Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing Reproduction in the United States and Great BritainBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7446.1022 (Published 22 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1022
- Stuart W G Derbyshire, assistant professor (DerbyshireSW@anes.upmc.edu)
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA
By contrasting post-abortion syndrome with postnatal depression, Ellie Lee provides a fascinating and excellent interrogation of modern day abortion and motherhood within the United States and Britain. Both these countries have embraced what might be loosely called a therapeutic ethos. An increasing list of common occurrences—from bereavement and divorce to moving house and being criticised—is now liable to generate a psychiatric label such as post-traumatic stress, depression, or anxiety. Surprisingly, however, post-abortion syndrome has failed to take a place within this modern “syndrome society.
On both sides of the Atlantic, advocates …