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RCOG findings on the psychological effects of abortion are 'a breath of fresh air', say researchers
Press release from Pro-Choice Forum

The research and education trust Pro-Choice Forum warmly welcomes the new national evidence-based clinical guideline The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion published today by the RCOG.

The guideline presents much evidence to support the claim that abortion is a safe medical procedure, and that complications following abortion are uncommon. In particular, the confirmation in the guideline that abortion is not associated with psychological trauma is noteworthy.

The guideline states that: 'Only a small minority of women experience any long term adverse psychological sequelae after abortion. Early distress, although common, is usually a continuation of symptoms present before the abortion. Conversely, long-lasting negative effects on both mothers and their children are reported where abortion has been denied'.

Ellie Lee, co-ordinator of Pro-Choice Forum said: 'The RCOG guideline is a breath of fresh air. It is very important and encouraging to see that the extent and severity of negative feelings women experience after abortion have been accurately presented, and compared with the psychological effects of denied abortion. There has been an unfortunate tendency on the part of media commentators and other opinion formers to exaggerate the negative psychological effects of abortion. Abortion is often talked about as a 'psychologically traumatic experience' or as 'inevitably distressing and difficult for women to cope with'. Hopefully the RCOG guideline will be taken seriously, and the psychological effects of abortion will from now on be discussed in less sensationalist terms'.

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