds of attacks and state legislatures and cities across the country in 2009 as NARAL and Planned Parenthood are emboldened by this year’s victory.
2009 will be known as the year pro-life Democrats took a big hit in their legitimacy and reputation. Bob Casey feuded with his bishop over abortion, kept up appearances until voting for the pro-abortion health care bill, and continued his spotty voting record. Then, Ben Nelson made Democrats 60 for 60 in the Senate in backing abortion funding. Bart Stupak, if he holds in the House, may find himself as the only national pro-life Democrat with any credibility. With just one Republican in either chamber of Congress backing the bill and a pro-life Democrat switching parties recently, the partisan divide on abortion is growing
40 Days for Life:
The peaceful, prayerful grassroots movement is replacing the more vitriolic and sometimes-illegal abortion protests of the 1980s and 1990s. And the results are even bigger as abortion centers are shutting down, staff converting, and women making pro-life decisions. The twice-annual event is becoming the new face of pro-life direct action for good reason and even getting pro-life friends in other nations to re-establish long-dormant pro-life activity.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
LifeNews.com is reporting on a new study from researchers at a university in New Zealand which found that 85 percent of women who had abortions report negative mental health issues as a result. The report is the latest from professor David Fergusson and his team showing abortions cause problems for women.
According to the LifeNews report, the University of Otago team examined the medical history of over 500 women and concluded having an abortion generally “leads to significant distress” in women who have them.
It noted women reporting adverse reactions to their abortions were up to 80 percent more likely to have mental health problems and risk of mental illness was “proportional to the degree of distress” associated with the abortion.
The study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, examined data from women who had been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30 and who were asked if they were pregnant and, if so, the outcome of the pregnancy.
More than 85 percent of women reported negative reactions to their abortions including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment.
The study revealed that women who have abortions face more negative mental health problems resulting from that pregnancy outcome as compared with women who keep their baby and carry to term. Women having abortions had rates of mental health problems “approximately 1.4 to 1.8 times higher than women not exposed to abortion.”
Ultimately, Fergusson and his team said there is little justification for saying that legal abortions should be promoted on the basis of a improving a woman’s mental health.
“Collectively, this evidence raises important questions about the practice of justifying termination of pregnancy on the grounds that this procedure will reduce risks of mental health problems in women having unwanted pregnancy,” the team wrote.
The team said the study showed no reason to “support strong pro-choice positions that claim unwanted pregnancy terminated by abortion is without mental health risks.”
The new study is a follow-up to previous studies Fergusson and his team conducted showing women who have abortions are more likely to become severely depressed.
The original 2006 study found some 42 percent of the women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That’s almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.
According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs.
A second study Fergusson’s team released found that women who had abortions had rates of mental health problems about 30% higher than other women. The conditions most associated with abortion included anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.
The authors concluded that anywhere from 1.5 to 5.5 percent of all mental health disorders seen in New Zealand result from women having abortions.
British Victims of Abortion, which helps women who suffer medical and mental health problems after an abortion, has welcomed the results of the new report.
Margaret Cuthill of BVA commented: “What we at British Victims of Abortion hear in the counseling room confirms the truth of Professor Fergusson’s results.”
You can read my other blogs on the topic here:
More Than 90% of Women Carrying a Child With Down Syndrome Choose Abortion, but Parents Raising These Wonderful Kids Say They’re a ‘Gift’
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
In a past blog, I told you, “‘Safer’ prenatal Down’s syndrome test” will likely result in more deaths among unborn children.” I said then, “This whole prospect chills me – as I believe it’s going to lead to the unwarranted murder of many of these wonderful children – uncounted legions of precious children, like Trig Palin (Sarah Palin’s son), who will never have the chance to be held or hugged by their moms and dads – but who will, I believe, be nestled in the arms of their Creator. Unfortunately, my prediction appears to be coming true.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
The baby. The unborn child is the best argument against abortion. The one thing in which the pro-abortion movement experienced the most success was stripping the unborn child of his or her personhood. “Just a clump of cells,” they said. “Just tissue,” they tried to tell pregnant women. “Nothing more than a blob of flesh,” they told moms-to-be. Medical science has proven them wrong.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
According to LifeNews.com, a prominent breast cancer surgeon and professor has written a new article for a medical publication saying that abortion increases a woman’s risk of contracting breast cancer. On the other hand, miscarriage has no effect while a full-term pregnancy lowers the breast cancer risk.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
In this time of bitter partisanship, there are still a few issues that Republicans, Democrats and Independents can agree on. One of those issues is providing taxpayer-subsidized benefits to illegal aliens. The American people are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
A two-hour National Geographic documentary ‘In the Womb’ is now available on YouTube in 9 parts. Originally aired in 2005, the documentary used revolutionary techniques in computer imaging and 4-D ultrasounds to present stunning images of the developing embryo, taking viewers through the amazing journey of the unborn baby from conception to birth.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Taxpayer funding of abortions is quickly become the new Roe v. Wade or touchstone of the abortion debate.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Although President Obama has said there is not abortion funding in the healthcare reform legislation, now both liberal and conservative media sources say he is being disingenuous. Besides, if it’s not there, why would all of the proabort organizations be supporting it so heavily? Here’s why.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
President Barack Obama’s administration has released a new web site to supposedly debunk the myths opponents are using to criticize the Congressional health care proposals he supports. Notably absent, however, is any mention of my biggest criticism, that the plans will lead to a mandate for the funding of abortion on demand.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
A fellow named Fred wrote this to me: “Don’t you have your own ideas, Doc? How would you propose to fix the system? Evidently it is by sitting on your butt and watching FoxNews, carefully copying and reposting their slanted stories, and pretending there is no problem. Who paid you to post all this negative information about attempts to reform our broken healthcare system?” Here’s my response.