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BPAS: post-abortion trauma is a "completely fabricated condition"

3 May 2018

 
Clare Murphy of BPAS says post-abortion trauma is fabricated by pro-lifers.

"I can't believe that. They must know how women get hurt by abortion."  

A spokeswoman for Britain's largest abortion provider has denied that there's any such thing as post-abortion trauma.

Made up by pro-lifers 

Clare Murphy of BPAS told the Evening Standard that "post abortion trauma is a completely fabricated condition." She continued: "It is a term used by those who are opposed to abortion to undermine the services that are available to women."

She said that there has been extensive research into the mental impact of abortion, and it "has found that it doesn’t impact on a woman’s mental health any more than an unwanted pregnancy does."

Stigmatising women

Clare Bremner, who counsels post-abortive women for the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline (ARCH), says: "If Clare Murphy, or anyone else at Bpas, actually believes that women don't suffer mentally and emotionally after abortion, then they have a lot of research to catch up on. Similarly, if they are willing to rely on flawed studies like The Turnaway Study, they should brush up on research methodology. Either way, every time a headline such as this appears the women who are suffering after abortion are further stigmatised and silenced. This is unjust and damaging."

Flawed studies

The Evening Standard article referred to the "Turnaway study", a piece of research by the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) collaborative research group at the University of California, which, contrary to the majority of others, found that having an abortion does not have an adverse effect on a variety of mental health outcomes and other measures. In Abortion and Women's Health (p.20), Dr Greg Pike points out the flaws in this research, particularly the very low participation rate of women (22% at 5 years). As he says, "it would be unsurprising if those wishing not to participate would include those potentially most affected by abortion." Dr Pike details the many other studies which have found evidence of the negative mental health affects of abortion. 

Referred by doctors

"Recently we have seem a steady increase in women contacting us after their doctors or other healthcare professionals have recommended they seek support and counselling for the impact abortion has had on their mental and emotional health," Ms Bremner continued. "Does that make their doctors 'pro-life campaigners' or just professionals who recognise where the hurt has come from?   

"There is a mountain of research showing the detrimental affect abortion can have on women. Clare Murphy can contact me if she is unsure how to access it. 

"If women could be put before vested interests and political agendas we may start to see good research into how to best help those who are suffering," she concluded.

"They must know"

Alison Hall, who went through counselling with ARCH after having an abortion as a vulnerable 21 year old, said: "I can't believe that. They must know how women get hurt by abortion. I wasted years of my life, struggling, misusing alcohol, it effected all my relationships. It's unbelievable BPAS don't trust women enough to tell them the truth, and won't listen to all the women like me who are still hurting."

If you or anyone you know is suffering after an abortion call the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline on 0845 603 8501.

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