Much has been written about abortion and women’s mental health since the mid1980s when claims that abortion may cause ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD) were first made by anti-abortion proponents in the United States (Rue, 1995, p 20). Subsequent literature details symptoms which, it is argued, constitute ‘postabortion syndrome’ (PAS) as a specific form of trauma deserving of psychiatric diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, of a legal response (Rice, 2003).1 Though neither endorsed by professional medical bodies nor legally recognised, PAS has crept into public and individual consciousness with potentially deleterious effects for women, their partners, families and abortion providers. Most North American pro-choice work on PAS has taken a defensive position to prevent liberal abortion laws being overturned or having access to services otherwise restricted.