HC Deb 10 June 2003 vol 406 c837W
Jim Dobbin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the links between induced abortion and(a) clinical depression and (b) breast cancer. [117167]

Ms Blears

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' evidence-based guideline, "The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion" (2000), considered the mental health implications of termination and concluded that only a small minority of women experience any long-term, adverse psychological sequelae after abortion. Referral for counselling is available for those women.

The guideline also concluded that the available evidence on an association between induced abortion and breast cancer is inconclusive. Cancer Research UK is undertaking a study which is considering the full range of potential risk factors for breast cancer. This is an important and complex international research project. We understand that Cancer Research UK intends to publish the work when it is available.

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