Women’s instincts the final judge

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: A Letter to the Editor 25 June contained the statement “any psychological harm to women who have had abortions is more likely due to a certain segment of society’s intolerance than anything to do with a medical procedure.”

This statement is Mr. Malcolm Murray’s opinion and is not argued, unless the accompanying skiing metaphor is somehow meant to represent compelling and convincing argument.

I sense Mr. Murray is well aware that psychological harm to women as a result of having an abortion is a distinct possibility.

And I acknowledge that “society’s intolerance” may play a part in contributing to this harm. But did he ever stop to wonder why this intolerance exists? Did he believe this intolerance is the sole reason for post-abortion emotional and psychological problems? Did he not take into consideration a woman’s own beliefs, convictions, tolerances and instincts?  

There is little doubt that the focus of the 25 June letter is to prove abortions are not immoral.

In my opinion whether or not an abortion is judged moral or immoral is a moot point, and therefore whether Mr. Murray is correct or not, is irrelevant.

The fact is, that after an abortion, a considerable number of women suffer some degree of mental stress. They may be mildly haunted by their experience from time to time, or they may suffer from problems that are much more serious.

Initial research indicates a rise in the rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide among woman who have had abortions. Whether or not society judges abortions to be immoral or moral, makes little difference.  

In this case, the woman’s own instincts are really the final judge.

The question of abortion’s psychological impact on women remains highly contested. The fact that Mr. Murray and I don’t see eye to eye on this issue illustrates this.

But perhaps Mr. Murray who appears to acknowledge that those who have had abortions do indeed experience some form of psychological harm, would agree with me that much more research needs to be done.

Women deserve to know the truth.

Rolf Tomlins,




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