Saturday, November 29, 2008


Anti-choicers have long claimed that abortion causes PAS - Post Abortion Syndrome. They claim that women suffer anxiety, depression, substance abuse, etc, etc, after having an abortion. This is a highly contentious claim. The anti-choicers justify this claim by referencing the anecdotal stories of women who are unhappy with the choice they made, and regret it (I wonder who made them feel bad? Could it be all the idiots insisting that they are cold hearted if they don't regret their decision? Could it be all the zealots calling them murderers? As I've discussed before, the anti-choicers might be partially to blame in this).

But now the Dakota Voice (a right wing news source) is reporting on a new study has been released claiming a correlation between abortion and various anxiety and substance abuse issues. While I can't actually get into the study itself, and hence can't assess its worth, it's being published in what I take to be a decent peer-reviewed journal. Of course, given the other studies which deny this claim (linked to from the Voice article), and given the fact that statistical science is the least reliable of the sciences, it's still not clear that PAS actually exists.

And honestly, I wish the anti-choice crowd would stop pushing this. It's just another indication that they are completely devoid of any understanding of basic critical thinking skills. Even if abortion carried with it the risk of PAS, that does not make it any less a legal right. Children of religious nuts might vary well suffer psychological damage, but that doesn't mean we should make it illegal to teach your children that they are inherently worthless and evil and are headed for fire and brimstone. Many women suffer post-partum depression, but that's no reason to make having children illegal. Many of the choices we make carry with them risks to our persons - both physical and mental - but that doesn't necessarily mean that those choices should be made illegal. You've got to make an argument for that.

But that's just the thing. The anti-choice crowd lacks any reasonable argument for their position. They rely on religious dogma and emotional appeals to convince people. And that's what they are doing with PAS - attempting to use it to frighten women away from making a choice that might actually be best for them in their situation.


Orion77 said...

The driving force behind their "concern" is the same as always, control. "We own the one & only divine truth, and demand you obey it."

In their bastardised view of the world, sex, marriage, booze, drugs, gambling, science, morality, love, birth and death are all entrusted to them by god. Fucking meddling hypocrites.

Improbable Joe said...

I've always wondered if anyone has bothered to compare post-abortion depression and other issues to post-miscarriage and post-partum depressions. It would be interesting to actually check to see if the issues arise from the abortion or just from the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.

That's all besides the point: pregnancy itself is medically dangerous to women, and abortions at or before 8 weeks are safer than carrying a baby to term. So, if there is real concern for women(something that anti-abortion proponents really lack) then everyone should support early abortion!

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any argument made here against the PAS thing, which I know little about and don't really want to know about, just the assertion that anti abortion advocates have no critical thinking skills. No argument made for that assertion either.This is the problem with the whole abortion issue...the debate is not engaged, only epithets thrown, because BOTH sides believe there is no debate and that only their position is the correct one. It is becoming part of American culture, I fear, to engage each other in this manner.IMHO