A study that came out before Christmas purported to examine psychological health when abortion is denied (due to the request being made after appropriate gestational limits). That study found that women who are denied abortion have higher levels of anxiety and this was reported, though not terribly broadly. Turns out (no great surprise) the study lacks rigor and was funded by a group that aims to promote “reproductive rights” and “safe abortion care.” This article shows why that study doesn’t hold water.
Only 37.5% of women invited to take part in the study actually participated, and across the study period 42% of these dropped out, rendering the final sample comprised of under 22% of those eligible for inclusion! The 78% of women whose voices are not included were likely those who had the most serious post-abortion psychological complications. With sensitive topic research, securing a high initial consent rate and avoiding sample loss are vitally linked to the validity of the conclusions. The authors acknowledge this fact as they state “we cannot rule out the possibility that women with adverse mental health outcomes may have been less likely to participate and/or been retained.” We really can just stop here, because this is a fatal flaw.