Abortion: Your Risks

Author: Judie Brown

Abortion: Your Risks prepared by Mrs. Judie Brown, President American Life League

If you have been told that abortion is a "safe and legal" procedure, please keep reading. Many problems can come up either during or after a legal abortion, problems that you might not have been told about. You deserve to know what can happen to you if you get an abortion.

Note: Most of the information presented here is from official medical publications. All sources are listed at the end.


ùPost-abortion grief, identified in numerous studies as a serious complication of induced abortion,1 especially when the reason for the abortion is that there is some deformity in the baby. This happens with 77% of women who go through with the abortion.2

ùEmotional and psychological disturbances lasting for months, such as depression, insomnia, nervousness, guilt and regret. These happen to about 50% of women who have an abortion.3

ùPoor health and psychological problems: In a study of 1,428 women with 2,961 pregnancies, a high number of pregnancy losses, particularly through induced abortion, correlates with poor health and the need to obtain professional help in dealing with the loss of a baby.4

ùProblems with future pregnancies, including excessive bleeding, premature delivery, cervical damage, and sterility.5

ùPoor women who have abortions suffer greatly: When compared with those who give birth, poor women who have abortions have twice as many of a wide range of problems, including inflammatory disease of the ovary, ectopic pregnancies, hemorrhage and inflamed Fallopian tubes.6


ùPerforation of the uterus: This can happen during an abortion, and can go unnoticed and untreated.7

ù"Ruptured uterus is a known complication of second-trimester" abortion.8

ùTubal (ectopic) pregnancies: The risk of having a tubal pregnancy increases by 30% after one abortion, and 160% after two or more abortions.9

ùDecreased maternal bonding: The loss of a baby through abortion can cause a woman to be less affectionate to children she has later, and also can contribute to child abuse.10

ùPelvic Inflammatory Disease (P.I.D.): A first-trimester abortion can result in bacterial vaginosis, leading to P.I.D., which requires medical treatment.11

ùPlacenta previa: This condition produces extremely severe, life-threatening bleeding during future pregnancies. The risk of this is increased by 600% after an abortion.12

ùThere is also a greater risk of increased bleeding during later pregnancies, 13 and of the placenta being retained afterward.14

ùFinally, there is strong evidence that having an abortion can increase the risk of breast cancer, especially if the woman's first pregnancy is aborted.15


ùWomen less than 20 years old have twice the risk of medical complications compared to women age 25-29.16 About one in 24 suffers immediate medical complications after an abortion, such as severe bleeding, infection, perforation of the uterus, or parts of the baby being left in the uterus.17 Also, there is a 150% greater risk of injury to the cervix, compared to women over age 30.18

ù"The risk of death from postabortion sepsis is highest for young women, those who are unmarried, and those who undergo procedures that do not directly evacuate the contents of the uterus."19

ùWomen who've had an abortion before: After two or more abortions, a woman has 160% increased risk of having a tubal pregnancy.20 She is three times as likely to later have a miscarriage.21 There is also an increased risk of the baby being abnormally positioned in future pregnancies.22

ùWomen with prior or current pelvic infections (P.I.D.): These women face more days of pain after the abortion,23 reduced fertility,24 and a greater risk of tubal pregnancy.25 ************************************************************************** NOTES

1 Human Medicine, 1991; Vol. 7, #3, pp. 203-209.

2 British Medical Journal, 1985, #290, pp. 907-909.

3 Celeste McGovern, "Hag-Ridden by Post-Abortion Guilt," British Columbia Report, 10/18/93; British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1980; No. 87, pp. 1115-1122.

4 Philip G. Ney, et al., "The Effects of Pregnancy Loss on Women's Health," Social Science Medicine, Vol. 38, #9, 1994, pp. 1193-1200.

5 Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology Scandinavia, 1979; #58, pp. 491-494.

6 2/15/95 Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services report to Robert G. Marshall, Member, Virginia House of Delegates.

7 Bernadell Technical Bulletin, 1989; Vol. 1, #1, pp. 1-2.

8 David Schneider, M.D., et al., "Safety of Midtrimester Pregnancy Termination by Laminaria and Evacuation in Patients with Previous Cesarean Section," American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 8/94, pp. 554-557.

9 American Journal of Public Health, 1982; #72, pp. 253-256.

10 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 1979; #24, pp. 610-620.

11 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1992, #166, pp. 100-103.

12 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1981, #141, pp. 769-772.

13 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1983, #146, pp. 136-140.

14 Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1979, #58, pp. 485-490.

15 Lynn Rosenberg, "Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer: More Scientific Data Are Needed," Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, #21, 11/2/94, pp. 1569-1570; "Induced Abortion Might Elevate a Woman's Breast Cancer Risk in Later Years," The Lancet, Vol. 27, #1, 1-2/95, pp. 41-42; Karin B. Michels, et al., "Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk in Seven Countries," Cancer Causes and Control, 1995, Vol. 6, pp. 75-82.

16 Canadian Journal of Public Health, 1982, #73, pp. 396-400.

17 Canadian Journal of Public Health, 1982, #73, pp. 396-400.

18 New England Journal of Medicine, 1983, #309, pp. 621-624.

19 Phillip G. Stubblefield, M.D., and David A. Grimes, M.D., "Septic Abortion," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 331, #5, 8/4/94, pp. 310-314.

20 American Journal of Public Health, 1982, #72, pp. 253-256.

21 Journal of the American Medical Association, 1980, #243, pp. 2495-2499.

22 American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1983, #146, pp. 136-140.

23 Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology Scandinavia, 1982, #61, pp. 357-360.

24 Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology Scandinavia, 1979, #58, pp. 539-542.

25 American Journal of Public Health, 1982, #72, pp. 253-256. *************************************************************************** ALTERNATIVES

If you are going through a difficult time with your pregnancy, there are people who want to help you.

Bethany Christian Services (800) 238-4269 Birthright USA (800) 550-4900 Care Net (703) 237-2100 Catholic Charities, USA (800) CARE-002 Heartbeat International, Inc. (614) 239-9433 The National Life Center, Inc. (800) 848-LOVE (5683) The Nuturing Network (800) TNN-4MOM or (866-4666) White Rose Institute (501) 994-7673

************************************************************************** This brochure is not long enough to list more than 750 references in medical literature, each of which indicates serious complications of legal abortion. For a complete listing, send $18.00 to the Rutherford Institute, P.O. Box 7482, Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482, 1-804-978-3888, and request their list of "Major Articles and Books Concerning the Detrimental Effects of Abortion." ************************************************************************** AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE P.O. BOX 1350 STAFFORD, VA 22555 (703)-659-4171 **************************************************************************