The study by Coleman1 and the following comments may offer a further useful point of view to the bioethical debate. Irrespectively of moral judgement, in the majority of cases abortion is performed by physicians to protect women’s mental health from an unintended/unwanted pregnancy or birth, but as a minimum what we can say is that evidence does not support any beneficial effect on women’s mental health as a result of having an abortion. On the public health level, abortion may therefore be considered no more than a procedure satisfying criteria for futility.2,3 On the individual level, any abortive procedure should be instead preceded by an in-depth analysis of the various factors known to interfere with the psychological outcomes. But as far as we know this is almost never the case. If women’s health is what abortion providers intend to preserve, they should accept a substantial revision of their protocols under the assistance of skilled psychiatrists.
- mental health