Paper examines why women won’t get all the information they need on the psychological effects of abortion from the American Psychological Association
(Ottawa): The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is releasing a paper which examines the American Psychological Association’s review of the existing psychological literature on mental health for women after abortion. This has implications for psychology in Canada, because of the widespread respect the APA commands.
We call for the APA to reconsider their work, in light of the following:
- The APA cites one study only in support of their conclusion
- The APA’s study selection criteria eliminated valid studies
- The APA did not create a standard framework on which to judge each study
- Understanding that abortion is a controversial topic, little effort was made to compensate for possible task force bias: Three of six task APA force members are authors of studies under review, as well as supporters of abortion as a civil right
The APA conclusion appears to rest on only one study; this alone is not standard scientific practice.
“Regardless of their conclusion,” states Andrea Mrozek, the author of the paper, “it is important to maintain a high level of scientific rigour. Their analysis appears to fall short of that, and could have negative implications for women’s health.”
Since the APA released their paper, two other peer-reviewed studies have been released which contradict the APA’s findings. “Scientific evidence continues to mount that abortion does have negative repercussions for women’s mental health some of the time,” continued Mrozek. “Still, the issue at hand is one of how they reached their conclusion. The conclusion they actually reach is that there can be no conclusion. But that’s not what they’ve told the public.”
The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is calling for the APA to re-issue the report, while maintaining a higher research standard, and following standard scientific procedure. A call for further research and tighter publication standards should follow. “Women’s health deserves better than this report offers,” concludes Mrozek.
For additional information or comment, please contact Andrea Mrozek, Manager of Research, at 613-565-3832.