The idea for the Turnaway Study emerged from a 2007 Supreme Court abortion case, Gonzales v. Carhart . In the majority opinion upholding a ban on a specific procedure used rarely in later abortions, Justice Anthony Kennedy speculated that abortions led to poor mental health. “While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained,” he wrote. “Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.”
Is answering Anthony Kennedy’s idle speculations a waste of ones time? He once demanded a metric to quantify gerrymandering, but the “efficiency gap” went nowhere.