Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Psychiatrists are wrong to downplay the impact of abortion on mental health

Psychiatrists are wrong to downplay the impact of abortion on mental health, SPUC said today in our submission to the consultation on abortion and mental health being conducted by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH). The NCCMH is composed of psychiatrists and psychologists. The NCCMH review, “Induced Abortion and Mental Health,” was issued in draft in April. Paul Tully, SPUC’s general secretary, told the media earlier today:
“We have been aware for many years of the long-term impact abortion can have on mental health, and the NCCMH review fails to treat the problem with the seriousness it deserves. Many important studies have been ignored by the reviewers. The concept of ‘wantedness’ is central to the NCCMH review, but it is an imprecise notion, and strongly affected by social reinforcement, support of the male partner and other factors.

“In our submission, we point to a number of studies that show that ‘wantedness’ is a loose and hazy notion. We are very concerned that the draft review suggests that abortion is not likely to lead to psychiatric harm on the assumption that an aborted pregnancy is unwanted. In our view, life is not that simple, and abortion is not safe.

“We hope that the NCCMH will take note of these concerns and revise the advice it gives doctors about the mental health risks of abortion.”
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