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ss triple helix - summer 2002,  Detrimental Effects of Abortion (Book Review)

Detrimental Effects of Abortion (Book Review)

Detrimental Effects of Abortion: An Annotated Bibliography with Commentary - Ed. Thomas Strahan - Acorn Books 2001 - £24.95 pb 261pp ISBN 0964895706

When abortion was decriminalised in the UK in 1967 its supporters argued that it should be more widely available because it was safer than a full term pregnancy. For decades this idea persisted. Slowly but steadily evidence has been accumulating that there are considerable health costs built into an abortion decision and many of these are not at all well known. Thomas Strahan, a Minnesota lawyer, has published a bibliography of evidence on the detrimental effects of abortion with a brief commentary on each entry. With approximately 1,300 references the scope of this work is vast. Most of the references are from mainstream journals including the social sciences and psychology but he has also included material from the grey literature such as PhD theses and medical bulletins.

There is no index but in order to facilitate searching Strahan has divided up his book into 140 section headings. Inevitably there is sometimes overlap. There is a large section on how abortion affects adolescents and there is coverage of subjects as diverse as placenta praevia, domestic violence, rape, incest, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, breast cancer, and the impact of abortion on marriage and family.

This project is ongoing and the author invites correspondence at Strahan Information about studies that are not included in the publication is always welcome. The publishers intend to produce updates periodically and news about these will be published on their web site The book is also available in searchable electronic form. As a reference book it should have a place in most medical libraries but would be of help to anyone wanting to learn more about the latent pathology of induced abortion.

Reviewed by:
Gregory Gardner
General Practitioner in Birmingham

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