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Open AccessCommentary

The Presence and Consequences of Abortion Aversion in Scientific Research Related to Alcohol Use during Pregnancy

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA 94143, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162888
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 3 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex, Gender and Substance Use)
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Abstract

Recent research has found that most U.S. state policies related to alcohol use during pregnancy adversely impact health. Other studies indicate that state policymaking around substance use in pregnancy—especially in the U.S.—appears to be influenced by an anti-abortion agenda rather than by public health motivations. This commentary explores the ways that scientists’ aversion to abortion appear to influence science and thus policymaking around alcohol and pregnancy. The three main ways abortion aversion shows up in the literature related to alcohol use during pregnancy include: (1) a shift from the recommendation of abortion for “severely chronic alcoholic women” to the non-acknowledgment of abortion as an outcome of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy; (2) the concern that recommendations of abstinence from alcohol use during pregnancy lead to terminations of otherwise wanted pregnancies; and (3) the presumption of abortion as a negative pregnancy outcome. Thus, abortion aversion appears to influence the science related to alcohol use during pregnancy, and thus policymaking—to the detriment of developing and adopting policies that reduce the harms from alcohol during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; pregnancy; abortion; policy alcohol; pregnancy; abortion; policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Roberts, S.C. The Presence and Consequences of Abortion Aversion in Scientific Research Related to Alcohol Use during Pregnancy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2888.

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