Roundup: Abortion Has No Long-Term Effect on Mental Health; Allergic Reactions to Gardasil Uncommon

Emily Douglas

Abortion has no effect on long-term mental health; Clinton's likely priorities as Secretary of State; allergic reactions to Gardasil uncommon; what effect would HHS conscience regulations have?

Abortion Has No Effect on Long-Term
Mental Health

A New Zealand study claiming to link poor mental health outcomes with
abortion has made the rounds on anti-choice blogs and websites over the past
few weeks (stay tuned for a more complete debunking in the coming days), but in
the mean time, Reuters
reminds us
that "No high-quality study done to date can document that
having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a ‘post-abortion
syndrome,’ and efforts to show it does occur appear to be politically
motivated, U.S. researchers said on Thursday." How do they know?

A team at Johns
Hopkins University
in Baltimore
reviewed 21 studies involving more than 150,000 women and found the
high-quality studies showed no significant differences in long-term mental
health between women who choose to abort a pregnancy and others.

Guttmacher Institute has also produced an advisory following the thorough American Psychological Association report that concluded that there was no link between mental health outcomes and abortion.

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Clinton’s Likely Priorities as
Secretary of State

On WorldChanging,
leaders of international family planning organizations express their expectations
for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s priorities as Secretary of State. Writes Ben Block, "Although
Clinton’s agenda will likely be dominated by the diplomatic challenges of a
global war on terror, she is expected to restore U.S. leadership on issues of
population, human rights, and environmental enforcement if the Congress
approves her nomination."

Allergic Reactions to Gardasil

A study published in the British Medical Journal concludes that "Allergic
reactions to Gardasil, the humanpapilloma virus…are uncommon and most
schoolgirls can tolerate further doses," CNN
Money reports
.  "Researchers at the
Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, tested
25 schoolgirls with suspected allergic reactions to Gardasil after more than
380,000 vaccine doses were administered in schools" but "[t]he researchers found
that only three of the 25 schoolgirls had probable hypersensitivity to Gardasil
and concluded that true hypersensitivity is uncommon."

Effects Would HHS Conscience Regulation Have?

Reporting on the Bush administration’s plan to promulgate expansive "provider
conscience" protections, the Baltimore

For more than 30 years, federal law has dictated that doctors
and nurses may refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further by
making clear that health care workers may also refuse to provide information or
advice about abortion to patients.

It also seeks to cover far more employees. For example, in addition to a
surgeon and a nurse in an operating room, the rule would extend to "an
employee whose task it is to clean the instruments," the draft rule said.

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Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

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