Physical Effects of Abortion

Physical Effects of Abortion

In one Montreal study, 97% of aborting women reported pain, and 61% reported moderate to severe pain. In a study of their own, U.S. researchers admitted to being “surprised” at finding most women reporting “moderate or more discomfort” during their abortions and said they had not expected so many to report “severe pain.” Adolescents in the Montreal study were nearly twice as likely to report severe pain as older women. In a ranking, women put their abortion pain ahead of sprains, fractures, and arthritis, and about equal to the residual pain from an amputation. Women having drug induced abortions reported higher pain levels than those having surgical abortions. Despite efforts by the industry to minimize abortion pain, it is an important signal that patients and doctors should heed. Pain may be a side effect of surgery or the chemical abortion process, but can also be an indicator of infection, cervical damage, uterine rupture, or an unresolved ectopic pregnancy.

Common Abortion Side Effects, Complications and Injuries

From Chemical Abortion

  • Severe Pain, Cramping, Nausea, Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhage, Infection
  • Rupture of Undiagnosed Ectopic

From Surgical Abortion

  • Infection, Sepsis, Endometritis
  • Cervical Lacerations
  • Uterine, Bladder, or Bowel Perforations
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Incomplete Abortion, Retained Tissue

Later Infant Disability

Preterm birth is associated with lower birth weight and higher rates of cerebral palsy, often leading to physical and mental disability.

Future Miscarriages

Decreased cervical resistance due to forced dilation may result in early cervical failure and the spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) of future pregnancies.

Future Prematurity

Premature birth is the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality, and at least 10 international studies show previous abortions significantly increase that risk.

Abortion Related Causes of Death

  • Anesthesia Infection
  • Hemorrhage Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy Embolism

Physical Damage

Surgical abortion may harm a woman’s reproductive system, damaging her uterus or cervix, leading to future reproductive problems. Chemical abortions (using RU 486, etc.) are bloody, painful, and dangerous, and the long term effects on the body are unknown.

Future Infertility

Women having abortions face more than a doubled risk of future sterility.

Later Ectopic Pregnancy

 A study appearing in the American Journal of Public Health in 1998 found that aborting women face a 50% increased risk of having a subsequent ectopic or tubal pregnancy. The risk was nearly twice as high (90%) for women having two or more previous abortions.

The Abortion Breast Cancer Link

Pregnancy & Normal Breast Development

In pregnancy, as estrogen levels elevate, immature milk glands, or lobules, begin to grow and   differentiate, reaching maturity around 32 weeks. By birth, the lobules are fully formed and ready for milk production. A full term pregnancy is known to lower a woman’s long term risk of breast cancer.

Abortion Interrupts Breast Development

Abortions, which typically occur in the first or early second trimester, interrupt the process of breast   development while estrogen is still surging, urging growth, but before full differentiation has taken place. Thus, the risk-lowering effect of full term pregnancy is lost. Even worse, lobules stuck in this growth stage are susceptible to replication defects, which may eventually manifest themselves as cancers.

Scientific Evidence of Abortion’s Impact

Thirteen out of 17 studies in the U.S. reported more breast cancer among women who chose abortion. A 1996 meta-analysis of all published reports on the incidence of induced abortion and breast cancer appearing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found, on average, a 30% increased risk.

Adverse Public Health Consequences of Abortion

Two government funded studies from Finland that studied deaths among all women of childbearing age within one year after pregnancy found higher death rates among women who aborted, as well as higher rates of death from suicide, accidents and homicide. The Finland studies also found a lower death rate among women who gave birth than among women who had not been pregnant suggesting that birth had a protective effect.

A study using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that women whose first pregnancy ended in abortion had a higher risk of clinical depression than women whose first pregnancy ended in birth.

A study using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that children of women with a history of abortion were more likely to receive a lower level of emotional support in the home between ages 1-4 and were more likely to have behavior problems between ages 5-9 than children of women with no history of abortion.

Data from “Abortion’s Physical Complications Factsheet (2005) by the National Right to Life Committee.

Revised 6/5/19


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