So new research is out, apparently saying that we shouldn’t allow abortion on the grounds of mental health because abortion doesn’t affect mental health.
(They do suggest rewording our current legislation so as to further make it clear that we have abortion on demand but not really because Good Moral Doctors really get to make all the decisions, a suggestion which may have slightly biased me towards the belief that they are ignorant wankers.)
That question mark in the title is there because, like all Good Science, the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry wants some of my sweet sweet disposable income before it will grant me access to the full text. So I have to rely on the abstract, and the interpretation of a journalist. Because journalists are amazingly accurate when it comes to reporting science.
Anyway, to the abstract:
Objective: There have been debates about the linkages between abortion and mental health. Few reviews have considered the extent to which abortion has therapeutic benefits that mitigate the mental health risks of abortion. The aim of this review was to conduct a re-appraisal of the evidence to examine the research hypothesis that abortion reduces rates of mental health problems in women having unwanted or unintended pregnancy.
Conclusions: There is no available evidence to suggest that abortion has therapeutic effects in reducing the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy. There is suggestive evidence that abortion may be associated with small to moderate increases in risks of some mental health problems.
So, did it jump out at you, too? Let’s revisit:
in women having unwanted or unintended pregnancy
unwanted or unintended pregnancy
unwanted or unintended
I don’t know about you, but I hate the concept of surprise parties. They are unwanted (and, because they’re a surprise, pretty much always unintended). On the other hand, I know people who think surprise parties are the most fun ever. They’re unintended – because they’re a surprise – but, once they occur, very much wanted.
You think me and those people might have slightly different needs and responses and experiences of surprise parties?
Maybe pregnancy is slightly similar. Maybe a lot of people get pregnant without planning it but are actually really happy to be pregnant! Maybe their pregnancy is subsequently full of sunshine and rainbows
and morning sickness! Maybe including happy-surprise-pregnancy-people in with unhappy-surprise-pregnancy-people might, I don’t know (because I can’t access the full fucking article) skew things the tiniest bit?
The next problem, of course, is making statements like this:
Abortion was associated with small to moderate increases in risks of anxiety … alcohol misuse … illicit drug use/misuse …and suicidal behaviour …
Without noting whether or not you controlled for the fact that there’s a tiny bit of stigma around abortion in our society, like maybe people who get abortions are regularly labelled murderers or something. Maybe they, like, went to a clinic to get an abortion because they couldn’t feed another child on top of the ones they already have and some preachy douchefuck waved a plastic foetus at them and they decided to get a stiff drink afterwards. I fucking would.
Not convinced? Let’s consider that the president of ALRANZ, Dr Morgan Healey, thinks the paper shows good grounds for completely decriminalizing abortion in NZ. Bob McCoskrie, who wants to lock up your uterus, thinks it shows abortion is the Great Satan and must be made punishable by death.
You suppose maybe the results are a little bit open to interpretation?