Ben Johnson

Researcher: Coverage of abortion-mental illness link ‘an excellent example’ of media bias

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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BOWLING GREEN, OHIO, March 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A professor at the center of a controversy over the link between abortion and mental illness has responded to her critics, charging the media with biased coverage that is misleading the public on a critical issue relevant to public health.

Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, published a 2009 study in for the Journal of Psychiatric Research finding a high incidence of mental health issues in post-abortive women. After the journal’s editor-in-chief co-authored an editorial criticizing the study, the mainstream media reported that abortion’s negative psychological impact had been “debunked.”

Dr. Coleman told LifeSiteNews.com her study joined 21 others included in her meta-analysis that incorporated data from 877,181 women. She called her analysis, which was published last September in the British Journal of Psychiatry, “the largest estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion in the world literature.”

Media coverage of the flap ignored the findings of the 21 other studies.

“A corrected error in a single study that reported associations between abortion and mental health is apparently more news worthy than a major meta-analysis,” Dr. Coleman wrote in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “This is an excellent example of the media bias that permeates the study of abortion and mental health.”

“There is not one study that would show that [if] people who have mental problems” have “an abortion, it makes their mental health better,” Dr. Martha Shuping, a North Carolina-based psychiatrist, told LifeSiteNews.com. “No, all the studies show it makes it worse.”

But widespread silence about these findings puts women at risk, Coleman said. “The victims of this irresponsible journalism are the millions of women, who have not easily moved beyond an abortion, suffered psychologically, and found very little assistance from the medical and psychological community,” she wrote.

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The tussle over her own study began shortly after it was published.

Coleman’s paper correlated data from the National Comorbidity Survey – a national study of mental health issues – to find a high association between abortion and mood, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

In 2010, Julia Steinberg of the University of California-San Francisco, and Lawrence Finer of the Guttmacher Institute published a critique of her study. Coleman acknowledged an error with the sampling weight she had given different sets of data.

“We sincerely apologize to Dr. Schatzberg, the journal staff, and to the readers for this error,” she wrote in the Journal in 2011. “We would also like to express our appreciation to the researcher who brought this to the Editor’s attention, Dr. Schatzberg, and Dr. Kessler for their kind assistance. Fortunately the overall pattern of the results has not changed very much.”

Steinberg and Finer accused Coleman of improperly including women in her study who were mentally ill before obtaining an abortion.

In a letter to the editor of the Journal in January, Coleman wrote it was “certainly true” that that method made it “difficult to ascertain whether or not the abortions preceded the documented mental health problems.” However, “we do know that the majority of mental health problems likely occurred after the abortions based on the following facts: 1) for nearly 70% of the participants in the sample, first abortions occurred by age 21; 2) the average age of women who had aborted when the life-time data were obtained was 32.9 years, and only 4.4% of first abortions occurred after this age; 3) [Ronald] Kessler et al. (2007) reported the median ages of onset for most anxiety, mood, and substance disorders in the U.S. to be between 25 and 53, 25 and 45, and 18 and 29 respectively.”

But one of the researchers she cited, Dr. Ronald Kessler, co-authored an editorial with JPR editor-in-chief Alan Schatzberg that concluded “the Steinberg-Finer critique has considerable merit and that the Coleman et. al. (2009) analysis does not support their assertions that abortions led to psychopathology in the NCS data.” The journal, however, did not retract Coleman’s article, as Finer and Steinberg requested. Instead, they suggested to better control the data, future studies should compare women who ended unwanted pregnancies through abortion with those who carried the child to term. “These strategies should be the focus of future research on the extent to which elective abortions lead to mental disorders,” they wrote.

Dr. Coleman vowed to continue her research as part of her new website, WeCareExperts.org.

“Continued mainstream efforts to deny the significant distress that easily affects a minimum of 20 percent of those who abort…will become even less effective, because we all likely know at least one person, who has had trouble coming to terms with an abortion experience,” Coleman told LifeSiteNews.com. “These women are everywhere and their voices are echoed in honestly collected and reported data.”

 


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A Nazi extermination camp. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Imagine the outrage if anti-Semites were crowdsourcing for gas chambers

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski
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A Nazi oven where the gassed victims were destroyed by fire. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Empty canisters of the poison used by Nazis to exterminate the prisoners. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
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Syringe for Manual Vacuum Aspiration abortion AbortionInstruments.com
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Uterine Currette AbortionInstruments.com
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Imagine the outrage if the Nazis had used online crowdsourcing to pay for the instruments and equipment used to eradicate Jews, gypsies, the handicapped, and other population groups — labeled “undesirable” — in their large industrialized World War II extermination facilities. 

Imagine if they posted a plea online stating: “We need to raise $85,000 to buy Zyklon B gas, to maintain the gas chambers, and to provide a full range of services to complete the ‘final solution.’”

People would be more than outraged. They would be sickened, disgusted, horrified. Humanitarian organizations would fly into high gear to do everything in their power to stop what everyone would agree was madness. Governments would issue the strongest condemnations.

Civilized persons would agree: No class of persons should ever be targeted for extermination, no matter what the reason. Everyone would tear the euphemistic language of “final solution” to shreds, knowing that it really means the hideous crime of annihilating a class of people through clinical, efficient, and state-approved methods of destruction. 

But crowdsourcing to pay for the instruments and equipment to exterminate human beings is exactly what one group in New Brunswick is doing.

Reproductive Justice NB has just finished raising more than $100,000 to lease the Morgentaler abortion facility in Fredericton, NB, which is about to close over finances. They’re now asking the public for “support and enthusiasm” to move forward with what they call “phase 2” of their goal.

“For a further $85,000 we can potentially buy all the equipment currently located at the clinic; equipment that is required to provide a full range of reproductive health services,” the group states on its Facebook page.

But what are the instruments and equipment used in a surgical abortion to destroy the pre-born child? It depends how old the child is. 

A Manual Vacuum Aspiration abortion uses a syringe-like instrument that creates suction to break apart and suck the baby up. It’s used to abort a child from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age. Abortionist Martin Haskell has said the baby’s heart is often still beating as it’s sucked down the tube into the collection jar.

For older babies up to 16 weeks there is the Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion method. A Uterine Currette has one sharp side for cutting the pre-born child into pieces. The other side is used to scrape the uterus to remove the placenta. The baby’s remains are often removed by a vacuum.

For babies past 16 weeks there is the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion method, which uses forceps to crush, grasp, and pull the baby’s body apart before extraction. If the baby’s head is too large, it must be crushed before it can be removed.

For babies past 20 weeks, there is the Dilation and Extraction (D&X) abortion method. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist uses forceps to partially deliver the baby until his or her head becomes visible. With the head often too big to pass through the cervix, the abortionist punctures the skull, sucks out the brains to collapse the skull, and delivers the dead baby.

Other equipment employed to kill the pre-born would include chemicals such as Methotrexate, Misoprostol, and saline injections. Standard office equipment would include such items as a gynecologist chair, oxygen equipment, and a heart monitor.

“It’s a bargain we don’t want to miss but we need your help,” writes the abortion group.

People should be absolutely outraged that a group is raising funds to purchase the instruments of death used to destroy a class of people called the pre-born. Citizens and human rights activists should be demanding the organizers be brought to justice. Politicians should be issuing condemnations with the most hard-hitting language.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Everyone should be tearing to shreds the euphemistic language of “reproductive health services,” knowing that it in part stands for the hideous crime of annihilating a class of people through clinical, efficient, and state-approved methods of destruction that include dismemberment, decapitation, and disembowelment.

There’s a saying about people not being able to perceive the error of their day. This was generally true of many in Hitler’s Germany who uncritically subscribed to his eugenics-driven ideology in which certain people were viewed as sub-human. And it’s generally true of many in Canada today who uncritically subscribe to the ideology of ‘choice’ in which the pre-born are viewed as sub-human.

It’s time for all of us to wake-up and see the youngest members of the human family are being brutally exterminated by abortion. They need our help. We must stand up for them and end this injustice.

Let us arise!


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Paul Wilson

The antidote to coercive population control

Paul Wilson
By Paul Wilson

The primary tenet of population control is simple: using contraception and abortifacients, families can “control” when their reproductive systems work and when they don’t – hence the endless cries that women “should have control over their own bodies” in the name of reproductive health.

However, in much of the world, the glittering rhetoric of fertility control gives way to the reality of control of the poorest citizens by their governments or large corporations. Governments and foreign aid organizations routinely foist contraception on women in developing countries. In many cases, any pretense of consent is steamrolled – men and women are forcibly sterilized by governments seeking to thin their citizens’ numbers.  (And this “helping women achieve their ‘ideal family size’” only goes one way – there is no government support for families that actually want more children.)

In countries where medical conditions are subpar and standards of care and oversight are low, the contraceptive chemicals population control proponents push have a plethora of nasty side effects – including permanent sterilization. So much for control over fertility; more accurately, the goal appears to be the elimination of fertility altogether.

There is a method for regulating fertility that doesn’t involve chemicals, cannot be co-opted or manipulated, and requires the mutual consent of the partners in order to work effectively. This method is Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Natural Family Planning is a method in which a woman tracks her natural indicators (such as her period, her temperature, cervical mucus, etc.) to identify when she is fertile. Having identified fertile days, couples can then choose whether or not to have sex during those days--abstaining if they wish to postpone pregnancy, or engaging in sex if pregnancy is desired.

Of course, the population control crowd, fixated on forcing the West’s vision of limitless bacchanalia through protective rubber and magical chemicals upon the rest of the world, loathes NFP. They deliberately confuse NFP with the older “rhythm method,” and cite statistics from the media’s favorite “research institute” (the Guttmacher Institute, named for a former director of Planned Parenthood) claiming that NFP has a 25% failure rate with “typical use.” Even the World Health Organization, in their several hundred page publication, “Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers,” admits that the basal body temperature method (a natural method) has a less than 1% failure rate—a success rate much higher than male condoms, female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps or spermicides.

Ironically, the methods which they ignore – natural methods – grant true control over one’s fertility – helping couples both to avoid pregnancy or (horror of horrors!) to have children, with no government intervention required and no choices infringed upon.

The legitimacy of natural methods blows the cover on population controllers’ pretext to help women. Instead, it reveals their push for contraceptives and sterilizations for what they are—an attempt to control the fertility of others. 

Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.


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Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.

New development goals shut out abortion rights

Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
By Rebecca Oas Ph.D.

Co-authored by Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

A two week marathon negotiation over the world’s development priorities through 2030 ended at U.N. headquarters on Saturday with abortion rights shut out once again.

When the co-chairs’ gavel finally fell Saturday afternoon to signal the adoption of a new set of development goals, delegates broke out in applause. The applause was more a sigh of relief that a final round of negotiations lasting twenty-eight hours had come to its end than a sign of approval for the new goals.

Last-minute changes and blanket assurances ushered the way for the chairman to present his version of the document delivered with an implicit “take it or leave it.”

Aside from familiar divisions between poor and wealthy countries, the proposed development agenda that delegates have mulled over for nearly two years remains unwieldy and unmarketable, with 17 goals and 169 targets on everything from ending poverty and hunger, to universal health coverage, economic development, and climate change.

Once again hotly contested social issues were responsible for keeping delegates up all night. The outcome was a compromise.

Abortion advocates were perhaps the most frustrated. They engaged in a multi-year lobbying campaign for new terminology to advance abortion rights, with little to show for their efforts. The new term “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” which has been associated with abortion on demand, as well as special new rights for individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual (LGBT), did not get traction, even with 58 countries expressing support.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Despite this notable omission, countries with laws protecting unborn children were disappointed at the continued use of the term “reproductive rights,” which is not in the Rio+20 agreement from 2012 that called for the new goals. The term is seen as inappropriate in an agenda about outcomes and results rather than normative changes on sensitive subjects.

Even so, “reproductive rights” is tempered by a reference to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, which recognizes that abortion is a matter to be dealt with in national legislation. It generally casts abortion in a bad light and does not recognize it as a right. The new terminology that failed was an attempt to leave the 1994 agreement behind in order to reframe abortion as a human rights issue.

Sexual and reproductive health was one of a handful of subjects that held up agreement in the final hours of negotiations. The failure to get the new terminology in the goals prompted the United States and European countries to insist on having a second target about sexual and reproductive health. They also failed to include “comprehensive sexuality education” in the goals because of concerns over sex education programs that emphasize risk reduction rather than risk avoidance.

The same countries failed to delete the only reference to “the family” in the whole document. Unable to insert any direct reference to LGBT rights at the United Nations, they are concentrating their efforts on diluting or eliminating the longstanding U.N. definition of the family. They argue “the family” is a “monolithic” term that excludes other households. Delegates from Mexico, Colombia and Peru, supporters of LGBT rights, asked that the only reference to the family be “suppressed.”

The proposed goals are not the final word on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They will be submitted to the General Assembly, whose task is to elaborate a post-2015 development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals next year.

Reprinted with permission from C-FAM.org.


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