APA Panel Convened to Discuss Abortion After Effects is Stacked with Deniers

Tue May 8, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

  GROVE CITY, Pennsylvania, May 8, 2007 ( – Does the fact that the American Psychological Association has agreed to examine the possible adverse effects of abortion on women’s mental health mean the organization is reconsidering the issue? Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor, counsellor and writer says, “Very likely, the answer is no.”

  The APA has convened a panel of experts to examine the possibility that women might be psychologically traumatized after abortion. Throckmorton points out, however, that each has gone on the public record saying there is no evidence that abortion has any long-term negative consequences for mental health.

  Dr. Throckmorton warns that the APA’s committee is necessarily biased, pointing to the APA’s longstanding advocacy of abortion. In 1969, the Association declared that “termination of unwanted pregnancies” is a mental health issue, and resolved that “termination of pregnancy be considered a civil right of the pregnant woman.”

  The committee is charged with reviewing the published scientific literature on the impact of abortion on women’s mental health and will report its findings in 2008.

  Given the APA’s stated bias, however, it seems unlikely even to some of its members that an objective examination of the facts is possible. Dr. Rachel MacNair, an APA psychologist who calls herself a “pro-life feminist,” told Throckmorton, “Although the APA included two experts on the trauma of domestic violence and an expert on methodology, three members have clearly stated ideological commitments to the ‘pro-choice’ perspective.”

  MacNair said, “Only if the report comes out with conclusions opposite to what one would expect with the ideological commitment of half of its members would it have credibility; if it comes out as would be predicted, the absence of balance on the task force will be a problem for its scientific credibility.”

  MacNair relates that she has experienced women who have claimed a connection between their abortions and subsequent psychological distress and been dismissed because of the APA’s official pro-abortion position.

  Read Special Report:
"Evidence Doesn’t Matter" in APA Abortion Advocacy

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