The Embrace of the Proabortion Turnaway Study: Wishful Thinking? or Willful Deceptions?

Linacre Q. 2018 Aug;85(3):204-212. doi: 10.1177/0024363918782156. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


The abortion advocacy group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) has published over twenty papers based on a case series of women taking part in their Turnaway Study. Following the lead of ANSIRH news releases, major media outlets have described these results as proof that (a) most women who have abortions are glad they did, (b) there is no evidence of negative mental health effects following abortion, and (c) the only women really suffering are those who are being denied late-term abortions due to legal restrictions based on gestational age. Buried in ANSIRH's papers are the facts that over 68 percent of the women they sought to interview refused, their own evidence confirms that the remnant who did participate were atypical, there are no known benefits from abortion, their methods are misleadingly described, and their results are selectively reported. Summary: Widely publicized claims regarding the benefits of abortion for women have been discredited. The Turnaway Study, conducted by abortion advocates at thirty abortion clinics, reportedly proves that 95 percent of women have no regrets about their abortions and that abortion causes no mental health problems. But a new exposé reveals that the authors have misled the public, using an unrepresentative, highly biased sample and misleading questions. In fact, over two-thirds of the women approached at the abortion clinics refused to be interviewed, and half of those who agreed dropped out. Refusers and dropouts are known to have more postabortion problems.

Keywords: Abortion; Abortion Decision satisfaction; Abortion mental health; Media bias; Postabortion trauma; Reproductive health; Research bias; Turnaway Study.