It is easy to criticize referring to abortion as a “women’s health issue,” as progressives like to call it. And conservatives are exactly right in their usual criticisms: First, calling abortion a “women’s heath” issue is a perfect example of trademark linguistic mendacity of the Left. Progressives know, if only by some slimy instinct in their corrupt souls, that language colors one’s perception of reality. Calling abortion a “women’s heath” issue shifts the focus away from the child and on to the woman, which more readily conjures empathy for the woman, not the child. After all, if critics of abortion are correct that the fetus is a person, then we could just as well call abortion a “children’s health” issue–and it would be a much more serious health issue at that: women survive abortions, children do not. To be accurate, therefore, the phrase must beg the question against pro-lifers by assuming the fetus isn’t a person. But the phrase isn’t just misleading and question-begging, it is malicious: people who refer to abortion as a women’s health issue know damn well that doing so implies that those who are against abortion are thereby against women’s health.
But it is not misleading or fallacious or malicious to refer to abortion as a women’s health issue in that there is evidence that abortion puts women at risk of worse mental health (trauma and regret, suicidality and depression, certain mental disorders, increase in social pathologies such as substance abuse, etc.). These are the consistent findings of the best research on abortion and mental health. Here is the conclusion of a somewhat recent paper on the topic, which is a helpful overview of the literature (the lead author, David Fergusson, is the foremost authority on the topic, and is himself pro-choice):
Read the whole paper here.
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