September 25, 2022

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logo_e-fydThis is an article to test embedded videos from youtube…. Women’s mental health may be at risk if they have an abortion, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in the UK. In a one-page statement it calls for "a full systematic review around [sic] abortion and mental health" and the revision of patient information leaflets. "Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information regarding the possible risks and benefits to physical and mental health," it says. Cautious as this may sound, it represents a major reversal of the College’s position, "a shift from being pro-choice to being neutral," in the words of one psychiatrist.

The last time that the College dealt with the controversial issue of abortion and mental health was in 1994. It then described "the risks to psychological health from the termination of pregnancy in the first trimester [as] much less than the risks of proceeding with a pregnancy which is clearly harming the mother’s mental health." Nowadays more than 90% of the abortions carried out in Britain are approved for this reason. But since that time several studies have suggested that the balance of mental health outcomes for some women could be negative.

This authoritative statement comes at a sensitive moment, as British MPs are soon to vote on a proposal to reduce the upper time limit for abortions "for social reasons" from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. According a poll taken by the Sunday Times, 59% of women would support this, with only 28% backing the current position. Gordon Brown’s Labour government opposes the reduction.

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