Yesterday, Tom Chivers wrote an article on the Daily Telegraph blog attacking the amendment Frank and I are to lay down to the Health and Social Care bill, with regard to abortion counselling, and then went on to outrageously mislead his readers.
His article is here...
Dr Peter Saunders has beautifully fisked his article on his own blog here..
Tom Chivers has done the Daily Telegraph a disservice which has up until this article, fairly and accurately reported both our aims and objectives. Misleading statements from journalists on an issue as important as this are frankly distasteful as they condone the suffering many women such as Tanya experience. Dr Saunders states on his blog......
In a blog titled ‘Abortion and the 'Right to Know' – or, why we should link to our sources’ Chivers criticizes Dorries and Field for not quoting primary sources to support their claim that women having abortions are 30% more likely to experience mental health problems.
He correctly identifies the primary source (after help via friends on Twitter) as an article by Fergusson et al originally published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2008 but then goes on, ironically, to make misleading statements about the scientific evidence.
Chivers claims that the Fergusson study is ‘now rather out of date’ and that ‘The BJPsych itself has revisited the topic, with a 2009 systematic review’. Both these statements are simply untrue.
If you follow the link in Chivers’ blog you will see that it does not refer to a BJPsych review at all, but rather to a letter written to the journal by two non-psychiatrists with close links to the pro-choice movement, Sam Rowlands and Kate Guthrie.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has itself acknowledged in a 2008 statement that there are in fact studies which show a link between abortion and mental health problems and is currently carrying out a review of the literature that has not yet been published.
The review that Rowlands and Guthrie refer to is not from the editors of the BJPsych at all (or the Royal College) but is actually one by the American Psychological Association which has been widely criticised as I have previously outlined on this blog.
Well done Dr Saunders and shame on you Tom Chivers.