One of the world’s leading bodies on childbirth has issued advice that having an abortion is safer for pregnant women than having a baby.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also tells doctors that they should advise women that most who have an abortion do so without long-term psychological harm.
Until now, the Colleges’ advice had been that while rates of psychiatric illness and self-harm in women were higher among those who went through with an abortion, there was no evidence that termination, per se, would trigger such problems.
Newly issued recommendations on what healthcare professionals should tell women considering an abortion states: “Women should be advised that abortion is generally safer than continuing a pregnancy to term.”
It also says that women who appear certain about the decision to have an abortion should not be given any form of compulsory counselling about the ramifications of the decision.
One fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrist, Patrica Casey, told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper: “The message this sends out is very worrying. There are more than 30 studies showing an association between psychological trauma and abortion.”
The Royal College yesterday said it would rewrite some of the advice, after receiving feedback.