New Zealand Abortions Wrongly Classified as Mentally Necessary, Prof Challenges

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 17, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Zealand Abortions Wrongly Classified as Mentally Necessary, Prof Challenges Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 17,

Wellington, New Zealand ( — The New Zealand government has released new figures for abortions there showing 17,934 abortions in 2006. The Abortion Supervisory Committee Report also determined that 98.9% of the abortions were approved on mental health grounds, but a leading abortion researcher challenges that contention.

The abortion reporting agency indicated having abortions will prevent women from developing mental health problems.

But, Professor David Fergusson of Canterbury University, challenges that notion and points to his own working showing women who have abortions are 40 percent more likely to have mental health problems.

His 2005 study found nearly half of women who had abortions "had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance abuse disorders.”

Ferguson wants the committee to commission more research and "have an assessment six months later to see what the evidence is revealing.”

"That would have been the responsible and sensible course of action to take," he said.

The pro-life group Voice For Life told that the previous Abortion Supervisory Committee declined to commission any research, and the new panel appears to be continuing that refusal.

Voice for Life says the New Zealand government is doing women a disservice by refusing to look into the study Ferguson, who is not pro-life, conducted.

Voice for Life says that this “head-in-the-sand” attitude by the ASC and its 205 certifying consultants, who are paid millions for their work, "is irresponsible and lulls unsuspecting women into a false sense of security about choosing abortion."

"Voice for Life calls on both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice (who oversees the ASC) to commission the analysis and research requested by the Canterbury University 2005 Health and Development Study," the group concluded.