“Rev Fred Nile has committed the unpardonable sin in Western society – he mentioned abortion’s mental health risk. It is the ‘elephant in the room’ that no one wants to talk about,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
The public outcry that followed Fred Nile’s Facebook comment on Charlotte Dawson’s tragic death following years of depression ignored the fact that Charlotte herself wrote about her abortion in her autobiography. She said her despair following the abortion was her first serious experience of depression. The marriage ended not long afterwards.
“Charlotte was not alone,” Ros Phillips said. “Several long-term studies published in peer-reviewed journals have found that women who have had an abortion are significantly more likely to suffer serious clinical depression that may persist over many years.”
Some of the studies were by Professor David Fergusson and others, who have followed up 1265 children born in Christchurch in mid 1977. Dr Fergusson has been hailed for his gold standard research on many different issues, including criminality, education, drug use, smoking harm, adoption and mental health. These studies were immediately accepted by prestigious journals – but he faced reluctance to publish his studies showing the link between abortion and mental ill-health.
“Abortion harm was the elephant in the room then, too,” Ros Phillips said.
A more recent study by Drs Bellieni and Buonocore has found that women face a significantly higher risk of mental illness following an abortion, compared with giving birth.
“Fred Nile’s respectful comment has alerted Australian women to the very real health risks of abortion. He deserves our sincere thanks,” Ros Phillips said.
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