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Women who choose abortion are “certain of the decision”, study claims

14 October 2016

The study did not factor in the views of women years or even months after their abortion

A study published in the journal Contraception has claimed that women seeking an abortion tend to be more certain of their choice than people making other healthcare decisions.

The study assessed decisional certainty among 500 women seeking abortions at four family planning facilities in Utah. All completed baseline surveys and two-thirds answered follow up questions by telephone three weeks later. The study did not include women contemplating an abortion who did not visit a clinic.

The study's lead author Lauren J Ralph, of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, said:

"Our finding directly challenges the idea that decision-making on abortion is somehow exceptional and requires additional protection, such as state laws that mandate waiting periods or targeted counselling and whose stated purpose is to prevent women from making an unconsidered decision."

The study has already gained wide media attention, with headlines such as "The Myth of Abortion Regret" and "Please Stop Trying To Talk Women Out Of Getting Abortions."

Ideologically motivated

Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC Pro-Life commented on the reports, saying "This study was clearly influenced by an ideological desire to remove obstacles to abortion. The fact that the lead author draws conclusions about laws on waiting periods and counselling casts serious doubt on her impartiality."

"That the women were only followed up with three weeks later is a serious flaw in the study," Mr Tully continued. "As we know from the work of the Abortion Recovery Care Helpline (ARCH), the first reaction in many women immediately following an abortion is relief, with regret following months or even years later."

Assisted suicide for those who have "completed life" in the Netherlands continues to make news

The Express ran with the headline Bored to death: ASSISTED SUICIDE to be granted for people who are simply fed-up of living. Image: Getty

The news that government ministers in the Netherlands have advocated for assisted suicide for people who are not ill or dying, but feel they have "completed life" is receiving wide media coverage.

The news has spread across the world, with many outlets focusing on the fact that assisted suicide would be available for healthy people. Further details of those the measure is aimed at have emerged.

Edith Schippers, the health minister, in a letter addressed to the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday, said the measure was needed to address the needs of "older people who do not have the possibility to continue life in a meaningful way, who are struggling with the loss of independence and reduced mobility, and who have a sense of loneliness, partly because of the loss of loved ones, and who are burdened by general fatigue, deterioration and loss of personal dignity."

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