Saturday, 1 May 2010

Abortion and... Maternal Health?

This is what some would have us foist on Africa in the name of maternal health.

Depression and substance abuse plague about half of American women who reported having an abortion, according to a new University of Manitoba study.

The study, published in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychology, suggests there's an association between mental disorders and abortion and that doctors should screen for a history of abortion in women who present symptoms of anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse.

However, local researchers are adamant the findings do not conclude that abortion causes mental disorders or drug abuse, saying the study did not examine other contributing factors -- including whether the mental abdisorder existed before a woman had an abortion.
Read more:

I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin', y'know?

Take Care

1 comment:

GB Shaw said...

It seems like the most important quotation from the news story (whose subheadline is "Don't assume cause-and-effect relationship, study authors warn") is one you didn't give:

"You absolutely cannot say from this data that an abortion causes mental illness. There's an association present, but whether the mental illness comes before or after needs to be further examined," said Natalie Mota, a U of M graduate student who was the study's primary author."

In other words, the mental illness may be the cause of the decision to have an abortion--not the other way around as you intimate. This seems a far more sensible conclusion (depression leading to a woman feeling as though she can't handle a pregnancy or motherhood), but again, you can't conclude one or the other from these results. They indicate a correlation, but confusing correlation with causation is a serious logical fallacy.

While I certainly can't condone anyone recommending abortion for maternal health, I certainly would be fully in favour of increased birth control and family planning options being made available to Africa's poor. And indeed, they are, but religious leaders spread lies and dogma (perhaps a distinction without a difference, but this is your playground and I don't want to be rude) about birth control to ensure that they are not used. Here's a representative sample of what I'm discussing (not that despite his crazy self-assigned title, his reasoning is from the bible).

I know that the Anglicans, of which you are one, were the first church to issue a statement in favour of contraception, and that's great, but you are also a conservative, and the conservative policies of the United States are such that any foreign aid is contingent upon abstinence-only education. I can't think of a policy that anyone could come up with that would do more damage to more lives than that.