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Abortion, Motherhood, and Mental Health: Medicalizing Reproduction in the United States and Great Britain

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 22 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1022
  1. Stuart W G Derbyshire, assistant professor (
  1. 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.

    Ellie Lee Aldine de Gruyter

    $29.95/sFr48/ 29.95, pp 293

    ISBN 0 202 30681 X

    Rating: GraphicGraphicGraphic

    On both sides of the Atlantic, advocates …

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