Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 73(3) August 2023

Priscilla Coleman and scientific method

by Pravin Thevathasan

Dr Pravin ThevathasanIn 2011, Professor Priscilla Coleman published a meta-analysis of 22 studies in the British Journal of Psychiatry in which she reported an association between abortion and subsequent mental-health problems. The study has been heavily criticised by the American Psychological Association, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and a host of other pro-abortion organisations and individuals. It has been quoted, along with her other studies, in the United States when pro-abortion laws have been overturned.

After over ten years, calls are being made for its retraction. Another of Coleman's publications has been retracted because four peer reviewers were found to be "anti-abortion." What is of great interest is the fact that the paper in question sought to critique a study entitled The Turnaway Study which purported to demonstrate that abortion does not cause mental-health problems. yet the Turnaway data-set was compiled by the abortion advocacy group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. In this study, over two-thirds of women approached at the abortion clinics refused to be interviewed and half of those who agreed subsequently dropped out. It is likely that those who dropped out are the ones most likely to develop mental-health problems.

Why has the Turnaway Study not been retracted, given its close links to the pro-abortion movement?


"The Media silence over a study which found many abortions are coerced and unwanted" by Anthony McCarthy, July14,2023, Catholic Herald