by Steven Ertelt
January 11, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The American Psychiatric Association is drawing jeers from the pro-life community for electing a new president who is a well-known abortion advocate. Nada Stotland, the president-elect of the national organization for mental health professionals, suggests abortion poses no problems for women.
Stotland is a member of the board of directors of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health and her position concerns women who have suffered from mental health problems following an abortion.
This week, Stotland was quoted in the Los Angeles Times denying that abortion poses adverse psychological issues for women despite millions of women who have suffered following abortion and a wealth of research data.
In the interview, Stotland maintained no causal link between abortion and a greater risk of depression and drug abuse has been found.
Pro-life groups have "succeeded in convincing the American public" that abortion harms women, Stotland said.
"It’s a rule of thumb that if you want to get a law passed, you have to tell anecdotes that grab people," she said, alleging that pro-life groups make up the problems.
However, as recently as December, a new Australia study showed women who have abortions are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol compared with those who carry a pregnancy to term.
Kaeleen Dingle, of the University of Queensland, reported the results at a recent meeting of the World Psychiatric Association at a conference in Melbourne.
About one-third of the women in the group had abortions and those who did were three times more likely to abuse hard drugs like heroin or meth than women who were never pregnant or kept their baby.
The women who had abortions were also twice as likely to be an alcoholic or engage in binge drinking and 1.5 times more likely to suffer from depression.
"So these women, from my findings, seem to be definitely more affected in some ways," Dingle concluded.
Another study, published in January 2006 in New Zealand, found 40 percent of women having abortions suffer from significant mental health problems.
Paula Talley, a Missouri woman, speaks for many when she talks about the problems she faced after her abortion.
Talley says she was forced to have an abortion which went against her moral beliefs by her employer and that her history of sexual abuse and depression likely increased her risk of a severe emotional reaction to it.
She told LifeNews.com that if laws were in place to give women more information about mental health risks after an abortion, "I would have been spared the years of grief and depression which followed my own unwanted abortion."
“The abortion counselor never asked if I was being pressured nor did she inquire about my psychological history,” Talley added.