"Publication in a leading psychiatry journal did not prevent a barrage of criticism for the author of a study showing the mental health risks of abortion."
Priscilla Coleman: This review offers the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world literature. The results revealed moderate to high increased risk of mental health problems after abortion. Consistent with evidence-based medicine, this information should be used by health care professionals.
Q. The study attracted a lot of criticism -- from the American Psychological Association among others -- and you were accused of everything from professional incompetence (virtually) to personal bias. Were you surprised at this barrage?
A. No not at all. It is much easier for them to attack me than to accept the reality of negative mental health consequences of abortion, a reality that goes against the “civil right” the APA has been advocating for over the last four decades. They are extremely biased on this issue and it wouldn’t be realistic for me to expect to be easily recognized by the APA or similarly minded groups as an objective well-trained scientist.
Q. How important is it for women that a truly scientific approach should prevail?
A. Extremely important. This is a very common medical procedure and at least 20 per cent of women who undergo an abortion are at risk for serious psychological problems. They have a right to know if they are in a high risk group and what the real risks are afterwards, just as with any medical procedure.