|CHAPTER 16 Late Physical
Complications NB: This chapter was written before the link
between abortion and breast cancer was discovered in the mid 1990's so
does not include that in the physical complications - information on
breast cancer can be obtained elsewhere on this website or at
http://abortionbreastcancer.com/ This also does not
include the body of research on post abortion syndrome, a type of "post
traumatic stress" observed in 85 percent or more of aborted women.
There is information on this elsewhere on this website or go to
Have premature births increased?
In the early years of legalized wide-open abortion, there was ample
evidence of the fact that induced abortion caused a sharp increase of
premature births and their unfortunate aftermaths. Some of the major
original studies included:
* After one legal abortion, premature births increase by 14%; after two
abortions, it is 18%, after three, it increases to 24%. Klinger,
"Demographic Consequences of the Legalization of Abortion in Eastern
Europe," Internat'l Jour. GYN & OB, vol. 8, Sept. 1971, p. 691
* Non-aborted women have a premature birth rate of 5%, aborted women have
a rate of 14%. R. Slumsky, "Course of Delivery of Women Following
Interruption of Pregnancy," Czechoslovakia Gyn., vol. 29, no. 97, 1964
* Women who have had abortions have twice the chance of delivering a
premature baby later. G. Papaevangelou, U. Hospital, Athens, Greece, Jour.
OB-GYN British Commonwealth, vol. 80, 1973, pp. 418-422
* In Czechoslovakia, premature births resulting from abortions are so
frequent that a woman who has had several abortions and who becomes
pregnant is examined, and:
"If the physicians can see scar tissue, they will sew the cervix closed in
the 12th or 13th week of pregnancy. The patient stays in the hospital as
long as necessary, which, in some cases, means many months." "Czechs
Tighten Reins on Abortion," Medical World News, 106J, 1973
Among others, Dr. Zedowsky reported a higher percent of brain injuries at
birth. His report cited "a growing number of children requiring special
education because of mental deficits related to prematurity." ibid.
A very large study, by the World Health Organization, of 7,228 women in
eight European countries, showed that previously-aborted women had
significantly higher midtrimester pregnancy loss, premature delivery and
low birth weight babies. Collaborative Study, Lancet 1979 20 Jan; 1
Why this increase in prematurity?
During an abortion procedure, the cervical muscle must be stretched open
to allow the surgeon to enter the uterus. There is no harm to the muscle
in a D&C performed because of a spontaneous miscarriage, as the cervix is
usually soft and often open. Also, there is rarely any damage caused by a
D&C done on a woman for excessive menstruation, etc. When, however, a
normal, well-rooted placenta and growing baby are scraped out of a firmly
closed uterus, protected by a long, "green" cervical muscle, the task of
dilating this muscle is more difficult. Attempts have been made to lessen
this damage to the woman's future childbearing ability by using laminaria.
What is a laminaria?
This is a small bit of dehydrated material which is inserted into the
cervix one day before the abortion. It absorbs water and swells to many
times its size and, in the process, dilates the cervix. When used, it may
reduce the damage to the cervical muscle that would be caused by
instrumental dilatation before the abortion.
How does cervical dilatation relate to later complications?
Perhaps you've been present for, or experienced first-hand, a woman's
first labor and delivery. Twelve to twenty hours is not unusual. The
nurse, as she checks the mother's progress, uses the terms "two fingers"
(or cm) -- "four fingers" -- then "complete." These terms refer to
measuring the slow dilatation of the cervix. Only when it is wide open
("complete") can the baby begin the journey through the birth canal.
Before birth, nature opens this "door" very slowly. In a miscarriage, all
those cramps do the same thing. After emptying the uterus, this strong
donut-like muscle closes tight again.
The lowest part of a woman's uterus is the cervix, and, when a woman is
pregnant and stands upright, the baby's head rests on it -- in effect,
bouncing up and down on the "door" throughout the pregnancy. The muscle
must be intact and strong in order to keep the cervix closed. If it is
weak, or "incompetent," it may not stay closed and may result in premature
opening and miscarriage, or premature birth.
When an abortion is performed on a women pregnant for the first time, the
abortionist must dilate (or stretch open), an elongated, firm, unripe
cervix. This is commonly accomplished in 30 to 60 seconds. This forceful
stretching often tears enough of the muscle fibers to permanently weaken
The most damage is done to the primiparous (first pregnancy) cervix. In
Eastern Europe pro-abortion policy has slowly changed and now strongly
discourages aborting the first pregnancy. In America all authorities, even
the strongest pro-abortion propagandists, agree on this complication.
Laminaria, incidentally, have not been used in most freestanding abortion
chambers because it means two visits, smaller volume, and smaller cash
There have been studies recently at several teaching hospitals that
reported fewer complications than earlier studies. Some of these are
seriously suspect since the grants of research money were given only to
vocal and aggressive abortionists. (No comparable grants were given to
One writer frequently heard from is Dr. Willard Cates, who published an
article suggesting that the charge for abortions be on a graduated scale
-- determined by measuring the size of the fetal foot. W. Cates, "For a
Graduated Scale of Fees for Abortion," Family Planning Perspectives, vol.
12, no. 4, July 1980
In another paper, Cates reported that Gonorrhea was the most common
sexually transmitted disease, but that the second most common "disease"
transmitted sexually was pregnancy. He then compared the two as to
"incidence," "incubation time," "familial predisposition," and "recurrence
rate" by correlating age groups, seasonal variations, the amount of time
missed from work, the type of "treatment" (abortion), complications of
"treatment," the relative cost of "treatment," etc., and concluded:
"If legal abortion were viewed as a justifiable treatment for a sexually
transmitted condition, it would not be considered an elective or
preventive procedure which is usually ineligible for insurance programs.
Rather, it would be a curative treatment, making it eligible for
remuneration from federal and private third-party insurance plans." Cates
et al., "Abortion as a Treatment of Unwanted Pregnancies: The Number Two
Sexually Transmitted 'Disease.'" Paper presented at the 14th Annual
Meeting, Planned Parenthood Physicians, Miami, Nov. 1976
Do more recent studies still report the same complications?
"The main risk of induced abortion is . . . permanent cervical
incompetence." L. Iffy, "Second-Trimester Abortions," JAMA, vol. 249, no.
5, Feb. 4, 1983, p. 588
Second trimester miscarriage and premature birth frequently follow induced
abortions. A. Arvay et al., "Relation of Abortion to Premature Birth,"
Review French GYN-OB, vol. 62, no. 81, 1967
Levin et al., JAMA, vol. 243, 1982, p. 2495
A. Jakobovits & L. Iffy, "Perinatal Implications of Therapeutic
Abortion."Principals and Practice of OB & Perinatalogy, New York, J. Wiley
& Sons, 1981, p. 603
C. Madore et al., "Effects of Induce Abortion on Subsequent Pregnancy
Outcome," Amer. Jour. OB/GYN, vol. 139, 1981, pp. 516-521
The use of laminaria reduces, but does not eliminate, cervical
incompetence. S. Harlap et al., "Spontaneous Fetal Losses After Induced
Abortions," New England Jour. Med., vol. 301, 1979, pp. 677-681
"In a series of 520 patients who had previously been aborted, 8.6% had
premature labor compared to 4.4% of [non-aborted] controls." G. Ratten et
al., "Effect of Abortion on Maturity of Subsequent Pregnancy," Med. Jour.
of Australia, June 1979, pp. 479-480
"The induced abortion group had the highest incidence of late spontaneous
abortion and premature delivery." O. Kaller et al., "Late Sequelae of
Induced Abortion in Primigravidae," Acta OB GYN Scandinavia, vol. 56,
1977, pp. 311-317
Do some of these premature babies die?
A study of 26,000 consecutive deliveries at UCLA was done to determine if
previous abortions (and premature births) had increased the number of
stillborn babies and neonatal (after birth) deaths. The findings were that
the death rate "increased more than threefold." S. Funderburk et al.,
"Suboptimal Pregnancy Outcome with Prior Abortions and Premature Births,"
Amer. Jour. OB/GYN, Sept. 1, 1976, pp. 55-60
Will having an abortion affect women who marry after the abortion?
The bluntest statement yet was made by an impeccable source, Dr. Margaret
Wynn, co-author of the landmark Wynn Report. Because of the physical
problems and occasional sterility resultant from abortion, she stated that
a young man has the right to know that a young woman has had an abortion
because, "A single girl who has had one or more abortions is made less
eligible for motherhood and, therefore, for marriage." Wynn & Wynn, "Some
Consequences of Induced Abortion to Children Born Subsequently," British
Med. Jour., Mar. 3, 1973, p. 506
Are there any comprehensive studies on premature births?
In New York State, a major prospective study was done between 1975 and
1979 which compared over 40,000 women; half of whom had an abortion and
half of whom had a live birth. An analysis of the subsequent reproductive
history of these women found a definite pattern of increased complications
for those who had abortions (see chart below). V. Logrillo et al., "Effect
of Induced Abortion on Subsequent Reproductive Function," N.Y. State Dept.
of Health, Contract $no1-HD-6-2802, 1975-78
|Item of comparison
||Study group - had an abortion
||Control group - live birth
||Higher prevailency in aborted women
|Spontaneous fetal Deaths: all subsequent pregnancies
||1.65 times more
|Spontaneous fetal Deaths: First subsequent pregnancy
||1.85 times more
|Birthweight low (less than 2500 gm) - caucasian
||1.5 times more
|Birthweight low in non caucasian women
||1.6 times more
|Premature birth (less than 33 weeks)
||1.8 times more
|Labor complications and congenital malformations
||3 times more
||1.4 times more
CHAPTER 17 Mental Health
There is serious question whether mental health, viewed as a psychiatric
illness, can ever be a reason to induce abortion.
The term "mental health," as commonly used, is synonymous with the United
Nations' definition of "health," which means social, emotional, and
economic well-being, as judged by the person him/herself. This is a broad,
sweeping definition which soars far beyond and cannot be equated with
"mental health," as medically defined.
As early as 1971, Dr. Louis Hellman, deputy assistant secretary of the
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), who was strongly
pro-abortion, said (at Columbia Women's Hospital, Washington, DC), that
the requirement of a psychiatrist's permission for abortion was a "gross
sham." Washington Post, Nov. 25, 1971
This reference was made in spite of (or because of), the fact that, of a
total 14,717 hospital abortions performed in California (Nov. '67-Sept.
'69), 90% were for mental health purposes. California Dept. of Public
Health, Third Annual Report to California Legislature, 1970
In New York, where the law did not require such a subterfuge, only 2% of
the abortions reported for 1970 were performed for "mental health"
reasons. Every state or nation that has legalized abortion for "health"
There used to be only physical health reasons?
Yes. But prior to legalization, these reasons had all but vanished.
Already in 1951, Dr. R. J. Heffernan, of Tufts University, said:
"Anyone who performs a therapeutic abortion (for physical disease) is
either ignorant of modern methods of treating the complications of
pregnancy, or is unwilling to take time to use them." Congress of American
College of Surgeons, 1951
Aren't there any valid psychiatric reasons for abortion?
Dr. R. Sloan, who was pro-abortion, said:
"There are no unequivocal psychiatric indications for abortion." R. Sloan,
New England Jour. Med., May 29, 1969
Later, Frank Ayd, M.D., medical editor and nationally known psychiatrist,
"True psychiatric reasons for abortion have become practically
non-existent. Modern psychiatric therapy has made it possible to carry a
mentally ill woman to term." F. Ayd, Medical Moral Newsletter
Are you saying that "mental illness" is usually just an excuse to have an
We are saying exactly that.
What of the woman in poor mental health? If the abortion won't help her,
will it harm her?
This has been a rather well-kept secret. In an otherwise strongly
pro-abortion paper, it was stated that "women with a history of
psychiatric disturbance were three times as likely to have some
psychiatric disturbance" after an abortion as others who had no such
history. E. Greenglass, "Abortion & Psychiatric Disturbance," Canadian
Psych. Assn. Jour., vol. 21, no. 7, Nov. 1976, pp. 453-459
Dr. Charles Ford and his associates at UCLA reported the same finding.
"The more serious the psychiatric diagnosis, the less beneficial was the
abortion." C. Ford et al., "Abortion, Is It a Therapeutic Procedure in
Psychiatry?" JAMA, vol. 218, no. 8, Nov. 22, 1971, pp. 1173-1178
"The more severely ill the psychiatric patient, the worse is her
post-abortion psychiatric state." E. Sandberg, "Psychology of Abortion."
In Comprehensive Handbook of Psychiatry, 3rd ed. Kaplan & Friedman
All of these support the original official statement of the World Health
Organization in 1970:
"Serious mental disorders arise more often in women with previous mental
problems. Thus, the very women for whom legal abortion is considered
justified on psychiatric grounds are the ones who have the highest risk of
post-abortion psychiatric disorders."
What of bad effects if a woman is in good mental health?
"The trauma of abortion may have significant emotional sequelae
[aftermath]. . . . Few medical subjects are as fraught with strong
sociological, political, cultural, and moral implications as abortion." C.
Hall & S. Zisook, "Psychological Distress Following Therapeutic Abortion,"
The Female Patient, vol. 8, Mar. 1983, pp. 34/47-34/48
"When patients present with emotional problems, and there is a history of
abortion, then the emotional sequelae of the abortion should be considered
the major offending life event until proven otherwise. Patients usually
never make this association because the offending conflicts are
predominantly lodged in the unconscious mind." R. Maddock & R. Sexton,
"The Rising Cost of Abortion," Medical Hypno-analysis, Spring 1980, pp.
But most polls show few emotional problems -- only a sense of relief!
Yes, but "What women really feel at the deepest level about abortion is
very different from what they say in reply to questionnaires." A Canadian
study polled a group of women who had previously completed a questionnaire
in which they denied having problems from an abortion. One half of this
group was randomly chosen for in-depth psychotherapy.
"What emerged from psychotherapy was in sharp contrast [to the
questionnaires], even when the woman had rationally considered abortion to
be inevitable, the only course of action." It was demonstrated that the
conscious, rationalized decision for an abortion can coexist with profound
rejection of it at the deepest level. Despite surface appearances,
abortion leaves behind deeper feelings "invariably of intense pain,
involving bereavement and a sense of identification with the foetus."
I. Kent et al., "Emotional Sequelae of Elective Abortion," British College
of Med. Jour., vol. 20, no. 4, April 1978
I. Kent, "Abortion Has Profound Impact," Family Practice News, June 1980,
Does it ever lead to suicide?
Suicide is rare among pregnant women, but much more common after induced
abortion. It is never reported under maternal mortality from abortion, of
course, even though it is causative.
Rare while pregnant? I thought it was common in women who were refused
This is an oft-repeated fallacy. Suicide among pregnant women is extremely
rare. Several well-controlled studies have shown this conclusively. The
State of Ohio had only two maternal suicide deaths between the years
1955-1963. "Maternal Deaths Involving Suicide," Ohio State Med. Jour.,
Dec. 1966, p. 1294
Between 1938 and 1958, over 13,500 Swedish women were refused abortions.
Only three committed suicide. J. Ottosson, "Legal Abortion in Sweden,"
Jour. Biosocial Sciences, vol. 3, 1971, p. 173
In Brisbane, Australia, no pregnant woman has ever committed suicide.
F. Whitlock & J. Edwards, "Pregnancy & Attempted Suicide," Comp.
Psychiatry, vol. 9, no. 1, 1968
In Birmingham, England, in seven years, 119 women under 50 committed
suicide. None were pregnant.
M. Sim, "Abortion & the Psychiatrist," British Med. Jour., vol. 2, 1963,
In a detailed report of the Minnesota experience from 1950-65 entitled,
Criminal Abortion Deaths, Illegitimate Pregnancy Deaths, and Suicides in
Pregnancy, the following facts are reported:
* There were only 14 maternal suicides in the state of Minnesota in 15
years, or one for every 93,000 live births. Four were first pregnancies.
None were illegitimately pregnant.
* Ten of these women committed suicide after delivery, only four while
pregnant, leading to the author's comment, "The fetus in utero must be a
protective mechanism. Perhaps women are reluctant to take another life
with them when they do this."
* Twelve of the 14 suicides were psychotic depressions. Two were
schizophrenics. Only four had seen a psychiatrist.
* Male suicide during these years averaged 16 per 100,000 population.
Non-pregnant female suicides averaged 3.5 per 100,000, and pregnant female
suicides 0.6 per 100,000.
* The authors concluded that therapeutic abortion for psychiatric reasons
"seems a most nebulous, non-objective, non-scientific approach to
medicine. It would seem that psychiatrists would accomplish more by using
the available modalities of their specialty in the treatment or
rehabilitation of the patient instead of recommending the destruction of
Minnesota Maternal Mortality Committee, Dept. of OB & GYN, Univ. of Minn.,
Amer. Jour. of OB/GYN, vol. 6, no. 1, 1967
What of post-abortion suicide?
In one report, two teenaged mothers, following induced abortion, attempted
suicide on the very dates their babies would have been born.
C. Tishler, "Adolescent Suicide Attempt: Anniversary Reaction,"
Pediatrics, vol. 68, 1981, pp. 670-671
Post-abortion suicide is slowly growing into a rather frightening
phenomenon. Suiciders Anonymous is a national fellowship patterned after
Alcoholics Anonymous. It tries to help those who have attempted suicide.
Suiciders Anonymous, in a 35-month period in the Cincinnati, Ohio area,
reported counseling 5,620 members. These people were described as, "those
suffering in-depth, deep depression, anxiety, stress, and fears they
cannot overcome, those who have attempted suicide, often several times,
and failed, and those who are considering taking that final desperate
step." Of these 5,620 people:
* 4,000 were women
* 1,800 had abortions, of whom
* 1,400 were between 15-24 years old. M. Uchtman, Ohio Director of
Suiciders Anonymous Report to the Cincinnati City Council, Sept. 1, 1981
What are the psychodynamics of post-abortion suicide?
In her report, M. Uchtman (Suiciders Anonymous), said it in a way which
makes it clearly understandable:
"After years of listening to their [would-be suicides'] stories, we know
there are thousands more out there being brave. By holding a tight reign
on their emotions, they tuck all that unexpressed emotion and unshared
experience deep down inside themselves, where it keeps growing, like a
pressured tumor of pain.
"Of all the emotions they experience during the abortion crisis, none
brings more pain and distress than the one they now know and identify five
to ten times more than any other feelings. These women always tell us the
same thing. 'Oh, my God, I am evil. I have to be evil to have done this
thing. I feel so alone, so forsaken.'
"Panic and distress grips them after an abortion, because the feelings are
allowed to remain shadowy, ominous, ghost-like. They are shapes dancing
around the edges of their consciousness. They commonly postpone the moment
of truth as long as possible. But when the subconscious throws it forward,
they go through mental hell! Even at age 87, the critical moment comes
when the chilling reality overwhelms them and cold reality numbs their
spirit and casts them into those dark 'pits' of despair and pain!
"They fantasize that the 'cancer' will disappear. But it cannot! So
feelings cannot be denied and repressed without doing violence to every
other area of their living. And of all those they touch! It is vital that
parents are prepared!
"Here are the two questions they always ask us:
* 'Will this pain never die?'
* 'How many years does it take to get over this pain?'
"Margaret Wold writes: 'This pain remains as a counterpoint to the rest of
their lives, even though time mutes its sharpness. Women who have had
abortions and made the decision on their own are too often faced with
intentionally hurting others. Each woman actually does unintentionally
hurt others immediately after abortion. Why? Because they are seeking
forgiveness. Under any circumstances! Sad, isn't it?'
"Many women purposely keep the pain alive by never forgiving the spouse or
mate after the decision. He rejects her, leaving her to live in the pits
alone, in the depths and in deep depression!
"They become more and more depersonalized, superficial, and artificial.
Suicide is now more desirable for them than a lifetime of false pretense
and hopelessness." ibid.
Does Suiciders Anonymous support Parental Notification Laws?
Yes. "It is an act of cruelty to remove parental duties and rights during
the abortion crisis." ibid.
But few teenagers want to tell their parents!
We believe the following article, written by one of your authors after the
U.S. Supreme Court Decision, provides an alternative path for many of
those young women Meta Uchtman described above.
Your Daughter -- Pregnant?
And under 18 years? What does she think of you, her parents? Should she
tell you? Sadly, few girls want to. They think you'll explode, condemn,
reject, feel ashamed. She doesn't want to hurt you. But she is alone,
frightened, defiant, worried. Yes, but still a young girl who desperately
needs your love and help.
The Supreme Court ruling assures her that she can have her baby killed,
can internalize all of the psychic trauma, the loneliness, the bitterness,
and never know that . . .
If she had told you -- Yes, you might have "exploded" initially. But then,
with rare exceptions, you would have shared your tears and given her the
help, support, and love she so desperately needed. To her surprise, you
would not condemn, but offer all the love, help, and understanding you
could in this time of trial.
In my 25 years of counseling, I have found that when a girl does come to
her parents, and receives the help they can offer, it becomes the occasion
of a real growth in maturity, self-confidence, and ability to love by the
girl. She faces her responsibility and stands tall. The family bond is
strengthened by the sharing of the burden.
But no, now the tragic Supreme Court Decision can guarantee that she'll
never know that you really love her and would have [supported her and the