Lazy reporting on abortion

// 16 March 2008

Lazy reporting at The Times today, who open with “Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions” – Bookdrunk at Rhetorically Speaking (one of my favourite blogs – she is blisteringly funny!) points out that it really does help to read the statement properly – and even consider reporting on it accurately.

The Royal College of Physicians was asked by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee to update their position relating to mental health and abortion (in wake of the inquiry into scientific evidence related to abortion, which we covered here).

The Royal College duly undertook a literature review and found that “the evidence base is inconclusive” and recommends that a full systematic review is undertaken around the issue. Specifically they note that some women experience mental disorder at some time during pregnancy and birth, and that whether abortions specifically have an impact on mental health “remains to be resolved”. They say that women with pre-existing mental disorders who undergo pregnancy and birth *or* abortion need mental health support.

If you’d like to read the statement in full (more than the Sunday Times apparently did – and it’s only a page long) – it’s here.


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