Just as UK MPs are preparing to vote on letting religious nutbars 'counsel' women seeking abortions, yet another pseudo-scientific study is released on the causal connection between abortion and mental health.
Recalibrate your SHRIIEEEEK-o-meters! Abortion increases your risk of insanity by 81% !!!!!!11! Or even by 230%!!!1!!!1
At least this source puts quotation marks around 'linked' and bothers to refer to real scientists.
Abortion and mental health 'linked'
Having an abortion increases the risk of mental health problems by 81%, according to a new study.
Compared to women who have not undergone a termination, those having one are significantly more likely to suffer issues, it found.
Furthermore, around one in 10 cases of mental health problems among women may be due to abortion.
Experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said their own research had found women were not at higher risk of mental health problems compared to those who fell pregnant accidentally and went on to have a baby.
The latest review of studies, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, is cited as the largest ever estimate of the mental health risks from abortion. It included 22 studies from 1995 to 2009 involving more than 877,000 women, of which almost 164,000 had had an abortion.
The research was carried out by Priscilla Coleman, professor of human development and family studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
She found that while the overall increased risk of mental health problems was 81%, the results "indicate that the level of increased risk associated with abortion varies from 34% to 230% depending on the nature of the outcome (whether women abused drugs, alcohol, or suffered depression, and so on)".
Prof Coleman concluded: "The strongest effects were observed when women who had had an abortion were compared with women who had carried to term and when the outcomes measured related to substance use and suicidal behaviour."
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is currently carrying out a systematic review of the impact of abortion on women's mental health. Results will be published this autumn.
A spokesman for the RCOG said: "What this research does not fully examine is if these women had pre-existing mental health complications such as dependency issues and mood disorders before the abortion."
Dear Priscilla has been spanked for her methodology and ideology more than once and by very prestigious sciencey-facty types, but for unfathomable reasons, her crap keeps on getting published.
Hell, I am not a trained scientist and even I know that correlation does NOT equal causation. And so should everyone who graduated high school.
But the media can't resist the headlines and many, like this one don't arse themselves to find a reputable person to counter the bullshit.
And, of course, the fetus fetishist bloggers are all over it.
From the wiki link:
Some other researchers have been unable to reproduce Coleman's results on abortion and mental health despite using the same dataset, and have described her findings as "logically inconsistent" and potentially "substantially inflated" by faulty methodology. The American Psychological Association (APA) and other major medical bodies have concluded that the evidence does not support a link between abortion and mental health problems, and APA panelists charged with reviewing the evidence were similarly critical of the methodology of Coleman's studies.
Science IS hard, Priscilla. To get the real, grown-up sciencey people to take your work seriously, such studies have to be well-designed and bear up under scrutiny.
When the facts do not support her desired conclusion, instead of going back to the lab bench and trying to improve the design, Priscilla just rejigs the numbers. She's been at this game for nearly a decade.
Really, isn't it time for 'peers' on peer-review committees to politely decline to participate in this charade?
I'm looking at you, Canadian Medical Association Journal, as well as the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Just. Don't. Publish. This. Crap.
ADDED: Someone with a head for stats might be interested in this (seemingly) thorough explanation of Priscilla's lying with numbers.