Dr Stotland is Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rush Medical College. She is a former President of the American Psychiatric Association. She is an Editorial Board member of Psychiatric Times.
Abortion is not a pretty subject. An embryo or fetus, while not a fully developed person, has the potential to become one. No one is “pro-abortion.” At the same time, there are circumstances under which a girl or woman feels strongly that her pregnancy is untenable—that she is too young, too poor, too burdened, too ill to properly mother a child. Women have abortions because they take motherhood seriously.
My medical school clinical preceptor asked me, during my first year, what specialties (at The University of Chicago, the attitude toward general practice was well represented by the dismissive references to ‘LMDs’—local medical doctors) I was considering.
Although the Washington Report used the term "postabortion depression," this is a term to which the APA objected. There is no credible scientific evidence for such a diagnostic category or for a causal relationship between abortion and mental illness.