Researchers debunk study linking abortions to mental health issues
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and The Guttmacher Institute debunked a 2009 study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research linking abortions to mental health issues.
In a press release Monday morning, the editor of the journal agreed with the new analysis that found fundamental analytical errors in the study. UCSF’s Julia Steinberg and Guttmacher’s Lawrence Finer sent the editor a letter in the March 2012 edition of the journal, chastising the original study’s top figure, Priscilla Coleman, and her colleagues’ work for fundamental analytical errors.
“This is not a scholarly difference of opinion, their facts were flatly wrong,” Steinberg said. “This was an abuse of the scientific process to reach conclusions that are not supported by the data. The shifting explanations and misleading statements that they offered over the past two years served to mask their serious methodological errors.”
The press release also slammed Coleman’s work, citing that she chose to draw conclusions despite not distinguishing “between mental health outcomes that occurred before abortions and those that occurred afterward.”
Anti-abortion activists have cited Coleman’s research as helping in their propaganda, with the faulty information also spread by federally and state-funded crisis pregnancy centers.