Feb. 22, 2012
Clarke Forsythe and Mailee Smith of Americans United for Life recently penned an op-ed in The Washington Times regarding a hearing that will be taking place in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit on Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a case disputing a South Dakota statute, which was enacted in 2005, that mandates all women receive information of the medical risks of an abortion.
Planned Parenthood filed suit to prevent the South Dakota statute from becoming law, and one might be curious to know why they would prevent informed consent. Is it wrong for a woman to know the risks that may happen to her body during such a procedure? Besides ending the life of her unborn child, there are potential medical risks stemming from death to the emotional impact after the procedure.
There have been numerous studies that found an association between abortion and suicide. Other studies have found a link between abortion and depression (which is a major risk factor for suicide). For example:
A 1995 study by A.C. Gilchrist in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that in women with no history of psychiatric illness, the rate of deliberate self-harm was 70 percent higher after abortion than after childbirth.
A 1996 study in Finland by pro-choice researcher Mika Gissler in the British Medical Journal found that the suicide rate was nearly six times greater among women who aborted than among women who gave birth.
A 2002 record-linkage study of California Medicaid patients in the Southern Medical Journal, which controlled for prior mental illness, found that suicide risk was 154 percent higher among women who aborted than among those who delivered.
My colleague, Jeanne Monahan, recently mentioned in her op-ed, The mental toll of abortion, that there have been a large number of informed consent laws passed in state legislatures throughout the country. Isnt better that a woman receive more information for such an important decision?
The question remains: What is Planned Parenthood so afraid of? Are they afraid that the information will save a life, or are they afraid of the fact that a woman might be concerned on the long-term ramifications of having an abortion?