Abortion and mental health

The Daily Mail reports today on a statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists which points out that the risk of mental health problems from pregnancy should be balanced by a consideration of the risk of mental health problems following abortion. They also give an important reminder that the principle of "informed consent" is undermined if women's mental health is not good and there is no adequate care. (See: Woman 'should have abortions blocked' until mental illness risks are known)

This important statement undermined the most common ground for abortion in England which relies on danger to the mental health of the mother if the pregnancy is continued. As we have known for some time, the mental health of the mother can be adversely affected by abortion, especially if this is a decision taken under pressure from medical health professionals.

Relevant to this is a letter to the Times of 27 October 2006 from psychiatrists also drawing attention to research that indicates that doctors should warn of long term adverse psychological consequences of abortion. (See: Risks of abortion)

Declaration of interest: my sister and a parishioner are signatories of this letter, I am proud to say.

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