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Abortion is often viewed as a solution to a problem. But what about the problems that abortion brings with it?
#1 - Women still die from abortion.Women still die from the abortion procedure, as well as from complications that occur afterwards.1Studies also show that women with abortion history have an increased risk of dying from a variety of causes after abortion.2
#2 - Abortion creates physical problems for women.Abortion advocates frequently assert that carrying an unintended pregnancy to term is more harmful to women than abortion. But all the research and women’s personal experience says something else. In the U.S., over 140,000 women a year have immediate medical complications from abortion.3Long-term health problems include an increased risk of breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. Abortion can also lead to infertility due to hysterectomies, pelvic inflammatory disease and miscarriage.4Abortion can cause the following complications during future pregnancies: premature birth, placenta previa, and ectopic pregnancy.5
#3 – Abortion creates emotional and behavioral problems for women. After an abortion many women find themselves dealing with increased use of drugs and/or alcohol, reoccurring insomnia and nightmares, eating disorders, suicidal feelings, and attempted suicide. Women experience difficulty in maintaining or developing relationships, loneliness, isolation, anger, fears of the unknown, indecision and a sense of self-hatred. Since 2001, 15 studies focusing on the psychological effects of abortion have been done. These studies underscore the fact that evidence-based medicine does not support the conjecture that abortion will protect women from ‘serious danger’ to their mental health. It indicates the opposite!
#4 - Abortion is a form of racism against poor and ethnic women.Planned Parenthood identifies its core clients as young, low-income women of color. Black and Hispanic women represent only a quarter of American women of child-bearing age, yet account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S.6Legalized abortion doesn’t help poor women, after their abortion they are still poor.
#5 – Abortion has led to increased violence against pregnant women. According to one study of battered women, the target of battery during their pregnancies shifts from their face and breasts to their pregnant abdomens, which suggests hostility toward the women’s fertility. Women are literally being killed for refusing to abort. The leading cause of death during pregnancy is homicide. In one study of violent deaths among pregnant women, three out of every four were killed during their first 20 weeks of pregnancy.7
#6 - Women are pressured and coerced by family, friends, employers, institutions of learning, and sexual predators into having abortions. In some cases, parents threaten to kick the girl out of the home. Boyfriends and husbands may threaten to leave. Women are told by well-meaning friends that having a baby will ruin their lives and they simply have to have an abortion.8
#7 - Abortion is a band-aid that allows society to abandon women.Our culture has come to depend upon abortion so that individuals and churches don’t have to get involved in caring for today’s widows and orphans. It often frees men from taking responsibility for their sexual promiscuity.Abortion stops being one choice among many and becomes the only choice because all the emotional and financial support dries up. Friends encourage abortion so they don’t have to be bothered.
#8 - Abortion negatively affects women’s future relationships. We struggle with issues of trust after an abortion. How can we trust those who said they loved us and then allowed us to go through a painful abortion?It affects how we relate to children we have in the future. Sometimes after abortion we can’t bond with them or we over-protect them.Abortion is often a secret we keep from spouses, children, or parents. If we do want to seek healing, we must tell them. Telling others creates another set of problems and concerns.
#9 - Abortion compromises who we are as women.Women are designed to give life and nurture it. When we abort our children, we interfere with the natural process of pro-creation and it leaves an imprint on our heart that never goes away but is often denied.
#10 - Abortion affects women spiritually. Many women turn away from God or fear a ‘greater power’ because deep down inside we know we’ve taken the life of another being – our baby.
1. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000." In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,2004 and "Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women." Southern Medical Journal, August 2002, 95(8):834-841
2. Goldner TE, Lawson HW, Xia Z, Atrash Hk. Surveillance for ectopic pregnancy—United States, 1970-1989. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control Surveillance Summary 1993 December; 42((SS-6)):73-85.* Council on Scientific Affairs AMA. Induced termination of pregnancy before and after Roe v Wade. Trends in the mortality and morbidity of women. Journal of the American Medical Association 1992 December 9;268(22):3231-9.* Council of Scientific Affairs AMA. Induced termination of pregnancy before and after Roe v Wade. Trends in the mortality and morbidity of women. Journal of the American Medical Association 1992 December 9;268(22):3231-9.
3. This is based on a complication rate of 11% and assuming the yearly abortion rate is 1.3 million US women a year. Most abortion advocates claim the complication rate is only 1%, but this is inaccurate when the data is analyzed. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the UK, the immediate physical complication rate from abortions is at least 11%, primarily infections that can lead to a host of other problems including pain and infertility. The UK statistics have been recently published in January of 2001. See: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (UK). The care of women requesting induced abortion: 4. Information for women. 2000. You can quickly find the data at: www.rcog.org.uk/guidelines.asp?PageID=108&GuidelinesID=31. On the web page click on Induced Abortion—Care of Women. This number is probaby greater because complications are underreported, but due to the magnitude of abortions in the US many women suffer.
4. La Vecchia C, Negri E, Franceschi S, Parazzini F. Long-term impact of reproductive factors on cancer risk, International Journal of Cancer 1993 January 21;53(2):215-9, p. 217. Albrektsen G, Heuch I, Tretli S, Kvale G. Is the risk of cancer of the corpus uteri reduced by a recent pregnancy? A prospective study of 765,756 Norwegian women. International Journal of Cancer 1995 May 16;61(4):485-90, p.485. Kvale G, Heuch I. Is the incidence of colorectal cancer related to reproduction? A prospective study of 63,000 women. International Journal of Cancer 1991 February 1;47(3):390-5, p. 392.
5. Barrett JM, Boehm FH, Killam AP. Induced abortion: a risk factor for placenta previa. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1981 December 1;141(7):769-72. Rose GL, Chapman MG. Aetiological factors in placenta praevia—a case controlled study. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1986 June;93(6):586-8. Taylor VM, Kramer MD, Vaughan TL, Peacock S. Placenta previa in relation to induced and spontaneous abortion: a population-based study. Obstetrics and Gynecology 1993 July;82(10:88-91; p. 91. Michalas S, Minaretzis D, Tsionou C, Maos G, Kioses E, Aravantinos D. Pelvic surgery, reproductive factors and risk of ectopic pregnancy: A case controlled study. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 1992 June;38(2):101-5, pp.101, 103. Luke B. Every Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Preventing Premature Birth. 1995 [foreword by Emile Papiernik], New York: Times Books; p.32.
6. Centers for Disease Control Website, 2006 Abortion Surveillance --- United States, 2003, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5511a1.htm
7. About: Pregnancy & Childbirth Website, Article: Domestic Violence in Pregnancy, http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/domesticviolence/a/domesticviol.htm
8. Article "The Reality of Abortion – Reflections of My Journey" by Georgette Forney, President Anglicans for Life, March 2006. Available on-line at http://www.anglicansforlife.org/publications/realityofabortion.asp page 2This brochure was written by Georgette Forney, a woman with personal abortion experience.