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MARCH 2014

Crisis pregnancy centres criticised

The pro-abortion organisation, Education For Choice (EFC), has produced a report which is highly critical of Crisis Pregnancy Centres (CPCs).  This coincides with a Telegraph “sting” operation on two London centres.

Dr Peter Saunders (Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF))  reported13  that, “The pro-abortion organisation,  EFC,  which is a project within the sexual health charity, Brook, who themselves work closely with the Family Planning Association to promote abortion, has produced a new report14  based on its own mystery shopping of some independent pregnancy counselling centres.

The report is critical of the advice given by some CPCs and claims:

Post abortion syndrome is a bogus medical disorder;

It is misleading to claim abortion may lead to depression or trauma;

There is no link with abortion and breast cancer;

There are no proven associations between induced abortion and subsequent pre-term birth;

And it criticises centres that suggest adoption is a loving or brave option to take.”

Dr Saunders deals with each of these points.

On the first two he comments that, “There are well established mental health problems after abortion,” and refers to an article by Philippa Taylor, Head of Public Policy at CMF who states, among other things, “Moreover, a growing body of evidence suggests that women may be at an increased risk of mental disorders (notably major depression, substance misuse and suicidality) following abortion, even with no previous history of problems.

Influential professionals not associated with vested interest groups have recognised this growing scientific evidence. These include Dingle in Australia, Pedersen in Norway and Fergusson in New Zealand”15  The Dingle report concludes, “These findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that pregnancy loss per se, whether abortion or miscarriage, increases the risk of a range of substance use disorders and affective disorders in young women.”

The third point - There is no link with abortion and breast cancer - is also highlighted in an article headlined, “Abortion scandal: Inside Britain's unregulated 'pro-life' clinics” in the Telegraph. It quotes Dr Kate Guthrie, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who said there was “absolutely no evidence that abortions lead to an increased risk of breast cancer”.16  However, Dr Saunders cautions, “Whilst the ‘jury remains out’ on the link between abortion and breast cancer the evidence certainly cannot be claimed to be non-existent as a new large meta-analysis shows…….Women at very least have a right to know that there is an ongoing debate.”

The evidence to which Dr Saunders refers is in Cancer Causes & Control, February 2014, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 227-236 which has an article, “A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females”  which concludes, “IA (induced abortion) is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases.”17

The fourth point, “There are no proven associations between induced abortion and subsequent pre-term birth,” is strongly challenged by Dr Saunders. He writes, “There is a clear association between abortion and pre-term birth18,19 , which no serious authority now denies. In fact there are now 137 studies20 on the link including two well-designed meta-analyses from 2009. These show that after one abortion, risk for a future pre-term birth before 37 weeks increases by 36 percent and risk for a future very pre-term birth before 32 weeks increases by 64 percent. There are no meta-analyses that refute this association. The abortion/pre-term birth link is settled science.”

On the final point Dr Saunders writes, “helping women to consider the real alternatives of adoption and keeping the baby is simply enabling them to explore all options. There is currently only one baby adoption for every 2,235 abortions in Britain21 , a ratio seven times worse even than the US. With real choice and proper support for women this ratio could be vastly improved to the benefit of mothers, babies and childless couples.”

Image was mentioned in the EFC report and our response may be found on our website at


13 http://pjsaunders.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/behind-headlines-information-and.html

14 http://www.brook.org.uk/images/brook/professionals/documents/page_content/EFC/CPCreport/crisis_preg_centres_rept_10.2.14-2hiFINAL.pdf

15 http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/193/6/455.full.pdf

16 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/10621472/Abortion-scandal-Inside-Britains-unregulated-pro-life-clinics.html

17 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10552-013-0325-7

18 http://www.cmfblog.org.uk/2011/07/06/major-british-study-links-premature-births-to-previous-abortions-adding-fuel-to-calls-for-independent-abortion-counseling/

19 http://www.cmfblog.org.uk/2014/02/04/bmj-gives-platform-for-abortion-activists-to-dismiss-evidence-of-adverse-effects-of-abortion-on-women/

20 http://www.aaplog.org/complications-of-induced-abortion/induced-abortion-and-pre-term-birth/mccaffreys-article/

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