How a British Study Undermines the Justification for virtually all abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Caitlin Moran

Jeremy Laurance, who is pro-abortion, writes a column, “Medical Life,” for the British newspaper, The Independent. Imagine his joy when an academic study purports to show that “abortion poses no greater risk to mental health than childbirth for those with unwanted pregnancies,” buttressing a first-hand best-selling account that celebrates abortion.

We’ve already talked twice about “Induced Abortion and Mental Health: A systematic review of the mental health outcomes of induced abortion, including their prevalence and associated factors,” including today. [ See “Further Thoughts on a study claiming that abortion is not associated with an increase in mental health problems.”]

If you are generous, as is Dr. Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, you explain that the evidence supporting the conclusion–“that it makes no difference to a woman’s mental health whether she chooses to have an abortion or to continue with the pregnancy–” is weak, and then turn that around to make the point that this invalidates the reason 98% of abortions in Britain are performed: “protecting women’s mental health.”

Laurance admits that “There are not many cheery stories about abortion. One of the best can be found in Chapter 15 of Caitlin Moran’s new bestseller, How to be a Woman.” A “fearless account of how she terminated a pregnancy,” Moran provides in “forensic detail the emotions she went through – and none of them was as she, or we, might have expected. In place of angst, trauma, and regret, she experienced certainty, relief and confidence she had done the right thing.”

Conclusion? That there is an “important truth,” according to Laurance: “abortion ain’t as bad as people make out, especially anti-abortion organisations.”

In his column he doesn’t say much more about the book. But notice how he sandwiches together her story with the admission that study poses a “tricky question,” which comes very close to what Dr. Saunders’ has concluded. And that is “To obtain an abortion women must to find two doctors who will authorise it. By far the commonest ground, cited in nine out of 10 abortions, is that to proceed with the pregnancy would put the mental health of the woman at risk. This study appears to put that ground in jeopardy.”

Whoops! What to do? Lacking the evidence, change the argument. According to Laurance, stop the “pretence” that there have to be “grounds” for abortion “and acknowledge, once and for all, that it is a woman’s right to choose.”

Give him credit, at least he doesn’t hide his conclusion: abortion on demand.