US expert witness to be called when HPCSA's De Vos hearing resumes

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Lawyers acting on behalf of anti-abortion medic Jacques de Vos have notified the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) of their intention to call a US expert on abortion and mental health to testify as an expert witness when the case resumes on 2 April. According to a Cape Argus report, professor of human development and family studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Priscilla Coleman, is cited on the Human Life website as having published more peer-reviewed articles on the mental health implications of abortion than any other researcher in the world and she frequently presents her research to audiences across the US and elsewhere.

Lawyer Martus de Wet said: “Coleman’s research offers the largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion available in the world. Results (involving 877 297 participants, 163 880 of whom experienced an abortion) revealed that women who aborted compared to women who have not experienced an 81% increased risk for mental health problems. The results revealed that women who have abortions have the following increased risks: anxiety disorders 34%, depression 37%, alcohol abuse 110%, marijuana abuse 220% and suicide behaviours 155%.”

The report says charged with unprofessional conduct, de Vos pleaded not guilty before a HPCSA Professional Conduct Committee in December last year. De Vos was a medical intern at the hospital when he was suspended from the gynaecology rotation for his view on abortion. His internship was completed in June 2017 after which he was due to start his community service. However, the doctors at the hospital refused to sign him off until December when the HPCSA struck down two of the charges against the doctor. HPCSA struck down two of the charges against the doctor and confirmed that the disciplinary hearing should not prevent the hospital from signing de Vos off.

Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)

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