November 15, 2021

ELSA research project is not a study on postabortion syndrome

Statement on the November 7, 2021 broadcast of MAITHINK X on abortion.

In the ZDF program MAITHINK X of November 7, 2021, the science journalist Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim dealt with abortion and thus thankfully took up an important topic. Unfortunately, relevant errors were made that require correction.

It is true that the study "Experiences and Living Conditions of Unintended Pregnant Women - Offers of Counseling and Care (ELSA)," which is being conducted by a network of six German universities and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Health, examines unintended pregnancies. The study is based on international research findings according to which it is not the termination of a pregnancy itself, but the unintended pregnancy that creates stress under difficult circumstances.

It is not correct that the study investigates the Postabortion Syndrome, as it was claimed in the mentioned broadcast by Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim. Post-abortion syndrome is used to make the claim that abortion leads to psychological problems. This claim has already been refuted in previous studies.

The study examines developments in pregnancies that occurred intentionally and unintentionally, and in pregnancies that were carried to term and terminated. Contrary to what is claimed in the program, the study therefore works with control groups.

On this basis, the scientists will draw conclusions for better care with the objective of providing the best possible support for women in a difficult life situation.