Psychologists: APA Deceptive on How Abortion Adversely Affects Women, Men
by Steven Ertelt
September 9, 2008
Chicago, IL (LifeNews.com) — Two prominent psychologists are participating in the second national conference on the kind of profound grief and regret men can experience after their involvement in an abortion decision. They said the American Psychological Association missed the boat in a recent report on abortion’s negative effects.
Psychologist Dr. Vincent Rue is one of the featured speakers.
He has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years and is an academic who formerly served on the faculty at California State University at Los Angeles and San Diego International University.
In comments sent to LifeNews.com, he told the post-abortion conference how the American Psychological Association has misled the public on problems resulting from abortions.
"Despite the fact that less than a month ago the APA pronounced that abortion is psychologically safe for women we are in the midst of a conference in which men are recounting their grief over abortion," he said.
"The APA has missed the boat and has misguided the American public," Rue added. "It is out of touch with reality and the pain and suffering of these very real people."
Rue pointed out that the APA position is at odds with a statement by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain released earlier this year. The British group warned that the issue "remains to be fully resolved," that additional study was needed and that women should have access to counseling about possible consequences.
The Royal College concluded that "good practice in relation to abortion will include informed consent. Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information regarding the possible risks and benefits to physical and mental health."
Rue told the audience: "Perhaps it’s time to include discussion of the psychological risks for their partners and their relationships as well since the majority fail after abortion."
The psychologist also cited an August 23 article in the British medical journal The Lancet, which cautioned that, despite the APA pronouncements of abortion being psychologically safe for women, there are risks.
"Although this report shows that there is no causal link between abortion and mental ill-health, the fact that some women do experience psychological problems after a termination should not be trivialized," it said.
"Women choosing to terminate must be offered an appropriate package of follow-up care, which includes psychological counseling when needed," the article concluded.
Dr. Catherine Coyle, another psychologist, also attended the conference and shared her concerns about the APA report with the men and women grieving their abortion decisions.
She urged the pro-life movement to do more to help these second abortion victims.
"Those who grieve after an abortion need to realize that they are not alone," she said. "It is the compassionate thing for us to do to recognize that some people men and women have profound grief and suffering after an abortion."
"And if we are to be a compassionate society, we must validate their pain and provide the help they need regardless of where we may stand individually on the issue of abortion," Coyle said.
The psychologists are joining with counselors, academics and clergy to help and support men and women who have had experience with abortion to discuss the mental health consequences from it.
The Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Evangelization are co-sponsoring the event in conjunction with the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing.
Attendees have come from throughout North America, and as far away as Europe and Africa.
Monday’s speakers included several fathers who had lost their children to abortion, as well as presentations by psychologists, a counselor and a sociologist. The conference continues today.
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