When we read that, according to official statistics, 95% of all abortions in the Western World are performed on alleged “psychiatric grounds”, it would seem legitimate to ask, “How did the psychiatrists get into the act?” This is especially so when the distinguished British psychiatrist Dr. Myre Sim, M.D, F.R.C.P, F.R.C, Psych., D.P.M., states in relation to this figure, “There must be something wrong here. Either there is a new psychiatric disease which has been met by every other psychiatrist except myself – or there is some big fiddle going on.” (1980)

An Interesting Horse

The story of how the psychiatrists got into the act is sad but interesting, and should be a warning to society. Up to 1938, the law in England forbade abortions, except when the physical life of the mother was at stake. But in 1938 a tragic and significant event took place, which radically changed the social outlook on abortion in England and eventually throughout the Western World.

As The Times of London related the story, some teenage girls were chatting with the guards outside a barracks. One of the guardsmen told them that in the stable, round at the back, there was a famous horse which had a wooden leg and a green tail. He invited them to come and see this interesting animal. Only one girl, aged fourteen, agreed to go to the stable. She was raped, not only by the guard who had invited her, but by three others. She became pregnant – the only recorded case of pregnancy resulting from rape in the medical literature of England up to that time.

Misplaced compassion

In England at that time, there was a distinguished gynaecologist named Dr. Alec Bourne. He was a man of compassion and integrity who for a long time had felt that the legal grounds for abortion should be widened to include those women who suffered psychologically from unwanted pregnancies. He was a member of the Abortion Law Reform Society.

The girl was referred to him and he took a bold step. He considered this a classical case, and laid his professional life on the line. He performed an abortion and then informed the police. He was charged before the law. As far as I know, the penalty at that time was life imprisonment.

Enter the psychiatrist

A well known psychiatrist, the late Dr. J R. Reese, agreed to give evidence in favour of his friend, Dr. Bourne. His argument was that, if the girl had been forced to carry the pregnancy to term, she would have suffered a severe mental breakdown owing to post-partum psychosis.

The judge, knowing that Dr. Bourne was a distinguished and respected member of the medical profession, did not wish to send him to prison. So, in summing up, he said that the fact that the law did make an exception – the physical life of the mother – meant that it was not watertight. There could be other circumstances. Turning to the jury he said, “Today, I think, we have found one of these circumstances.”

The doctor was acquitted and, although England remained conservative on the abortion question until after the War, the thin edge of the psychiatric wedge had found a chink on the law. The opinion of a psychiatrist in good standing regarding the possible mental effects on the mother became a convenient and imponderable handle on which to argue almost any abortion case.

The floodgates are opened

In 1967, after a number of unsuccessful attempts, the Abortion Act was passed in the British Parliament and the floodgates were thrown entirely open to what has become virtually abortion on demand in England. The last figure I remember for England was 150,000 in one year, not counting the thousands who come from other countries to have abortions at the expense of British taxpayers.

Sorry, too late

But there is a very interesting conclusion to the story. In 1967 Dr. Alec Bourne, then 81 years of age, opposed the passing of the Abortion Bill. Here is his statement, “If this law is passed it will open the gates wide for ‘phoney psychiatrists’ and ‘phoney gynecologists.'” He resigned from the Abortion Law Reform Society and became a member of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child. It is said – I have it only on hearsay – that he suffered awful pangs of conscience because of the part he had played in bringing about easy abortion.

Somebody has said, “Compassion without principle is extremely dangerous.”  And it certainly is. Dr. Bourne was not an unprincipled man, but he allowed his compassion to blind him to the principle of the sanctity and inviolability of every human life. Seeing the dreadful effects of what he had done and realizing what the future could hold, he regretted his action of thirty years before and did what he could to redress it.

Money vs Morals

In 1963 a very well known British psychiatrist wrote a paper for the British Medical Journal. In it he stated that, on the grounds of evidence he had collected over thirty years, he could find no psychiatric justification for abortion. Some of his London colleagues accused him of “taking the bread out of their mouths.” The then President of the Royal Psychological Association said to him, “You are absolutely right, but you have taken away all our room for maneuver.” How many more thousands of babies will be sacrificed before society wakes up to the fact of what is really happening?