“Dehumanizing Automatons”

By Dave Andrusko

The news (although the outlines of the preliminary recommendations were known in advance) was that the pro-abortion Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is issuing guidelines for all doctors, nurses and counselors who advise women contemplating  an abortion. So, what do these women need to know? That “abortion is generally safer than continuing pregnancy to term.”  Not surprising conclusions, given that this guidance comes from “18 senior gynaecologists, nurses and abortion providers.”

Even less surprising is that the guidelines, still in draft form, end by stating majestically that “the great majority” of women who have abortions do not experience adverse psychological effects. “Although abortion can be associated with a range of feelings, long-term feelings of guilt, sadness and regret appear only to linger in a minority of women,” according to the guidelines.

Why is that important? That way the “18 senior gynaecologists, nurses and abortion providers” can conclude there is no need for “compulsory counselling” for women who are “certain” that they will abort.

The real news, perhps, is that the press would report that there’s been some blowback. For example, Professor Patricia Casey, a consultant psychiatrist and fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, told the Sunday Telegraph, “There are more than 30 studies showing an association between psychological trauma and abortion.”

In fact, this does not convey how bad abortion is for women. “A conservative estimate from the best available data is that 20% to 30% of women who undergo an abortion will experience serious and/or prolonged negative consequences,” says Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D. who has researched and written extensively on the subject. 

Last November she wrote, “Over 30 studies have been published in just the last five years and they add to a body of literature comprised of hundreds of studies published in major medicine and psychology journals throughout the world” demonstrating how abortion hurts women.

But the biggest news is that even some “pro-choicers” in Great Britain are alarmed by what the RCOG is recommending and about the coarsening, even brutalizing impact, abortion is having on the popular culture and the medical profession. Melanie Phillips is a representative example.

Her “What hope is there if doctors won’t respect unborn children?” which ran today in the Daily Mail, is must reading (www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1361285/What-hope-doctors-wont-respect-unborn-children.html).

To the guidelines’ two basic assertion—safety and the absence of emotional complications– Phillips first asks, “To which one can only ask: safer for whom, precisely? Not for the baby, certainly. This is not meant to be a flip comment. For the point is that these doctors seemed to have totally lost sight of some basic humanity here.”

Second, “The guidance also says that women who are deciding whether to have an abortion must be told that most do not suffer any psychological harm from the procedure,” she writes. “But rates of psychiatric illness and self-harm in women are higher among those who have had an abortion. While cause and effect cannot be proved, it defies common sense to say that there is no connection.”

In addition, of course, every woman is different, so cookie-cutter recommendations are inadequate on their face.

“They are intended rather to achieve one aim,” Phillips writes, “to get all such women to have abortions.”

Phillips ends her op-ed by writing of the “dehumanising automatons of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.”

Take five minutes out and read Phillips at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1361285/What-hope-doctors-wont-respect-unborn-children.html

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