QUICK FACTS ABOUT ABORTION
Abortion in the United States is legal through all nine months of pregnancy.
More than 4.400 surgical abortions are performed every day in this country.
Countless lives are also lost through chemical abortions, ie: RU 486, Plan B, the pill, emergency contraception, etc., which go unreported.
FETAL DEVELOPMENT AND TYPES OF ABORTION
Fertilization through twelve weeks:
At 18 days a baby's heart starts beating. At 40 days brain waves can be detected. By 8 weeks, the major organs are formed. By 3 months, the baby can suck his thumb, perform a somersault, respond to touch, hiccup, and grasp an object. He's 2 1/2 inches long. The most common types of abortion at this stage of fetal development are:
Chemical contraceptives as listed above. These chemicals act on the lining of the uterus, making it hostile to implantation of the fertilized egg.
Manual vacuum aspiration. Using ultrasound to locate the baby, a catheter connected to a syringe is inserted into the mother's uterus and the baby is sucked out of the womb.
Suction aspiration. The mother's cervix is dilated and a hollow tube with a knife-like tip is inserted into the uterus. A suction machine rips the baby apart and sucks him into a bottle.The baby is then pieced back together, like a puzzle, to make sure nothing is left in the uterus.
Dilation and curettage. A loop-shaped, steel knife is inserted into the uterus, slicing the baby to pieces. Both the baby and the placenta are then scraped into a bowl. Again, all pieces of the baby are accounted for.
Four to six months:
The baby is 8 - 12 inches long and weighs about one pound. The brain has begun maturing. She can hear sounds like her mother's voice and heartbeat. Her taste buds are now working. Her movements are strong enough to be felt by the mother. Fine hair begins to grow on the scalp, eyebrows and eyelids. An abortion at this stage of development would be as follows:
Dilation and evacuation. The mother's cervix is dilated. An instrument that resembles pliers is inserted into the mother's uterus and is used to twist and rip the limbs from the torso, crush the baby's head and spine, and then remove the pieces from the mother's uterus.
Saline injection. A 20% saline solution is injected into the mother's uterus. The baby breathes and swallows the caustic solution and dies a slow, painful death due to salt poisoning. The mother goes into labor within a day or two and delivers a badly burned, dead baby.
Intracardiac injection. Primarily used for "pregnancy reduction" when the mother is carrying two or more babies, but doesn't want to give birhth to all of them.Using ultrasound to pinpoint the baby's heart, the doctor injects fluid directly into the baby's heart causing an immediate heart attack.
Seven months to Birth:
The baby begins to use all of her senses. She can hear, taste, yawn, cough, and hiccup. Her eyelids open and close and she looks around. Her grip is stronger. She continues to gain weight and her lungs become fully developed. Although partial-birth abortion has been banned in the United States, late-term abortions are still legal. The most common type of abortion at this stage of development is Dilation and Evacuation, as described above.
Information on this page was adapted from brochures by the American Life League.
ABORTION/BREAST CANCER LINK
ABORTION/BREAST CANCER LINK
"It is known that having a full-term pregnancy early in a woman's childbearing years is protective against breast cancer....Interruption during the first trimester of a first pregnancy causes a cessation of cell differentiation, which may result in a subsequent increase in the risk of cancerous growth in these tissues." [Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. Web site, "Abortion and Breast Cancer: The Issues" 3 (visited Sep. 5, 1997) http://www.igc.apc.org/ppfa/ab-breas.html]
In our last Rose Review, we offered some websites where you could get information regarding the link between abortion and breast cancer. I hope many of you took the opportunity to become informed about the truth behind what many in the pro-abort community would like to keep secret: that there is indeed a significant link between having had an abortion and developing breast cancer at a young age.
Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S., a New Jersey breast cancer surgeon, became suspicious of why her young, thirty-something patients were developing breast cancer. After all, wasn’t this the “grandma disease”? Analysis of her own data showed that 30% of women in their thirties with breast cancer had no family history, but did have an abortion; whereas in her older patients, only 15% had had abortions.
Epidemiologists use six criteria to determine if an association is in fact causal. The six criteria were all met in linking abortion to breast cancer. They are:
- The exposure or risk must precede the disease. (Women who developed breast cancer had previous abortions)
- The preponderance of the studies must show an association. (28 out of 37 studies report an association between abortion and breast cancer)
- The studies must include statistically significant studies. (By 1995, 17 studies worldwide [8 studies included American women] showed a statistically significant link between abortion and breast cancer.)
- There must be a plausible biologic basis. The physiology of the breast provides the best evidence of the link between abortion and breast cancer. If a pregnancy is terminated before the 32nd week, the woman is left with an increased number of Type 1 and 2 lobules, which are the most sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of estrogen.
- There should be a dose effect, meaning the more you are exposed to a risk, the higher the risk. A study by Melbye et al, 1997, showed that for every week you delay an abortion, the risk of breast cancer increases by 3%. His study showed a statistically significant increase risk of breast cancer among women with second trimester abortions.
- There must be a relative risk of over 3.0, or a 200% increased risk. (Teenagers less than 18 years of age who have abortions between nine and twenty-four weeks gestation have an 800% increased risk, or a relative risk of 9.0 according to the National Cancer Institute’s commissioned study, Daling et al, 1994. They found the teenage girl’s risk increased to infinity if she also had a family history of breast cancer. This was because all the women in her study who had a family history of breast cancer and had also had an abortion at age 18 or younger, developed breast cancer by the age of 45.
A simple look at the number of breast cancers worldwide since the easy availability of abortion, shows further proof of the link. According to an article by Dr. Lanfranchi for the USCCB, the incidence of breast cancer in the United States has increased to 40% since the legalization of abortion. In Romania, they enjoyed one of the lowest rates of breast cancer anywhere while abortion was outlawed. Now that abortion is legal there, their breast cancer rate is one of the highest in the world. In the United Kingdom, breast cancer rates parallel abortion rates. And China has seen a 40% increase in breast cancer since implementing the one-child-per-family policy and forced abortions.
This is not to say that every woman who develops breast cancer has had an abortion. There are several risk factors for breast cancer, including age, family history, genetics, having the first child after the age of 30 or never having a child, early menstruation(before age 12), late menopause(after age 50), heavy smoking and/or alcohol use, obesity, and prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy(HRT). One of the first studies to discover the link between HRT and breast cancer, was the Million Woman Study done in Great Britain from 1996 -2001. 1,084,110 women aged 50 to 64 were involved. Within 1.5 years, researchers saw an increase in breast cancer from women who had already been taking HRT. Within 4.5 years they saw a significant increase in breast cancer among women who had begun HRT with the initiation of the study. The study was intended to last for 10 years, but was halted because of the high incidence of breast cancer among the participants. The most significant increase in breast cancer followed the use of oestrogen- progestagen combinations rather than from other types of HRT. This study and others like it have led to a decrease in usage of HRT for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. But what about oral contraceptive use? If an increase in estrogen following an abortion is linked to breast cancer. And increased levels of estrogen in HRT are linked to breast cancer. Doesn’t it make sense that increased levels of estrogen in oral contraceptives, especially the higher doses found in emergency contraceptives such as Plan B, would also increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer? In separate studies published in 2006 in the “New England Journal of Medicine”, the October edition of “Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention”, and the October issue of “Mayo Clinic Proceedings”, the use of oral contraceptives was confirmed as increasing the risk of developing breast cancer. It goes back to the physiology of the breast. Until a woman has her first full-term pregnancy, her breasts are made up of Type 1 and 2 lobules, which are highly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of estrogen. The more estrogen a woman is exposed to in her lifetime, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer. So, if abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, and oral contraceptives increase the risk of breast cancer, why does Planned Parenthood continue to say they are a business that cares about the health of women? Why do they oppose any legislation that requires women to get the truth?
Please check out the following websites for detailed information:
Comprehensive Sex Ed
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World. This article is reprinted with her permission and the permission of townhall.com, where it originally appeared. Get the
Government Out of Sex Ed
By Jennifer Roback Morse, PhD.
If you need an operation and the doctor tells you that overall, seven-eighths of patients have a successful outcome, you might think that was a pretty good deal. But suppose the operation failed. While you’re in the recovery room, the doctor tells you, “Oh, by the way, for people like you, the operation only succeeds 30 percent of the time. But we’ll sell you the solution to the botched operation.” You’d be furious. You’d sue that doctor for malpractice if you didn’t punch him first.
Yet this is precisely the situation Congress supports by funding Planned Parenthood and its allies to provide “comprehensive sex education” in secondary schools.
This is no exaggeration. Look at contraceptive failure rates, using Planned Parenthood’s own data. Two studies, (listed below, with web site addresses) use this definition of contraceptive failure: the percentage of women who experience a pregnancy at the end of one year of using a particular contraceptive method. Somewhere between 12 percent and 13 percent of all contracepting women experienced a pregnancy within a year. In other words, about seven-eighths of women use contraceptives successfully. Two of the most commonly used and widely promoted methods are oral contraceptives and the male condom. Of all women using the pill for one year, somewhere around 8 percent will experience a pregnancy. Between 14 percent and 15 percent of women who use the condom will become pregnant within a year.
But these statistics, while technically correct, don’t tell the whole story, not by a long shot. These are the “overall” statistics that our hypothetical doctor used in our opening story. The “for people like you” statistics paint a very different picture. These studies break down the population into age groups, income levels, marital status and race.
A poor cohabiting teenager using the pill has a failure rate of 48.4 percent. You read that correctly: nearly half of poor cohabiting teenagers get pregnant during their first year using the pill. If she kicked her boyfriend out of the house, or if she married him, her probability of pregnancy drops to 12.9 percent. At the other extreme, a middle-aged, middle-class married woman has a 3 percent chance of getting pregnant after a year on the pill. Over 70 percent of poor, cohabiting teenagers using condoms will be pregnant within a year. By contrast, the middle-aged, middle-class married woman has a 6 percent chance of pregnancy after a year of condom use.
These figures cast new light on the debate over contraception education. The commonly quoted failure rates of 8 percent for the pill and 15 percent for the condom are inflated by the highly successful use by middle-aged, middle-class married couples. Yet, the government promotes contraception most heavily among the young, the poor and the single. The “overall failure rates” are simply not relevant to this target population.
Planned Parenthood and its allies in the sex education business have had conniptions over federal funding for abstinence education. But at least abstinence actually works. If you don’t have sex, you won’t get pregnant. It works every time.
With contraception, we can absolutely predict that some sexual encounters will result in pregnancy. The young, the poor and the unmarried are the most likely to experience a contraceptive failure. For these groups, pregnancy is not a rare accident, but highly likely. When the inevitable pregnancy occurs, guess who is ready to help solve her problem? That’s right: Planned Parenthood will sell her an abortion. The same people who teach sex education, which increases the demand for purchasing contraception, also sell the “solution” to contraceptive failure, which is abortion. Yet the federal government spends about $12 on contraceptive-related programs to every $1 spent on abstinence education.
We don’t give federal grants to tobacco companies to teach students “low-risk” forms of smoking on the grounds that “kids are going to smoke anyway.” We shouldn’t be giving federal grants to groups that sell contraception, to teach kids to use contraception.
It is time for the federal government to get out of the sex education business once and for all.
Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups,” Nalini Ranjit, Akinrinola Bankole, Jacqueline E. Darroch and Susheela Singh. Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 1. January/February 2001, pp. 19-27.
“Contraceptive Failure Rates: New Estimates From the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth,” Haisahn Fu, Jacqueline E. Darroch, Taylor Haas, and Nalini Ranjit, Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 31, No. 2. March/April 1999, pp. 56-63.
Make sure to note that the two studies Morse cites in her article are studies that Planned Parenthood itself commissioned to be done. It is no secret to Planned Parenthood how necessary it is for kids to be engaged in sexual lifestyles to keep up its profit margins. Now it is time to make our communities aware of this same fact.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Ethical adult stem cell research in line with Church teaching IS being conducted! There is no justification for the taking of human life through the destruction of embryos. To date no cures have been found via embryonic stem cell research, rather, it has proven to be a dead-end for both the diseases and conditions researchers purport to be trying to cure with this research in addition to the embryonic life sacrificed in the process. For more information on a moral approach to stem cell research, see below.
The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance research and education on stem research in a manner consistent with a pro-life bioethics. JP2MRI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The Institute strictly focuses on adult stem cell and induced pluripotent stem cell research and education. The Institute's goal is to focus on reducing the barriers to translate basic research into clinical research. JP2SRI mission is to coordinate research activities between the Institute, academia and industry and to find treatment solutions for patients with disorders that could potentially benefit from adult and umbilical cord stem cells.
JP2MRI was founded by Dr. Alan Moy. Dr. Moy is a physician-scientist whose previous academic appointment was at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and College of Engineering. He is also the Founder and President of Cellular Engineering Technologies Inc., a biotechnology company located in Iowa, which focuses on preclinical industrial applications in adult and umbilical cord stem cell research. Dr. Moy is currently a practicing physician and holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa.
The Institute represents an opportunity for pro-life individuals to support ethical-derived stem cell research consistent with pro-life values. JP2MRI DOES NOT conduct human embryonic stem cell research and does not perform therapeutic cloning or somatic cell nuclear transfer.
The majority of donations are directed toward research and education. There is low administrative overhead.
The Give Cures program offers an opportunity to provide support for the JP2 Medical Research Institute. You can learn more at http://jp2mri.org.
AN ETHICAL DILEMMA
Human life at the earliest stage is still a life, valued, loved and created by God. To use and kill a human being for research is a moral evil, but ignored and approved of by many. What is disappointing is the number of groups that support the killing of embryos for research. See list here.
The challenge is daunting when well known and popular groups who raise funding for cancer research also support embryonic stem cell research and many times people who support only ethical research unknowingly donate to those organizations. Even worse is the prospect that patients may one day be faced with the moral dilemma of choosing between a cure and having a clear conscience.
By Judie Brown
What is it?
Emergency contraception (also known as the morning-after pill) is a high dosage of the birth control pill. It is recommended for use after unprotected sexual intercourse, over a period of 72 hours, to achieve the goal of preventing pregnancy.
There are at least two formulations of the birth control pill that are being marketed as "emergency contraceptives", Plan B and Preven. Though no testing has been done to confirm the safety of these large doses of birth control pills for women (and very limited testing has been done on the specifically marketed "morning-after" pills), the Food and Drug Administration has approved this use.
Where did this idea come from?
The idea of emergency contraception – or a morning-after pill – is based on a theory. Under this theory, if a woman has sexual intercourse and fears she may be pregnant, she can take large doses of birth control pills. If in fact the woman is pregnant when she takes these birth control pills, the high dosage could act to kill her preborn child – a living human being. The only "emergency" in this case is the woman's fear of being pregnant.
How do emergency contraception/morning-after pills work?
The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three modes of action (as does the regular birth control pill); that is, it can work in one of three ways:
1. The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
2. ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released from the ovary;
3. it can irritate the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so as to inhibit implantation.
Keep in mind that fertilization (the union of female ovum, or egg, and male sperm) occurs in the fallopian tube and that fertilization marks the beginning of a new human life—and the beginning of the pregnancy. The newly created child then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus (womb) where he or she implants. Implantation is necessary for the new child to receive nourishment from the mother and continue developing. The journey from the fallopian tube to the womb takes between five and seven days during which pregnancy cannot be readily detected.
Therefore, if a woman ingests emergency contraception after fertilization has taken place, the third mode of action can occur. The lining of the uterus can be altered causing the woman's body to reject the living human embryo, making implantation impossible and the child will die. This result is called a chemical abortion; therefore, emergency contraception is an abortifacient.
Is it safe?
Not only could EC kill a tiny preborn life in its earliest stages, but the 'morning-after' pill is also very dangerous to a woman's health. There are no long term studies to show whether women will be permanently damaged, or risk such diseases as cancer, from these chemicals being given in such high doses.
Sixty percent of girls under the age of 15 are impregnated by adults and are, therefore, in most cases, victims of statutory rape. Over the counter availability of EC increases the likelihood that sexual predators are able to cover their crimes and continue their criminal behavior.
During a panel discussion at the National Press Club's Newsmaker Forum, Kirsten Moore, president and CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, admitted that the morning-after pill does not reduce pregnancies and abortions as originally touted. "The experts had estimated that we would see a drop by up to half in the rates of unintended pregnancies and the rates of abortion," she said. "In fact, in the real world, we're not seeing that."
Finally, birth control leads to a state of mind that treats sexual activity as if it has nothing to do with babies; babies are treated as "accidents", as a burden to be eliminated. In this way, contraception is clearly linked to abortion.
For more information and additional links to each of these topics, see ALL's project web site: www.morningafterpill.org.
Judie Brown is president of American Life League and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
U.S. House of Representatives--Iowa
1st Rod Blum R
2nd David Loebsack. D
3rdDavid Young R
4th Steve King R
POST ABORTION SYNDROME
A List of Major Psychological Sequelae of Abortion
REQUIREMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:
In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor. (2) A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found significantly greater use of medical and psychiatric services among aborted women. Most significant was the finding that 25% of aborted women made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. (3) Women who have had abortions are significantly more likely than others to subsequently require admission to a psychiatric hospital. At especially high risk are teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women with a history of more than one abortion. (4)
Since many post-aborted women use repression as a coping mechanism, there may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care. These repressed feelings may cause psychosomatic illnesses and psychiatric or behavioral in other areas of her life. As a result, some counselors report that unacknowledged post-abortion distress is the causative factor in many of their female patients, even though their patients have come to them seeking therapy for seemingly unrelated problems. (5)
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD or PAS): A major random study found that a minimum of 19% of post- abortion women suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately half had many, but not all, symptoms of PTSD, and 20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behavior relative to their abortion experiences. (6) Because this is a major disorder which may be present in many plaintiffs, and is not readily understood outside the counseling profession, the following summary is more complete than other entries in this section. PTSD is a psychological dysfunction which results from a traumatic experience which overwhelms a person's normal defense mechanisms resulting in intense fear, feelings of helplessness or being trapped, or loss of control. The risk that an experience will be traumatic is increased when the traumatizing event is perceived as including threats of physical injury, sexual violation, or the witnessing of or participation in a violent death. PTSD results when the traumatic event causes the hyperarousal of "flight or fight" defense mechanisms. This hyperarousal causes these defense mechanisms to become disorganized, disconnected from present circumstances, and take on a life of their own resulting in abnormal behavior and major personality disorders. As an example of this disconnection of mental functions, some PTSD victim may experience intense emotion but without clear memory of the event; others may remember every detail but without emotion; still others may reexperience both the event and the emotions in intrusive and overwhelming flashback experiences. (7)
Women may experience abortion as a traumatic event for several reasons. Many are forced into an unwanted abortions by husbands, boyfriends, parents, or others. If the woman has repeatedly been a victim of domineering abuse, such an unwanted abortion may be perceived as the ultimate violation in a life characterized by abuse. Other women, no matter how compelling the reasons they have for seeking an abortion, may still perceive the termination of their pregnancy as the violent killing of their own child. The fear, anxiety, pain, and guilt associated with the procedure are mixed into this perception of grotesque and violent death. Still other women, report that the pain of abortion, inflicted upon them by a masked stranger invading their body, feels identical to rape. (8) Indeed, researchers have found that women with a history of sexual assault may experience greater distress during and after an abortion exactly because of these associations between the two experiences. (9) When the stressor leading to PTSD is abortion, some clinicians refer to this as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS).
The major symptoms of PTSD are generally classified under three categories: hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction.
HYPERAROUSAL is a characteristic of inappropriately and chronically aroused "fight or flight" defense mechanisms. The person is seemingly on permanent alert for threats of danger. Symptoms of hyperarousal include: exaggerated startle responses, anxiety attacks, irritability, outbursts of anger or rage, aggressive behavior, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilence, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or physiological reactions upon exposure to situations that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic experience (eg. elevated pulse or sweat during a pelvic exam, or upon hearing a vacuum pump sound.)
INTRUSION is the reexperience of the traumatic event at unwanted and unexpected times. Symptoms of intrusion in PAS cases include: recurrent and intrusive thoughts about the abortion or aborted child, flashbacks in which the woman momentarily reexperiences an aspect of the abortion experience, nightmares about the abortion or child, or anniversary reactions of intense grief or depression on the due date of the aborted pregnancy or the anniversary date of the abortion.
CONSTRICTION is the numbing of emotional resources, or the development of behavioral patterns, so as to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. It is avoidance behavior; an attempt to deny and avoid negative feelings or people, places, or things which aggravate the negative feelings associated with the trauma. In post-abortion trauma cases, constriction may include: an inability to recall the abortion experience or important parts of it; efforts to avoid activities or situations which may arouse recollections of the abortion; withdrawal from relationships, especially estrangement from those involved in the abortion decision; avoidance of children; efforts to avoid or deny thoughts or feelings about the abortion; restricted range of loving or tender feelings; a sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect a career, marriage, or children, or a long life.); diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities; drug or alcohol abuse; suicidal thoughts or acts; and other self-destructive tendencies.
As previously mentioned, Barnard's study identified a 19% rate of PTSD among women who had abortions three to five years previously. But in reality the actual rate is probably higher. Like most post-abortion studies, Barnard's study was handicapped by a fifty percent drop out rate. Clinical experience has demonstrated that the women least likely to cooperate in post-abortion research are those for whom the abortion caused the most psychological distress. Research has confirmed this insight, demonstrating that the women who refuse followup evaluation most closely match the demographic characteristics of the women who suffer the most post-abortion distress. (10) The extraordinary high rate of refusal to participate in post-abortion studies may interpreted as evidence of constriction or avoidance behavior (not wanting to think about the abortion) which is a major symptom of PTSD.
For many women, the onset or accurate identification of PTSD symptoms may be delayed for several years. (11) Until a PTSD sufferer has received counseling and achieved adequate recovery, PTSD may result in a psychological disability which would prevent an injured abortion patient from bringing action within the normal statutory period. This disability may, therefore, provide grounds for an extended statutory period.
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION: Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style. (12)
SUICIDAL IDEATION AND SUICIDE ATTEMPTS: Approximately 60 percent of women who experience post-abortion sequelae report suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times. Researchers in Finland have identified a strong statistical association between abortion and suicide in a records based study. The identified 73 suicides associated within one year to a pregnancy ending either naturally or by induced abortion. The mean annual suicide rate for all women was 11.3 per 100,000. Suicide rate associated with birth was significantly lower (5.9). Rates for pregnancy loss were significantly higher. For miscarriage the rate was 18.1 per 100,000 and for abortion 34.7 per 100,000. The suicide rate within one year after an abortion was three times higher than for all women, seven times higher than for women carrying to term, and nearly twice as high as for women who suffered a miscarriage. Suicide attempts appear to be especially prevalent among post-abortion teenagers.(13)
INCREASED SMOKING WITH CORRESPONDENT NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS: Post-abortion stress is linked with increased cigarette smoking. Women who abort are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health risks. (14)
Post-abortion women are also more likely to continue smoking during subsequent wanted pregnancies with increased risk of neonatal death or congenital anomalies. (15)
ALCOHOL AB-- USE: Abortion is significantly linked with a two fold increased risk of alcohol abuse among women. (16) Abortion followed by alcohol abuse is linked to violent behavior, divorce or separation, auto accidents, and job loss. (17) (see also New Study Confirms Link Between Abortion and Substance Abuse)
DRUG AB-- USE: Abortion is significantly linked to subsequent drug abuse. In addition to the psycho-social costs of such abuse, drug abuse is linked with increased exposure to HIV/AIDS infections, congenital malformations, and assaultive behavior. (18)
EATING DISORDERS: For at least some women, post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. (19)
CHILD NEGLECT OR AB-- USE: Abortion is linked with increased depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently. These factors are closely associated with child abuse and would appear to confirm individual clinical assessments linking post-abortion trauma with subsequent child abuse. (20)
DIVORCE AND CHRONIC RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS: For most couples, an abortion causes unforeseen problems in their relationship. Post-abortion couples are more likely to divorce or separate. Many post-abortion women develop a greater difficulty forming lasting bonds with a male partner. This may be due to abortion related reactions such as lowered self-esteem, greater distrust of males, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, and increased levels of depression, anxiety, and volatile anger. Women who have more than one abortion (representing about 45% of all abortions) are more likely to require public assistance, in part because they are also more likely to become single parents. (21)
REPEAT ABORTIONS: Women who have one abortion are at increased risk of having additional abortions in the future. Women with a prior abortion experience are four times more likely to abort a current pregnancy than those with no prior abortion history. (22)
This increased risk is associated with the prior abortion due to lowered self esteem, a conscious or unconscious desire for a replacement pregnancy, and increased sexual activity post-abortion. Subsequent abortions may occur because of conflicted desires to become pregnant and have a child and continued pressures to abort, such as abandonment by the new male partner. Aspects of self-punishment through repeated abortions are also reported. (23)
Approximately 45% of all abortions are now repeat abortions. The risk of falling into a repeat abortion pattern should be discussed with a patient considering her first abortion. Furthermore, since women who have more than one abortion are at a significantly increased risk of suffering physical and psychological sequelae, these heightened risks should be thoroughly discussed with women seeking abortions.
1. An excellent resource for any attorney involved in abortion malpractice is Thomas Strahan's Major Articles and Books Concerning the Detrimental Effects of Abortion (Rutherford Institute, PO Box 7482, Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482, (804) 978-388.) This resource includes brief summaries of major finding drawn from medical and psychology journal articles, books, and related materials, divided into major categories of relevant injuries.
2. Ashton,"They Psychosocial Outcome of Induced Abortion", British Journal of Ob&Gyn., 87:1115-1122, (1980).
3. Badgley, et.al.,Report of the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law (Ottawa:Supply and Services, 1977)pp.313-321.
4. R. Somers, "Risk of Admission to Psychiatric Institutions Among Danish Women who Experienced Induced Abortion: An Analysis on National Record Linkage," Dissertation Abstracts International, Public Health 2621-B, Order No. 7926066 (1979); H. David, et al., "Postpartum and Postabortion Psychotic Reactions," Family Planning Perspectives 13:88-91 (1981).
5. Kent, et al., "Bereavement in Post-Abortive Women: A Clinical Report", World Journal of Psychosynthesis (Autumn-Winter 1981), vol.13,nos.3-4.
6. Catherine Barnard, The Long-Term Psychological Effects of Abortion, Portsmouth, N.H.: Institute for Pregnancy Loss, 1990).
7. Herman, Trauma and Recovery, (New York: Basic Books, 1992) 34.
8. Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House, 1978) 84-95.
9. Zakus, "Adolescent Abortion Option," Social Work in Health Care, 12(4):87 (1987); Makhorn, "Sexual Assault & Pregnancy," New Perspectives on Human Abortion, Mall & Watts, eds., (Washington, D.C.: University Publications of America, 1981).
10. Adler, "Sample Attrition in Studies of Psycho-social Sequelae of Abortion: How great a problem." Journal of Social Issues, 1979, 35, 100-110.
11. Speckhard, "Postabortion Syndrome: An Emerging Public Health Concern," Journal of Social Issues, 48(3):95-119.
12. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; and Belsey, et al., "Predictive Factors in Emotional Response to Abortion: King's Termination Study - IV," Soc. Sci. & Med., 11:71-82 (1977).
13. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, "Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study," British Journal of Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996.C. Haignere, et al., "HIV/AIDS Prevention and Multiple Risk Behaviors of Gay Male and Runaway Adolescents," Sixth International Conference on AIDS: San Francisco, June 1990; N. Campbell, et al., "Abortion in Adolescence," Adolescence, 23(92):813-823 (1988); H. Vaughan, Canonical Variates of Post-Abortion Syndrome, Portsmouth, NH: Institute for Pregnancy Loss, 1991; B. Garfinkel, "Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota," Responding to High Risk Youth, Minnesota Extension Service, University of Minnesota (1986).
14. Harlap, "Characteristics of Pregnant Women Reporting Previous Induced Abortions," Bulletin World Health Organization, 52:149 (1975); N. Meirik, "Outcome of First Delivery After 2nd Trimester Two Stage Induced Abortion: A Controlled Cohort Study," Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavia 63(1):45-50(1984); Levin, et al., "Association of Induced Abortion with Subsequent Pregnancy Loss," JAMA, 243:2495-2499, June 27, 1980.
15. Obel, "Pregnancy Complications Following Legally Induced Abortion: An Analysis of the Population with Special Reference to Prematurity," Danish Medical Bulletin, 26:192- 199 (1979); Martin, "An Overview: Maternal Nicotine and Caffeine Consumption and Offspring Outcome," Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Tertology, 4(4):421-427, (1982).
16. Klassen, "Sexual Experience and Drinking Among Women in a U.S. National Survey," Archives of Sexual Behavior, 15(5):363-39 ; M. Plant, Women, Drinking and Pregnancy, Tavistock Pub, London (1985); Kuzma & Kissinger, "Patterns of Alcohol and Cigarette Use in Pregnancy," Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Terotology, 3:211-221 (1981).
17. Morrissey, et al., "Stressful Life Events and Alcohol Problems Among Women Seen at a Detoxification Center," Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 39(9):1159 (1978).
18. Oro, et al., "Perinatal Cocaine and Methamphetamine Exposure Maternal and Neo-Natal Correlates," J. Pediatrics, 111:571- 578 (1978); D.A. Frank, et al., "Cocaine Use During Pregnancy Prevalence and Correlates," Pediatrics, 82(6):888 (1988); H. Amaro, et al., "Drug Use Among Adolescent Mothers: Profile of Risk," Pediatrics 84:144-150, (1989)
19. Speckhard, Psycho-social Stress Following Abortion, Sheed & Ward, Kansas City: MO, 1987; J. Spaulding, et al, "Psychoses Following Therapeutic Abortion, Am. J. of Psychiatry 125(3):364 (1978); R.K. McAll, et al., "Ritual Mourning in Anorexia Nervosa," The Lancet, August 16, 1980, p. 368.
20. Benedict, et al., "Maternal Perinatal Risk Factors and Child Abuse," Child Abuse and Neglect, 9:217-224 (1985); P.G. Ney, "Relationship between Abortion and Child Abuse," Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 24:610-620, 1979; Reardon, Aborted Women - Silent No More (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987), 129-30, describes a case of woman who beat her three year old son to death shortly after an abortion which triggered a "psychotic episode" of grief, guilt, and misplaced anger.
21. Shepard, et al., "Contraceptive Practice and Repeat Induced Abortion: An Epidemiological Investigation," J. Biosocial Science, 11:289-302 (1979); M. Bracken, "First and Repeated Abortions: A Study of Decision-Making and Delay," J. Biosocial Science, 7:473-491 (1975); S. Henshaw, "The Characteristics and Prior Contraceptive Use of U.S. Abortion Patients," Family Planning Perspectives, 20(4):158-168 (1988); D. Sherman, et al., "The Abortion Experience in Private Practice," Women and Loss: Psychobiological Perspectives, ed. W.F. Finn, et al., (New York: Praeger Publ. 1985), pp98-107; E.M. Belsey, et al., "Predictive Factors in Emotional Response to Abortion: King's Termination Study - IV," Social Science and Medicine, 11:71- 82 (1977); E. Freeman, et al., "Emotional Distress Patterns Among Women Having First or Repeat Abortions," Obstetrics and Gynecology, 55(5):630-636 (1980); C. Berger, et al., "Repeat Abortion: Is it a Problem?" Family Planning Perspectives 16(2):70-75 (1984).
22. Joyce, "The Social and Economic Correlates of Pregnancy Resolution Among Adolescents in New York by Race and Ethnicity: A Multivariate Analysis," Am. J. of Public Health, 78(6):626-631 (1988); C. Tietze, "Repeat Abortions - Why More?" Family Planning Perspectives 10(5):286-288, (1978).
23. Leach, "The Repeat Abortion Patient," Family Planning Perspectives, 9(1):37-39 (1977); S. Fischer, "Reflection on Repeated Abortions: The meanings and motivations," Journal of Social Work Practice 2(2):70-87 (1986); B. Howe, et al., "Repeat Abortion, Blaming the Victims," Am. J. of Public Health, 69(12):1242-1246, (1979).
copyright 1997 Elliot Institute Compiled by David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
FROM CONTRACEPTION TO ABORTION - A Timeline
1859 The American Medical Association condemns the practice of abortion.
1860s This decade marks the beginning of a social and political birth control movement.
1873 The Comstock Law is passed. The Comstock Law constituted a federal ban on the manufacture, sale or possession of contraceptives and advertisements for them.
1875 Every state in the United States has adopted laws banning abortion.
1916 Margaret Sanger forms the Birth Control League (now called Planned Parenthood) to promote contraception and abortion, and she begins her push for churches to accept contraception as morally licit.
1920 At the Lambeth Conference, Anglican Church leaders acknowledge the contraception debate, but respond, “We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for the avoidance of conception…”
1930 At the Lambeth Conference, birth control is now considered morally acceptable under certain circumstances by protestant churches. This concession constitutes a major victory for Sanger and the culture of death.
1961 The National Protestant Council of Churches gives its backing to unnatural forms of birth control.
1965 Griswald v. Connecticut sounds the death knell for all anti-contraception legislation in the U.S. The Supreme Court invents the so-called “right to privacy” to shield the marital bedroom and contraceptives from the reach of legislation.
1967 Colorado becomes the first state to allow abortion in the cases of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s life.
1970 Fourteen states allow abortion in certain circumstances.
1972 Eisenstadt v. Baird—The Supreme Court extends the same invented right of privacy from Griswald to unmarried individuals desiring to use contraception.
1973 Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion on demand using the “right to privacy” from Griswald. The decision strikes down all state laws that had placed restrictions on abortion saying no state had the authority to legislate against abortion for any reason.
1973 Doe v. Bolton defines the health-of-the-mother exception in ambiguous terms and further secures the right to abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy.
POST ABORTION SYNDROME