Abor­tion stud­ies

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

Bill Lam­bert (Let­ters, March 30) is en­ti­tled to his views on abor­tion but not to dis­sem­i­nate an­tiabor­tion mis­in­for­ma­tion.

In the quoted 2008 Univer­sity of Otago study, au­thor David Fer­gus­son states: ‘‘Specif­i­cally, the re­sults do not sup­port strong pro­life po­si­tions that claim that abor­tion has large and dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects on the men­tal health of women.’’

The quoted 2011 re­view by Pa­tri­cia Cole­man has been su­per­seded by a more com­pre­hen­sive re­view by the Na­tional Col­lab­o­rat­ing Cen­tre for Men­tal Health, Lon­don (2011). Tak­ing into ac­count the broad range of stud­ies and their lim­i­ta­tions, the re­view con­cluded that, on the best ev­i­dence avail­able, the rates of men­tal health prob­lems for women with an un­wanted preg­nancy were the same whether they had an abor­tion or gave birth.

With re­gard to breast cancer, this is the com­mon­est cancer, af­fect­ing about one in 10 New Zealand women. Abor­tion is the com­mon­est gy­nae­co­log­i­cal pro­ce­dure, af­fect­ing about one in four New Zealand women.

It is there­fore no sur­prise the two are some­times as­so­ci­ated but no cause and ef­fect has ever been demon­strated.

This con­sen­sus is sup­ported by ma­jor med­i­cal bod­ies, in­clud­ing the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, the US Na­tional Cancer In­sti­tute and the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety. MAR­GARET SPAR­ROW

Kel­burn [abridged]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.