Controversial Evidence

Professor David Fergusson, founder and director of the Christchurch Health and Development Study, was one of 20 reviewers of the preliminary draft of an American Psychological Association (APA) paper on the mental health effects of abortion. In The Washington Times psychologist Warren Throckmorton writes: “One prominent pro-choice researcher who questions the APA’s conclusions and method of finding them is David Fergusson. ‘From the standpoint of the US debate, basing conclusions on evidence that was gathered in the United Kingdom in 1995 and in which mental health was not adequately assessed is scarcely adequate grounds for confidently informing the US public that the Committee’s findings are based on “the best scientific evidence.” The moral of all of this is very simple: In science, drawing strong conclusions on the basis of weak evidence is bad practice. The APA report on abortion and mental health falls into this error.’ I think Dr Fergusson captured the heart of the matter. Best may not be good enough.” The Christchurch Health and Development Study is a 250 year study of a birth cohort of 1265 children born in the Christchurch region in mid 1977 resulting in the publication of over 25 published books and scientific articles.

Tags: abortion  David Fergusson  Warren Throckmorton  Washington Times