Pro-Life Leaders Condemn Study Saying Women Do Not Regret Abortion: ‘Deeply Entangled With the Abortion Lobby’
Pro-life leaders and doctors spoke out against a study showing women do not regret abortion, saying the study’s funders are “deeply entangled with the abortion lobby.”
The study, published by JAMA Psychiatry and led by Dr. Corinne H. Rocca, found that 99% of women do not regret their abortions five years after obtaining one. The study also found that most women experienced emotions of relief rather than regret after abortion.
But doctors, academics and pro-life activists told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the study is flawed and funded by those with a stake in the abortion movement.
“These conclusions are based on extremely flawed statistics, with small numbers of actual participants, self-selected to participate,” said Dr. David Prentice, vice president and research director of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute.
“Even the offer of payment for phone interviews did not produce good numbers,” he added. “It’s already known that those who are more distressed are less likely to participate, skewing the results. Better studies using actual medical data dispute the claims from the current study.”
The study suffers from low enrollment and “even lower follow up rates,” Dr. Christina Francis, an OBGYN, explained to the DCNF.
“This study is yet another attempt by the abortion industry to hijack and discredit common-sense laws that ensure that women seeking abortions are given fully informed consent,” the doctor said.
Francis noted that more than 75% of the women who were eligible to participate in the study refused to do so, and the “small remaining fraction that participated” were more likely to be women that felt good about their abortions rather than those who didn’t, something known as “selection bias.”
“This study does not provide any new or useful information,” Francis added. “Of the 75 peer-reviewed studies that exist on abortion and mental health, nearly 70% show that women who have abortions have an increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes. Women deserve to know the truth.”
Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum also pointed out that the sample included in the study “is self-selected, not random.”
— Kevin Drum (@kdrum) January 15, 2020
Live Action founder and president Lila Rose accused the financial backers and authors of the study of being “deeply entangled with the abortion lobby.”
“This should call into question how the study was conducted,” Rose warned. The Live Action leader pointed to commentary from Dr. Michael New, who said the study was carried out by a team of researchers affiliated with the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
“This is a research center known for its very strong support of legal abortion,” New wrote in an op-ed to the National Review. “As such, the authors seem primarily interested in using their findings to discredit both informed-consent laws and limits on late-term abortions.”
Rose also pointed out that only 58% of the 956 women who completed the first interview for the study were interviewed for the study five years later.
“It seems likely that those women who encountered personal or psychological problems would be more likely than others to drop out of the study,” Rose said.
The new study also takes a stab at abortion laws requiring doctors to tell women who want to obtain abortions that there is a way to reverse medication abortions — a claim the abortion movement rejects.
“Never have these claims held any water or been based on any evidence,” Rocca told ReWire News. “In looking at this research question, it was really important to lend some evidence to this. Is it true that women experience persistent or emerging negative emotions and decision regret?”
Rocca did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the DCNF.
Researchers surveyed 667 women and used five years of longitudinal data “collected one week post-abortion and semi-annually for five years from women who sought abortions at 30 US facilities between 2008 and 2010” to examine women’s feelings and emotions about whether their abortions were the right decision.
The study also contradicts previous studies that show negative effects of abortion on women. One such study, published in 2018 in The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, found that many women suffer from long-term negative psychological effects of abortion, including regret, shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, loss of quality of life and self-destructive behaviors.
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