Post-Abortion Women Challenge Psychologists’ Claim of ‘Harmless’ Abortions

Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

Document Publication: CNSNews

Publication Date: August 17, 2008

( - Women who have had abortions, scientists, and pro-life advocates are joining forces to refute the findings of an American Psychological Association (APA) task force that claims women who have one abortion do not experience any more mental problems than women who decide to give birth.

“The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy, the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion or deliver the pregnancy,” said Brenda Mayor, lead psychologist on the APA task force, in a press release about the report, which was released last week.

The study has outraged women like Leslee Unruh, whose decision to have an abortion inspired her to dedicate her life to helping other women who she says have lived to regret that decision and who say they have suffered both emotional and physical damage as a result.

“It’s one thing to take our money and do what they did to harm us,” Unruh, who founded the Alpha Center pregnancy resource in her home state of South Dakota and is the moving force behind Initiated Measure 11 on the state’s November ballot to ban abortion, told “It’s another to dismiss our grieving. That is the ultimate slap.”

“The APA should advocate a closer examination of the grief and warn women of the well-documented dangers (of abortion),” Theresa Burke, founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, a Christian recovery program for post-abortive women, said in response to the task force’s finding.

“Instead, the APA continues to censor information, de-legitimize research, prohibit opposing points of view, obstruct discussions, avoid scholarly debates and promote intolerance of those who are negatively impacted by abortion,” said Burke.

Repeated requests by to interview several members of the APA task force, including Major, and separate requests for comments from the APA were not answered by press time.


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