Behavior: A Pregnant Choice

"Unwanted pregnancy" is a widely accepted term among both laymen and behavioral scientists. It is also widely misunderstood, according to Cornell University Psychiatrist Lawrence Downs and Psychologist David Clayson. In a paper presented to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Downs and Clayson offer convincing evidence that among women who have abortions, pregnancy is initially "more wanted than unwanted." Far from being accidental, it represents a subconscious effort to cope with extreme emotional stress.

Downs and Clayson reached their conclusions after studying 108 patients at New York Hospital. Most of the women were well informed about birth control, and many had...

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