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Coleman, Coyle, Shuping, and Rue make false statements and draw erroneous conclusions in analyses of abortion and mental health using the National Comorbidity Survey

Julia R. Steinberg, University of Maryland, College Park Lawrence B. Finer, Guttmacher Institute

First published on Journal of Psychiatric Research:

| DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2012.01.019
Abstract / Summary

A study purporting to show a causal link between abortion and subsequent mental health problems (Coleman et al., 2009) has fundamental analytical errors that render its conclusions invalid, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Guttmacher Institute. This conclusion has been confirmed by the editor of the journal in which the study appeared. Most egregiously, the study, by Priscilla Coleman and colleagues, did not distinguish between mental health outcomes that occurred before abortions and those that occurred afterward, but still claimed to show a causal link between abortion and mental disorders.

This letter to the editor by UCSF’s Julia Steinberg and Guttmacher’s Lawrence Finer in the March 2012 issue of the same journal details the study’s serious methodological errors.

Topic

United States