by Steven Ertelt
October 31, 2005
Tempe, AZ (LifeNews.com) — The author of a new study claiming abortion is less likely to cause women depression than carrying a pregnancy to term is an abortion advocate who once participated in a web site to try to refute pro-life arguments against abortion.
Nancy Felipe Russo, professor in psychology at Arizona State University, was the lead author of the study, which appears in a recent publication of the British Medical Journal.
However, Russo participated with an American Psychological Association group in February 2003 in putting together a web site designed to "correct inaccurate information about" abortion put out by pro-life groups.
Russo and two psychology professors co-chaired the panel charged with creating the web site.
In an interview with the APA’s news publication, Russo discounted assertions by pro-life researchers that women who have abortions can suffer from post-abortion syndrome.
"Anti-abortion advocates allege that post-abortion syndrome is a type of post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], though no scientific basis exists for applying a PTSD framework to understanding women’s emotional responses to a voluntarily obtained legal abortion," Russo claimed.
Citra Abbott of a pro-life campaign in the UK called Alive and Kicking, pointed out Russo’s abortion advocacy after the new study was published.
"The close association of Nancy Russo, one of the authors of today’s research, with the ProChoice Forum, has not gone unnoticed," Abbott said.
The group behind the APA web site worked alongside sociologist Eleanor Lee, a leading UK abortion advocate who founded an abortion advocacy web site in 1998. Russo told APA that the panel chose to work with Lee because of its international audience.
"We conclude that, under present conditions of legal access to abortion, there is no credible evidence that choosing to terminate an unwanted first pregnancy puts women at higher risk of subsequent depression than does choosing to deliver an unwanted first pregnancy," the authors claim.
The study flies in the face of others that show opposite results and women who say abortion caused them tremendous grief and guilt.
Researchers at Bowling Green State University last year examined data on nearly 11,000 women between the ages of 15 and 34 who had experienced an unintended pregnancy.
Their survey found that women who have abortions of unexpected pregnancies were 30 percent more likely to experience subsequent problems with anxiety than those who don’t have one.
Women in the study who had abortions and suffered from general anxiety disorder experienced irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a pounding or racing heart, or feelings of unreality.