LONDON, April 11, 2011 ( – A panel of The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) recently issued a draft review, an analysis of other studies, which concluded there is no difference in mental health outcomes whether a woman gives birth or has an abortion.

“Mental health outcomes are likely to be the same, whether women with unwanted pregnancies opt for an abortion or birth,” it said.

The panel noted that “controversy persists” over whether having an abortion is “comparable to a minor event such as undergoing an operation” or “a more significant life event, perhaps similar to the loss of a child.”

The report admitted that there has been much research done with differing results, but questioned the “quality” of the studies and said they often failed to take into account the mental condition of the woman before pregnancy.

But the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has called foul, saying that the College is ignoring the clear evidence.

John Smeaton, SPUC’s director said that the college’s conclusion “flies in the face of well-established studies which do show such a causal link.”

“There is an increasing number of women all over the world testifying to how abortion has damaged them psychologically,” Smeaton said. “These women will be very upset at the disservice done to them by the college’s false conclusion. It should also be noted that there are no studies which show that abortion has even one psychological or physical benefit.”

The review was commissioned as part of a consultation on the issue, launched April 6th by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, funded by the Department of Health.

The draft review appears to contradict another report by the College that said that women who want abortions should be counseled on the possibility of serious mental health consequences. In 2008, the RCP issued a warning that although the research literature on the subject was “inconclusive,” women need to be informed of all possible mental health risks surrounding abortion.


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