Barbara Kay: A right to abortion doesn’t outweigh the right to know the risks
Barbara Kay | Jul 11, 2012 10:59 AM ET National Post
Preterm birth (PTB) is a risk factor for a number of infant and childhod afflictions. The more extreme the prematurity, the worse the problems. The most feared risk associated with extreme PTB is cerebral palsy, but PTBs have also been linked to autism and diminished cognitive capacity, amongst others. Most physical deficits linked to PTB are readily apparent at birth or in early childhood. Now an important study out of England and Sweden, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, has linked PTB to psychiatric problems in adulthood.
A thorough analysis of over 50 years of excellent maternal mortality data from the nation of Chile has revealed that the most important factor in reducing maternal mortality is the educational level of women. Educating women enhances a woman’s ability to access existing health care resources and directly leads to a reduction in her risk of dying during pregnancy and childbirth.
For complete article: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036613
Letter to Globe and Mail in response to last week's article about a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists claiming that abortion has no negative impact on women's mental health:
The study purporting to show that women who have abortions do not suffer a higher risk of mental illness (Globe Life, Dec. 9, 2011) flies in the face of much recent research. Just in September the British Journal of Psychiatry published a large meta-study that systematically contradicts the Kendall study referred to in your article. It found that women who have abortions are 81 per cent more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems. The greatest increases were seen in relation to suicidal behaviors and substance abuse.
Women with a history of abortion face higher rates of anxiety (34 per cent higher) and depression (37 per cent higher), alcohol use (110 per cent higher), and suicidal behavior (155 per cent higher).
In the Press: