MANCHESTER, England -- Catholic medical professionals have questioned the reliability of a British review concluding that women who have abortions have no increased risk of developing mental health problems.
The British government-funded "Systematic Review of Induced Abortion and Women's Mental Health" found that though an unwanted pregnancy may cause mental health problems, it made no difference to the mother's mental well-being if she continued with the pregnancy or had an abortion.
The review was carried out by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatry and published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in early December.
Dr. Roch Cantwell, a consultant perinatal psychiatrist who led the review, said the work showed "that abortion is not associated with an increase in mental health problems."
"Women who are carrying an unwanted pregnancy should be reassured that current evidence shows they are no more likely to experience mental health problems if they decide to have an abortion than if they decide to give birth," Cantwell said in a Dec. 9 statement.