The Inevitable Physical Complications of Abortion

Author: A.L.L.


American Life League

In medical practice, there are few surgical procedures given so little attention and so underrated in its potential hazards as abortion. It is a commonly held view that complications are inevitable.

                                                                                       Abortionist Warren Hern.[1]

Anti-Life Philosophy.

Abortions are the most commonly-performed surgical procedure in the country, and are therefore the safest. In fact, they are much safer than childbirth and definitely safer than minor operations like appendectomies and tonsillectomies. Introduction.

Many pro-abortion organizations especially Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) circulate glossy 'fact sheets' purporting to 'show' that abortion is extremely safe for the mother, both physically and mentally.

What these groups do not mention is that their 'fact sheets' include only very conservative estimates of those abortion complications that occur during or immediately after the procedure itself. These are commonly referred to as "on-the-table" complications. These 'fact sheets' also do not include complications due to ancillary causes, such as deaths and severe mental damage due to "anesthetic misadventures."

Many women rightly expect some pain during and after the abortion. And many of these women check into hospital emergency rooms a day or a week later with serious bleeding, infections, and butchered internal organs.

None of these complications are accounted for by Planned Parenthood or NARAL statistics. "On-the-Table" Complications.

In 1972 I began seeing a marked increase in the number of patients who had had legal abortions. At that time I also began seeing patients with significant complications after legal abortions.

                                                                                         Matthew Bulfin, M.D.[2]

As expert Warren Hern has acknowledged, "complications are inevitable." Abortion is one of the rare medical procedures where the physician is 'working blind.' Add to this the fact that many 'doctors' never see their 'patients' until they are on the table, and then rush them through their abortions and out the door the minute they can stand by themselves, and a recipe for disaster exists on a wide scale. Finally, it is well-known among medical personnel that abortionists in general permanently reside at the bottom rung of the medical profession. They are shunned by their fellow physicians, not only because of the disreputable and filthy nature of their trade, but also because many abortionists are incompetent hacks who can find no other place to work as doctors.

Following are just a few of the inevitable major complications inflicted by the so-called 'safe and legal' abortion procedure.

• Death. A total of as many as 100 women currently die from abortion in this country every year. However, the vast majority of these deaths are not reported as being caused by abortion. They are instead tallied as being caused by other reasons such as "blood poisoning" or "spontaneous gangrene of the ovaries."

For more details on such spurious reporting, and for statistics on maternal deaths caused by 'safe and legal abortion,' see Chapter 59, "Maternal Deaths Due to Abortion." Also see references[3,4,5,6].

• Hemorrhage, serious enough to require a blood transfusion, is reported in 2% to 5% of all women, although the range from clinic to clinic and from day to day was 1% to 17%.[2,3,4,7]

• Cervical laceration in 5% of the women who have abortions. The British Medical Journal has reported that nearly half of these women will lose their next wanted baby to miscarriage if the cervix is not reinforced with a suture.[8]

• Perforation of the uterus in about 1% of all cases, almost always causing peritonitis. The total range from clinic to clinic was 0.24% to 2.70%.[3,4,5,7]

• Infection, ranging from that causing mild fever to that causing death, 2% to 28% for various studies.[3,4,5]

• Hepatitis, from blood transfusions, blood clots and embolisms.[9,10]

• Sterility in from 2% to 5% of all cases, though varying from 1% to 25% in Czechoslovakia, 15% (Finland), 10% (Japan), and 7% (Poland). However, Planned Parenthood still blithely reports that abortion-induced sterility is rare.[3]

• Ectopic pregnancies are increased from 8-fold to 20-fold by abortion.[11] Case Studies.


In addition to risking post-abortion syndrome (PAS) and 'standard' physical complications as listed above, a woman seeking an abortion should be aware of the total ruthlessness of the 'doctors' who kill for cash. Their only motivation is money; they literally could not care less about the patients that they process and abort like cattle.

There are literally hundreds of recorded instances of these abortionists killing women, aborting wanted babies, and butchering patients through their callous negligence, carelessness, and outright incompetence. Just a very few of these documented examples are listed below.

For a list of the names of more than 150 women who have been killed by so-called "safe and legal" abortion, see Chapter 59, "Maternal Deaths Due to Abortion."

Help for Injured Women.

It is an indication of how formidable abortion's status has become in our country that lawyers have not picked up on a field that could be enormously lucrative: Personal and class action injury suits against abortionists.

However, this promising area is beginning to open up, and one of the most aggressive clearinghouses for information on and help for women who have been injured physically or mentally by abortion is the 
    Legal Action for Women Litigation Project
    1145 Candlewood Circle
    Pensacola, Florida 32514
    Telephone: 1-800-962-2319.

Sidewalk counselors and others could scare their local abortionists to death merely by passing out information on lawsuits brought for botched abortions. Giving the women the above toll-free number couldn't hurt, either.

Abortionist Robert Sherman performed an incomplete abortion on 16-year old Rita McDowell on March 4, 1975. When she began to suffer an extremely elevated temperature the next day, her mother called Sherman, who refused to speak to her.

Early on March 8, Rita woke up screaming and then collapsed in her mother's arms. Doctors removed the remains of her unborn baby, but were unable to save her life. She died of kidney failure and massive infection. Her abortion was paid for with tax dollars.

Sherman was tried in 1978 for murder. Prosecutors showed that he deliberately performed incomplete abortions on women so he could charge them more for followup care. He also allowed a nurse's aid to perform surgery, regularly re-used syringes and other disposable items without even sterilizing them, failed to have urine samples checked to confirm pregnancies, failed to check aborted unborn children for completeness, and covered up his role in Rita McDowell's death by fabricating administrative records and tampering with medical records.

Testimony during trial indicated that Sherman "... would [simultaneously] operate with one hand, and eat a tuna fish sandwich with the other, and talk to his stockbroker on the phone."[12]

His murder trial ended in a mistrial because he supposedly developed "heart problems" during the proceedings. He pled guilty to repeated charges of perjury in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charge. Prosecutors defended the plea-bargain on the grounds that "We believe these felony convictions will prevent the defendant from ever practicing medicine again."

They were wrong, of course. Sherman served two years in a federal prison, then moved to Boston and immediately began to perform abortions again.[12]

Abortionist Arnold Bickham, another big-bucks baby-killer from Chicago, performed an abortion on 18-year old Sylvia Moore on New Year's Eve 1986. She slipped into deep shock and began bleeding, so Bickham called her "lazy" because she could not stand on her own. He then ejected her from the abortuary.

She somehow made her way to a nearby hospital and collapsed. She had no pulse or blood pressure when she arrived. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy, but she died in spite of their best efforts.

An autopsy revealed that she had suffered severe lacerations of the uterus, cervix, and vagina. She also had a foreign plastic object (an abortionist's tool) in her uterus near a large perforation. The presiding medical examiner ruled her death a homicide due to Bickham's extreme negligence and his abandonment of a patient in severe distress.

Bickham was the highest paid Medicaid recipient in the nation with $792,266 in 1974. In 1975, he was the highest paid in Illinois with $519,189. In 1976, he received $370,541, third highest in Illinois. This is a total of more than $1.68 million over a period of only three years.[13]

Abortionist Richard Muncie was a 'physician' who committed illegal abortions. He killed a woman in 1968 when he botched an abortion, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison, and had his medical license suspended.

Once he had completed his jail sentence, he went into a business that was more fitting to his abilities he opened an antique shop. Immediately after the United States Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision, he went to court and got his medical license back. He is now performing abortions again.[14]

Abortionist Chris Simopoulos of Fairfax, Virginia, was indicted in September of 1984 for performing 'abortions' on women who were not even pregnant. He promptly disappeared and became a fugitive from justice the same month. He was also found guilty of puncturing a woman's uterus during a routine D&C abortion in December of 1982. The woman was rendered sterile. A jury awarded her $75,000 in July of 1975.

Abortionist Parviz Modaber, an associate of Dr. Simopoulos, surrendered his medical license after a wave of complaints surfaced against him. One of the charges involved performing late-term abortions in an unlicensed facility. In one of these unlicensed abortions, he performed an incomplete late-term abortion on a 15-year old girl, leaving the baby's head in her uterus.

Abortionist Joel Lebed of Philadelphia aborted Colista Gemmel's wanted baby accidentally in 1980 after failing to give Gemmel a pregnancy test before scraping her uterus to remove benign polyps. On October 27, 1986, a Philadelphia jury awarded Gemmel one million dollars in damages.

Abortionist Wyman Garrett, of Newark, New Jersey, had his hospital privileges suspended after a review of at least three botched abortions. In one, the baby's head had been pushed out of a tear which extended the entire length of the uterus, and remained inside the mother's body after the abortion. In another case, he did an abortion on a 32-week pregnant woman, ripping a four-inch hole in her uterus and causing her to lose three pints of blood. In another case, one of his botched abortions tore another woman's uterus, threatening her life. In all three cases, other doctors performed corrective surgery. Eventually, the abortionist pled 'no contest' to charges involving 40 abortion patients, including a 14-year old girl who died. Judge Sybil Moses stated that he should lose his medical license for his "cavalier attitude toward patient safety" and "egregious" malpractice. Predictably, Garrett whined that these actions denied his poor Black patients access to safe(!) second-trimester abortions.

Abortionist Edward Allred, one of the most prolific baby-killers in the world, was charged by the California Health Facilities and Licensing Department with providing substandard care, repeated safety and health violations, and the death of a woman, Mary Pena, as a result of a botched abortion. Allred had constantly boasted to the press about his self-described "assembly-line" abortions.

Long-Time Felons.

Some abortionists kill babies almost as a sideline to their other immoral activities. After all, if a person kills babies, what is to hinder them from becoming involved in such trivia as dealing drugs or evading income taxes?

Abortionist William R. Cloud, administrator of Oklahoma's Statewide Clinic, was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal abortion in 1973, served a year in federal prison for income tax evasion in 1974, pleaded guilty to importing marijuana from Colombia in 1976, and killed Patricia King at his clinic in 1987.[15]

El Paso, Texas abortionist Raymond Showery was convicted of murder in 1983 for drowning a baby who survived one of his abortions. He served five years of a 15-year sentence. While awaiting trial, he killed 28-year old Mickey Apodaca during an abortion and was indicted for involuntary manslaughter.

He threatened the lives of the reporter who wrote the story on his murder trial, a police detective, a prosecutor, and the El Paso County District Attorney.

References: Physical Complications of Abortion.

[1] Abortionist Warren Hern. Abortion Practice. Boulder, Colorado: Alpenglo Graphics (2nd Edition), 1990. Page 101.

[2] Matthew Bulfin, M.D. "A New Problem in Adolescent Gynecology." Southern Medical Journal, August 1979.

[3] "Induced Abortion, A Documented Report," Thomas Hilgers, M.D., 1976.

[4] Stalworthy, et. al., Lancet, 2:1,245-1,249, December 4, 1971.

[5] J. Richardson and G. Dixon. British Medical Journal, January 1976, pages 1,303 to 1,304.

[6] American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 141:763, 1981.

[7] Glenc, A.S. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, January 1974, 118, pages 34 and 35.

[8] British Medical Journal, October 3, 1971, 4:270 to 273. Also see American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 128:(5) 556-559, 1977.

[9] J.C. Willke, M.D. Handbook on Abortion. Hayes Publishing Company, 1979.

[10] American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 141:257, 1981.

[11] "Some Consequences of Induced Abortion to Children Born Subsequently," Documentation in Medical Ethics, December 1973.

[12] New York Times, October 6, 1981.

[13] Chicago Sun-Times, November 19, 1978

[14] In the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Western Division, Civil Action No. 73CV497-W-3.

[15] Tulsa Tribune, July 13, 1987.

[16] Des Moines Register, May 5, 1983.

Further Reading: Physical Complications of Abortion.

Bernadell Technical Bulletin. 
This monthly newsletter, written by Dr. Bernard Nathanson and his wife Adelle, deals with technical and very valuable abortion-related issues in a format that just about everyone can understand. Particular attention is given to the effects of abortion. Subscribe by writing to Post Office Box 1897, New York, New York 10113-0950. The November 1990 issue of the Bulletin contains an excellent bibliography of more than 150 sources on the effects of abortion and contraception (including abortifacient birth control pills and IUDs) on fertility.

Paula Ervin. Women Exploited: The Other Victims of Abortion
Huntingdon, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 1985. Reviewed by Dale O'Leary on page 8 of the October 24, 1985 National Right to Life News. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. This book consists of testimonies from members of WEBA (Women Exploited by Abortion), linked together by the author's commentary. It was a pioneering work ÄÄ one of the first books on PAS ÄÄ and is significant as such; however, it has largely been surpassed by more recent works. It includes a wealth of case studies on the physical and psychological effects of abortion.

Ann Saltenberger. Abortion: Choice or Chance?
Air-Plus Enterprises, Post Office Box 190, Garrisonville, Virginia 22463. 1987, 67 pages. This book is short, but covers a lot of ground. Four main sections cover many topics, including the methods of abortion, fetal development, the physical and psychological dangers of abortion, and insurance statistics on abortion.

Ann Saltenberger. Every Woman Has the Right to Know the Dangers of Legal Abortion
1983, 237 pages. Order from Air-Plus Enterprises, Post Office Box 367, Glassboro, New Jersey 08028, or Sun Life, Greystone, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, or Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton, Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898. Reviewed by Michael M. Donovan, M.D., on page 19 of the December 1982 issue of ALL About Issues, and by Daniel J. Martin, M.D. on page 8 of the November 24, 1983 issue of National Right to Life News. This book goes into minute detail about every imaginable type of physical or psychological harm that could possibly arise from abortion. It also addresses the impact on other family members, particularly siblings. The appendix features over 300 references.

© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111

This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia, published by American Life League.