NEW! Norwegian Study Finds Abortion-Depression Link
NEW! Abortion Linked Prematurity Contributes to the Number of Infant Deaths
Planned Parenthood Teams Up With Girls Inc For Pro-Abortion Workshops
Scotland Abortions Continue Increasing Despite Morning After Pill Push
Planned Parenthood in Nebraska Settled Near-Death Botched Abortion Lawsuit
Judge Upholds Constitutionality of KS Abortion Law
Risk Factors May Have Shut Down Abortion Business in South Dakota
NEW! UNFPA's Annual Report Focuses on "Reproductive Health," Meaning Abortion
NEW! Book Probes Sex-Selection Abortions and Infanticides in India…
NORWEGIAN STUDY FINDS ABORTION-DEPRESSION LINK. A relatively recent study from Norway finds a link between abortion and subsequent depression.
Titled, "Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women," the research was conducted by Willy Pedersen and published in the 2008 Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 424-428 (2008)DOI: 10.1177/1403494807088449; http://sjp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/36/4/424
ABSTRACT.Aim: Induced abortion is an experience shared by a large number of women in Norway, but we know little about the likely social or mental health-related implications of undergoing induced abortion. International studies suggest an increased risk of adverse outcomes such as depression, but many studies are weakened by poor design. One particular problem is the lack of control for confounding factors likely to increase the risk of both abortion and depression. The aim of the study was to investigate whether induced abortion was a risk factor for subsequent depression.
Methods: A representative sample of women from the normal population (n=768) was monitored between the ages of 15 and 27 years. Questions covered depression, induced abortion and childbirth, as well as sociodemographic variables, family relationships and a number of individual characteristics, such as schooling and occupational history and conduct problems.
Results: Young women who reported having had an abortion in their twenties were more likely to score above the cut-off point for depression (odds ratio (OR) 3.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0—6.1). Controlling for third variables reduced the association, but it remained significant (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.7—5.6). There was no association between teenage abortion and subsequent depression.
Conclusions: Young adult women who undergo induced abortion may be at increased risk for subsequent depression.
Thursday, August 07, 2008 http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/EWThrockmorton/11580240/
Norwegian study finds abortion-depression link
A relatively recent study from Norway finds a link between abortion and subsequent depression. Titled, Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women, the research was conducted by Willy Pedersen and published in the 2008 Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, volume 36, pages 424–428. Here is the abstract:
Induced abortion is an experience shared by a large number of women in Norway, but we know little about the likely social or mental health-related implications of undergoing induced abortion. International studies suggest an increased risk of adverse outcomes such as depression, but many studies are weakened by poor design. One particular problem is the lack of control for confounding factors likely to increase the risk of both abortion and depression. The aim of the study was to investigate whether induced abortion was a risk factor for subsequent depression.
Methods: A representative sample of women from the normal population (n5768) was monitored between the ages of 15 and 27 years. Questions covered depression, induced abortion and childbirth, as well as sociodemographic variables, family relationships and a number of individual characteristics, such as schooling and occupational history and conduct problems. Results: Young women who reported having had an abortion in their twenties were more likely to score above the cut-off point for depression (odds ratio (OR) 3.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0–6.1). Controlling for third variables reduced the association, but it remained significant (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.7–5.6). There was no association between teenage abortion and subsequent depression.
Conclusions: Young adult women who undergo induced abortion may be at increased risk for subsequent depression.
This was a longitudinal study with very high response rates at all responses time over the course of the effort (from 97% at time one to 82% at time four). The research team used questions about depression from the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), a well-accepted mental health measure.
Dr. Pedersen further describes the strengths of this study and notes other recent work which found a link between abortion and mental health.
This study is robust in several respects. The response rate is high, respondents were observed over a considerable length of time, and measures of the key variables are well validated. We have also controlled for a large number of other factors pertaining to the lives of the women that are likely to affect whether a pregnancy is brought to term or aborted, and the likelihood that depression will set in at a later date. Nonetheless, the sample’s abortion rate does indicate either underreporting or a slight non-response bias. The sample is, moreover, relatively small, making the abortion and childbirth groups small as well. The study would have benefited from a larger sample.
Studies in this area present an inconsistent picture. Most identify abortion as a mental health risk factor, but they typically have selected samples, poor response rates and/or inadequate control for other aspects of the women’s lives that could affect future risk of depression. The most robust study was conducted in New Zealand [4,8]. This study found that abortion seemed to be a risk factor for poor mental health, including the likelihood of depression.
Reactions to abortion are, one may assume, strongly coloured by the local sociocultural climate. A sense of guilt, loss and lower self-esteem are assumed to mediate between an induced abortion and later onset of dep
ression . New Zealand’s abortion laws are much more stringent than Norway’s , and this in itself could possibly increase the risk of social stigmatization and negative sentiment regarding abortion. It is therefore worth noting that such reactions are also experienced by many Norwegian women following an abortion. In light of this finding, women who terminate a pregnancy would probably benefit from postabortion counselling.
Next week, the APA Mental Health and Abortion Task Force report is slated to be considered by the APA Council of Representatives. If that report adopts the findings of this and the New Zealand research reports noted in the Pedersen article, it would represent a departure from prior APA positions. Stay tuned…
Dr. Warren Throckmorton is a Columnist, Speaker, Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College.
Cross Walk; ALL Pro-Life Today, 7Aug08]
ABORTION LINKED CONDITION CONTRIBUTES TO THE NUMBER OF INFANT DEATHS. According to new statistics released 30 July 08 from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), premature babies – babies born too soon and too small – accounted for a growing proportion of infant deaths.
When linked with previous studies that have shown that abortion increases a woman's chance of having a baby prematurely, the conclusion is that women who have had abortions are more likely to bear children who die as infants or suffer from severe health issues.
According to "Infant Mortality Statistics from the 2005 Period Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set," Vol. 57, No. 2, of the National Vital Statistics Report, low birth weight and preterm birth are leading causes of infant mortality and the rates of both have increased steadily since the mid-1980s.
Babies who died of preterm-related causes accounted for 36.5 percent of infant deaths in 2005, up from 34.6 percent in 2000.
More than a half million babies are born premature (less than 37 weeks gestation) each year and those who survive face the risk of life long health consequences, such as breathing and feeding problems, cerebral palsy, and learning problems.
Mortality rates for infants born even a few weeks early, or "late preterm" (between 34 weeks of gestation) were three times those for full-term infants.
The findings of the NCHS help identify abortion as a leading cause of infant mortality, with former studies having revealed that women who have had abortions in the past are much more likely to give birth prematurely.
An article appearing in a 2007 Journal of Reproductive Medicine concluded that nearly 32 percent of "very preterm" U.S. births, that is, before 32 weeks gestation, are due to the mother having had a prior abortion.
Furthermore, after analyzing data on 1,943 very preterm births, 276 moderately preterm babies and 618 full-term controls, Dr. Caroline Moreau of Hopital de Bicetre and colleagues concluded in 2005 that women with a history of abortion were 1.5 times more likely to give birth very prematurely (under 33 weeks gestation), and 1.7 times more likely to have a baby born extremely (under 28 weeks gestation) preterm.
Their findings were reported in the April issue of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Related: New Study Confirms Abortion Increases Risk of Future Premature Births
Study: Previous Abortions Linked With Pre-Term Birth and Cerebral Palsy
[30 July 08, Tim Waggoner, Ottawa, www.LifeSiteNews.com,
PP TEAMS UP WITH GIRLS INC FOR PRO-ABORTION WORKSHOPS. Girls Inc. is back in the news over abortion and now the group for young women is teaming up with Planned Parenthood.
The organization, which has come under fire for adopting a pro-abortion position, is conducting workshops in Montana with the nation's largest abortion business. The girls group came under fire in 2005 for adopting a statement saying it backs abortion and supports the Roe v. Wade decision that ushered in an era of approximately 50 million abortions.
At the time, pro-life groups called for a boycott of the American Girl doll because the company making them teamed up with Girls Inc. for a promotional.
Now, Jim Sedlak of STOPP International, a Planned Parenthood watchdog, says the pro-abortion groups are teaming up for a workshop for high school girls at the Planned Parenthood Heights Clinic in Billings, Montana.
"As parents, we need to be very careful about what types of programs and activities we allow our children to participate in," he said. "A program with a name such as 'Girls, Inc.' doesn't sound bad, does it?
Actually, Girls, Inc. is a pro-abortion group and one of many pro-death groups that are listed on [pro-life boycott lists]." [18July08, LifeNews.com, #4370, Billings, MT]
A NEBRASKA PLANNED PARENTHOOD SETTLED NEAR-DEATH BOTCHED ABORTION LAWSUIT filed by a Nebraska woman after a botched abortion that resulted in the perforating of her uterus and a severe loss of blood.
According to doctors who treated the woman after the failed abortion, the procedure could have taken her life. The woman had the abortion at the Lincoln abortion center in August and she was ultimately taken to a local hospital where she lost 80 percent of her blood and experienced severe pain, according to AP.
An ultrasound done prior to the abortion found the woman was eight weeks pregnant and had a tilted uterus.
After the botched abortion, physicians had to perform an emergency hysterectomy on her and she is now unable to have children.
The unnamed woman filed a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs on September 3 with the help of Lincoln attorney Jefferson Downing. Downing filed the suit in Lancaster County District Court and the woman has issued a complaint to the Nebraska Health and Human Services Department.
"Our client has filed these complaints to bring to light the negligent actions of Planned Parenthood and Dr. (Meryl) Severson," Downing said in a statement. Attorney James Snowden filed a response to the lawsuit on Planned Parenthood's behalf and claimed the woman was informed of the risks of having an abortion beforehand and that Severson did the abortion "with great care." On Tuesday, Snowden said Planned
Parenthood settled the lawsuit and told AP the terms of the settlement are confidential. [28May08, www.LifeNews.com, #4331, http://www.lifenews.com/state3263.html, Lincoln, NE]
SCOTLAND ABORTIONS CONTINUE INCREASING DESPITE MORNING AFTER PILL PUSH. The number of abortions in Scotland has risen for the third straight year despite a heavy push for women to use the morning after pill.
Abortion advocates claimed selling the Plan B drug over the counter would reduce abortion rates, but the new figures reveal the number of abortions rising again.
Abortions in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British national health Service and now number 13,703. That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.
The new numbers represent an all-time high for the number of abortions done in that part of Great Britain since abortion was legalized in 1967.
Not only is the increased promoting of the morning after pill resulting in more abortions, not less, the number of women having repeat abortions is increasing as well. NHS reports more than a quarter of women, 26.3 percent, who had an abortion in Scotland last year had at least one prior abortion before that. That's 3,600 women who had one or more abortions prior, according to the government's statistics. [Glasgow, Scotland (LifeNews.com, 28May08, http://www.lifenews.com/int763.html]
JUDGE UPHOLDS CONSTITUTIONALITY OF KS ABORTION LAW. A Sedgwick County judge ruled 27July08 that the Kansas abortion statute is constitutional, denying a defense motion to dismiss a criminal case brought against one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers.
The 35-page decision handed down by Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens spurns several challenges to the statute under both the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Constitution brought by defense attorneys for Dr. George Tiller.
"Abortion jurisprudence in this country has been going through an evolutionary process since Roe V. Wade in 1973," Owens wrote, adding that in light of all the interpretations, the statute survives all the constitutional challenges.
Former Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison filed 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller in June 2007, alleging he broke a 1998 state law requiring that a second, independent Kansas physician sign off on late-term abortions of viable fetuses.
Two doctors, without financial or legal ties, must conclude that if the pregnancy continues, the mother will die or face "substantial and irreversible" harm to "a major bodily function," which has been interpreted to include mental health.
Tiller relied on Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, of Nortonville, for his second opinion on abortions in 2003, and she had a financial relationship with him that is against the law.
Tiller's attorneys contend that the law creates an unconstitutional burden on a physician's right to practice medicine and a woman's right to obtain an abortion. They also argued that the Kansas law was unconstitutionally vague. His defense attorneys also challenged it on the basis of violating a right to travel because of the requirement a woman be seen by two separate physicians in Kansas.
In a detailed decision citing extensive case law, Owens upheld the Kansas statute against each of those challenges. His decision had been pending since a November hearing on the matter.
Ashley Anstaett, spokeswoman for the Kansas Attorney General's office, said Monday after the decision was handed down that prosecutors will move forward with the criminal case.
The decision came as a disappointment for Tiller's defense team, but was hailed by abortion opponents…
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life, said the ruling is good news because Neuhaus wasn't independent of Tiller. She said Neuhaus made her living "rubber stamping late-term abortion approvals for Dr. Tiller."
"I think the court has made a correct decision," Culp said. "There was no doubt in our minds that the law was constitutional, but you have to depend on judges to interpret these things."
Culp said the judge's ruling shows that the 1998 law is a good one, with "fail-safes" in place to prevent unwarranted late-term abortions, if officials will enforce them.
"If ever anything needed to go to trial, this needed to go to trial," Culp said.
The decision also was hailed in Wichita by Operation Rescue, which has been mounting a campaign against doctors and businesses which that work with Tiller and his clinic.
"Today's ruling by Judge Owens vindicates our efforts to bring Tiller to justice," Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said in a news release. "All along, we knew that it wasn't the law that was faulty, but it was Tiller's interpretation of the law that was faulty. This gives us a glimmer of hope that we could eventually see some shred of justice."
Still pending before the judge is a defense motion regarding the number of jurors who will hear the case. State law limits juries in misdemeanor trials to six members, but Tiller's defense has requested 12. A status conference is scheduled for Tuesday, when a firm trial date is expected to be set.
In 2003, Attorney General Phill Kline, an anti-abortion Republican, began investigating Tiller's activities. He filed 30 misdemeanor criminal charges against the doctor in Sedgwick County in December 2006, only to see a judge dismiss them the next day for jurisdictional reasons.
Morrison later filed the 19 misdemeanor charges. Attorney General Steven Six inherited the case after Morrison stepped down amid a sexual scandal.
Monnat said abortion opponents have been trying to intimidate and threaten doctors in Wichita who provide the required second opinion.
"Dr. Tiller, however, will not be deterred by these people but rather will continue to work within the law as he has done for 30 years to help women get the health care they need and deserve, Monnat said. "Dr. Tiller looks forward to having his day in court."
[28July08, By R. HEGEMAN, Associated Press;
The Kansas City Star; Associated Press writer John Hanna in Topeka contributed to this report]
[Planned Parenthood of South Dakota may or may not be doing abortions by the end of the first week, 30July08. Local pro-life people report 'business as usual'.]
RISK FACTORS SHUT DOWN ABORTION BUSINESS IN SOUTH DAKOTA.
Why? Because a federal court has upheld a new law that would require them to disclose to women the risk factors of abortion. These are statistically proven risk fact
ors that reliably identify which women are at highest risk of post-abortion psychological problems, including depression and suicidal behavior.
That's not the way the story is being told in the national media, however. Following Planned Parenthood's shutdown, the mainstream media has adopted PP's spin on the story, focusing on how this “radical” law requires doctors to give women a written statement of the following:
"that the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being;"
"that the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota;"
"that by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated."1
The Constitutional Issue
As will be discussed below, these three statements are unlikely to help many women avoid abortion. But this language may be very important to the next round of Supreme Court rulings on abortion.
In fact, these provisions in the law are carefully designed claims of fact intended to force the federal courts to finally address unanswered legal issues. Pro-life lawyers hope that by litigating the three points raised in this statement, the Supreme Court can be led to affirm that the constitutional right of relationship between a woman and her unborn child (already defined in regard to adoption law) extends to abortion law.
In addition, while previous courts have avoided the question of when human life begins, this statute would ask the Court to affirm the fact that an unborn child is a "unique, living human being." Such a finding would almost certainly require a reversal of Roe v. Wade.
So, the South Dakota law is poised to raise important constitutional questions. But as an informed consent statute, these three requirements will have little, if any, impact on whether or not women have an abortion.
The Practical Issues
Research shows that most women believe the child they are carrying is a human being. Many believe abortion is morally wrong. But most also feel that they must undergo an abortion due to their circumstances or because of pressure, coercion and, in some cases, violence or threats of violence from others.
Specifically, recent research has found that 64 percent of American women having abortions report they did so because of pressure to abort from others: boyfriends, husbands, parents, employers, or counselors. Most also reported that they were not given adequate counseling or time to make a decision, with many reporting that they received no counseling at all.2 And many women have a desire to keep their child if their circumstances were better or with meaningful support from those around them.
In short, for the vast majority of women, abortion isn’t seen as a “choice.” It is not even a “preference.” For most, it is seen as the only thing they can do, or what they "must do."
Often, what they "must do" is chiefly defined by the expectations and demands of other people whose lives would also be affected by the birth of the baby. As one young girl put it, her firm refusal to consider an abortion collapsed when her mother uttered just four words: "Where will you live?"
Faced with such a dilemma, would hearing a statement about her constitutional right to a relationship with her unborn child save a 14-year-old girl from an unwanted abortion? Would it move her mother to be more supportive of her desire to keep her baby? Not likely.
The Door Closing Provision
So, why has Planned Parenthood shut down (at least temporarily) its abortion business in South Dakota? Surely they want to spin their closing around this theme of their high-minded refusal to tell women about philosophical, legal or religious views with which Planned Parenthood disagrees.
But think about how easy it would be for abortion businesses to comply with this requirement while also undermining it. The law’s mandate could easily be met by giving women a statement reprinting the state's view of when human life and relationships begin exactly as worded in the law. And at the same time, the abortionist would be free to tell her that in his opinion the required notice is propaganda. He could even go further and exercise his own free speech rights with slick brochures, videos, or even forty page legal briefs disputing the required disclosure. Or, he could just give her the statement without comment and rightly expect that it would make no difference since she already feels she has no other choice.
In short, there’s no reason this disclosure would compel abortion businesses to close shop. So there must be another reason.
That reason may well be the less-discussed requirement that abortion businesses must also disclose the “statistically significant risk factors” for negative reactions to abortion, including those associated with depression and suicidal behavior.
Some of these risk factors are not surprising. For example, women who are pressured or forced into unwanted abortions are at higher risk of negative reactions. So are those who have moral beliefs against abortion but feel they have no other choice, those with strong maternal desires, and those with a prior history of depression or abuse.
These are just a few of over 40 such statistically-validated risk factors that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Yes, over 40 risk factors!
Abortion clinics are in a bind. It's one thing for a woman to ignore three lines about the personhood of her unborn baby and a right to relationship with him or her when she already feels compelled to give up that relationship. It's another thing for her to ignore a list of more than 40 risk factors that indicate the potential devastating and life-long impact of undergoing a procedure that she probably doesn't want in the first place. Even the coercive mother who asks, “Where will you live?” may begin to think, “Should I expose my daughter to all of this?”
Also, “statistically significant risk factors” has a very exact meaning in medical texts. If a risk factor is statistically significant, it belongs on the list. Deliberately leaving any off would expose the clinic to liability for violating the law. On the other hand, if an abortion clinic is later sued for doing an abortion on a woman with any of these factors, the plaintiff's attorney could use the clinic's written list of risk factors as an admission on the part of the clinic that they were aware of the risks.
In the past, the abortion industry has been shielded from any liability for failing to screen women or to disclose the risk factors for emotional complications associated with abortion. This is due to legal provisions that prevent recovery of damages for emotional injuries unless the woman also suffers concurrent physical injuries.
But the South Dakota statute may now expose abortion businesses to a liability risk they have never had before. Indeed, whenever the issue of liability for psychological risk factors is raised, it stirs up virulent opposition.
For example, in the fall of 2007, the Stop Forced Abortions Alliance in Missouri introduced a petition initiative for a measure that would define failing to screen abortion patients for coercion and other statistically validated risk factors as medical negligence.
Unlike the South Dakota law, the Missouri proposal didn’t simply require that women be informed of the risk factors, a
s if women should be responsible for conducting their own medical exams. Instead, it allowed women to hold abortion businesses liable for negligence if the doctor (or another qualified person at the clinic) didn't actively screen for those risk factors, at least by reviewing a checklist of risk factors completed by the woman.
In short, the Missouri proposal actually dares to propose that abortion providers should be actively involved in assessing a woman's risk factors so they can give her informed medical advice about the relative risks and benefits of abortion.
One might be excused for thinking this was a reasonable position. After all, even Roe v. Wade notes that “the abortion decision in all its aspects is inherently, and primarily, a medical decision, and basic responsibility for it must rest with the physician.”
So, while one might also expect Planned Parenthood to merely object to the proposal as unnecessary and argue that they are already doing such screening, surely they wouldn't deny the principle. But in fact, instead of offering assurances that they are doing adequate pre-abortion screening, Planned Parenthood filed suit to delay the referendum, describing it as a "ban" on most abortions.
A “ban”? If most abortions are as safe and beneficial as Planned Parenthood has been claiming for more than three decades, how could screening for risk factors to identify what PP claims are “rare” cases in which high risk women may need more counseling, constitute a ban?
But looking to South Dakota, where Planned Parenthood has closed shop at least temporarily rather than disclose to women a list of risk factors and complications associated with abortion, it now seems clear that the abortion business has concluded that they will only provide abortions in states where they are protected from proper liability for screening and counseling.
So consider these two facts: (1) Planned Parenthood of Missouri calls exposure to liability for pre-abortion screening for known risk factors a ban, and (2) Planned Parenthood of South Dakota closes its doors rather than accepting liability for informing women about statistically proven risk factors so they can do their own risk-benefit analyses.
What does this tell us?
In short, it tells us that Planned Parenthood would rather close its doors than face any liability for making even a minimal effort to avoid doing abortions that are unwanted, unsafe, or unnecessary. Perhaps it is because unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions provide the bulk of their business.
2. VM Rue et. al., “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16, 2004.
[Springfield, IL, July 30, 2008, Elliot Institute]
UNFPA'S ANNUAL REPORT FOCUSES ON "REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH", WHICH MEANS ABORTION. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently released its annual report for 2007, touting principally the organization’s work in the field of “sexual and reproductive health.”
The radical nature of the document is revealed in the number of times certain issues are mentioned.
In a 36 page document "reproductive health" or "reproductive rights", which are used as euphemisms for abortion, are mentioned 80 times.
Widespread killers like malaria and tuberculosis do not receive any mention at all.
Clean water, clearly one of the chief problems of the world's poor, does not receive a mention and safe sanitation, the lack of which is a leading killer in the developing world, received one mention.
The annual report reveals that in 2007, over half of UNFPA’s program expenses went to reproductive health programs, at a cost of $146.6 million.
Region by region, more funds were spent on reproductive health initiatives than any other program.
Though UNFPA refuses to release detailed accounting of its programs and the annual report lacks the detailed financial accounting commonplace in annual corporate filings, it provides anecdotes of agency expenditures. [4August08, New York, NY, LifeNews.com/CFAM]
NEW BOOK PROBES SEX-SELECTION ABORTIONS & INFANTICIDES IN INDIA. Are India's female unborn children and babies vanishing at an alarming rate?
Ten years after a law was passed in India, banning doctors from discussing the gender of an unborn child with the parents following an ultrasound test, a handful of Indian doctors not only continue to break that law, but even perform abortions if the parents decide to get rid of a female fetus.
Now, Indian-American author, Shobhan Bantwal, takes us into a world where the corrupt and covert practice of gender-selective abortion still thrives, in her second novel, The Forbidden Daughter, scheduled for release by Kensington Publishing on August 26.
The Forbidden Daughter tells the story of Isha, a young mother who refuses to abort her second child, another girl, despite her in-laws' dictate to have the abortion. When her husband suddenly becomes the victim of a mysterious murder, she is convinced that her rebellious decision has something to do with it. When Isha leaves her in-laws to raise her daughters on her own, she is faced with the most dangerous battle of her life.
To quote Bantwal about what inspired the book, "'After being raised with love and care in India, amidst a family of five girls, it was difficult for me to comprehend that female children are disdained in my country of birth, so much so that female fetuses are aborted without regard for the law, moral values, or the delicate balance of nature. I felt compelled to write an interesting tale about what could happen if an idealistic woman refused to abort a female child. But I also wanted the story to be one of hope and triumph and the resilience of the human spirit.'
However, Bantwal maintains that gender-based abortion is not widespread. 'The instances are quite rare when juxtaposed against India's vast population, but the fact remains that gender-based abortions continue to occur.'" [4August08, Washington, DC, www.LifeNews.com]