Abortion: Questions and Answers by Jack Wilke, MD Chapters 12-13

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How Many? When? Where?

How many abortions are there?

In 1985, 1,588,600 abortions were done in the U.S., with 10% being late abortions (after 12 weeks) (Alan Guttmacher Institute's figure). When the unreported abortions are added (income tax evasion, cover-up for privacy, etc.), a figure of 1,800,000 is probably more realistic. Live births have hovered around the 3,600,000 figure for several years. Therefore: Almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion. In the U.S., about 40% of the total are repeat abortions.

In Canada, in 1984, there were 62,291 abortions, which is 17.5% of their birth rate (11.7% were late abortions).

This is the same in all areas?

No. There are more abortions in some regions and always more in cities than in small towns or rural areas. Some cities have more abortions than births. For example, in 1978, the cities of Atlanta, Atlantic City, Charlotte, Columbia (SC), Gainesville, Harrisburg, Iowa City, Madison (WI), Miami, Raleigh, Reno, Richmond (VA), San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington, DC had more abortions than live births.

How far along in pregnancy were they?

There were 1,588,600 abortions done in 1985.
Family Planning Perspective, March 1987

One percent was done after 21 weeks.
Center for Disease Control, MWWR, Feb. 1987

That means 15,886 done after 21 weeks, annually.

Even third trimester?

Yes, e.g., Dr. Wm. Swartz reported on inserting laminaria in 700 women for third trimester abortions.
Swartz, OB/GYN News, vol. 21,
no. 11, p. 23, Jan '87

Are any infants born alive after abortion?

Yes! In Atlanta, GA, there were ten babies born alive in 1980; in Madison, WI, four in 1982; in New York City, 27 in 1970; in upstate New York, 38 in 1970-72; in Wilmington, DE, 2 in 1979; the list is even longer.

"About once a day, somewhere in the U.S., something goes wrong and an abortion results in a live baby." Forty-five of the 607 midtrimester abortions done at Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford, CT, between 1974 and 1976 resulted in live births.
"Avoiding Tough Abortion Complication, A Live Birth,"
Medical World News, Nov. 14, 1977, p. 83

Not many are officially reported. Dr. Willard Cates, the aggressively pro-abortion former chief of abortion surveillance for the Center for Disease Control, said that reporting abortion live births "is like turning yourself in to the IRS for an income tax audit. What is there to gain?"
L. Jeffries & R. Edmonds, "The Dreaded Complication,"
Philadelphia Inquirer, Aug. 2, 1981

Do these babies survive?

Almost all die, usually because the abortionist neglects them or actively kills them. Some have survived to be adopted and are normal. In one case, an unborn baby had her left arm amputated at the shoulder by the abortionist and also had deep scalp lacerations. Healing occurred and the baby was later delivered alive. A medical journal later carried her photo, which was taken by Dr. R. Thomsen of Walla Walla, WA.

Are twins ever aborted?

Yes! In early pregnancy, abortion usually kills them both. But, in England, after a ten-week abortion and sterilization, a woman "stayed pregnant" and later delivered alive the dead baby's twin.

The Sun, London, July 11, 1974

In later pregnancy the survival of a twin can be unintended, as at New York Cornell Medical Center, when the abortionist, Dr. F. Fuchs, in an attempted abortion, injected salt into only one of a set of twin's amniotic sacks without knowing there were twins. That baby was killed and was aborted. Its twin was later delivered alive, but was too tiny to survive.

New York Daily News, Sept. 11, 1970

Finally, the ultimate in technologically sophisticated killing occurred when one of a set of twins was selectively killed. Tests had shown one to have Down's Syndrome, the other to be normal. At 20 weeks, a needle was passed into the body and heart of the tiny handicapped boy and the blood sucked out, killing him instantly. Later, the mother delivered the normal baby, and the tiny, shrunken dead body of his little brother.
Kerenyi & Chitkara, "Selective Birth
in Twin Pregnancy with Discordancy
for Down's Syndrome," New England Jour.
of Medicine, vol. 304, no. 25, 1981, p. 1525

And two of quintuplets were killed, allowing triplets to be born.
Brandes et al., "Reduction of Embryos
in Multiple Pregnancy," Fertility and
Sterility, vol. 48, no. 3, Aug. 1987, p. 236

What about repeat abortions?

The longer a nation has legal abortion, the higher the percent of repeaters. In 1970, only 0.6% of New York City abortions were repeats. By 1974, it was 21%; and by 1975, it was 38%. By 1987, in the U.S., it was 43%.
Powell-Griner, "Induced Terminations of Pregnancy,"
Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Nat'l. Center for
Health Statistics, vol 35, no. 3, July 14, 1986.

What about Informed Consent?

This is one of the most tragic abuses associated with the abortion industry. In any other type of surgery, the doctor is required to explain in detail what the procedure is, its possible complications, etc. Only then does the patient give "informed" consent.

Abortion is unique in that, while it is surgery that is potentially dangerous to the mother, it also destroys the living being within her. To be fully informed, she should be given full factual information on the surgery, its possible complications (immediate and long-term), and, also, full details about "what she carries."

What is done? Very little factual information is given at all, and what is given is often false. The complications are ignored, glossed over, or given on a paper in fine print. Her passenger is referred to as "pregnancy tissue," "not alive yet," "not a baby yet," "just a bunch of cells," "only a glob." These descriptions are given at a stage of development when the baby already sucks her thumb and feels pain, and when we can listen to her tiny heartbeat on an office ultrasonic stethoscope.

Such deception of the mother and planned railroading of her into an abortion is never more evident than when the so-called "counselor" asks her, "Do you want your menstrual period re-established? If so, just sign up for this procedure." Abortion is not mentioned, nor anything about the baby.

There is no better example of the exploitation of women than this continuing, commercialized, and almost universal deception.

And it is legal till birth?

"Thus, the [Judiciary] Committee observes that no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist today in the United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy."
Report of the Senate Judiciary
Committee on the Human Life Federalism
Amendment, June 8, 1982, p. 3

How else are abortions different?

Abortions are unique among all types of surgery. The chart below reflects the situation in free standing abortion clinics in the U.S. which do 90% of the abortions there. To a greater or less extent, in every nation, abortion procedures are commonly exempt from the sanitary and professional rules required of other surgery.

Comparison of abortion to other types of surgery (which Wilke called Abortion vs ethical surgery) NB: Because unfortunately "ethical surgery" has become LESS ethical - and some of us feel that abortion opened the door for that because physicians no longer take the Hypocratic Oath because of the promise in it to not do abortions...however, there was also a promise in that Oath to "first do no harm" which is at times (like with Weight Loss surgery) not observed.. because of these reasons, I have modified this table when appropriate and have notated it as modified to bring it up to date in the 21st century:

Condition Abortion Other types of surgery
Payment Cash up front time payments, credit or insurance
Pre Operation examinations for heart conditions in patient etc Never in the clinics Routine - always
Advertising Just in yellow pages - now abortion is very looked down upon in the medical industry and in the public. (Wilke said never - however that has changed after mid 1990's - now other types of surgery are mass sold on TV!)
Per Op counseling only done to sell the patient on the abortion - no alternatives given Done if needed but with some surgeries like Weight Loss surgery, the counseling is a formality only.  This has changed since Wilke wrote this - used to be more ethical with surgeries.
Informed Consent At present, not required Legally required
Kickbacks Sometimes (Wilke said "never" however at present the answer to this is sometimes also especially in elective surgery like baratric)
Record keeping Sketchy and minimal Detailed
Pre Op exam Done at the time of abortion - very brief Extensive
Follow up Exam NONE Always
Correct diagnosis (Wilke write that 10-15 percent of abortions were done on non pregnant women. However, many abortion clinics have ultra sound so this has probably diminished. That being said, there are still a percentage done on non pregnant women) (Wilke wrote that the surgeon is disciplined if he does many wrong surgeries, however now medicine is so complex and so many surgeries are elective that this line has been blurred also)
Husband's consent not required. The father never has a choice in whether the baby lives or dies and neither do the grandparents or relatives. Expected and usual
Husband and relatives informed Never Expected and usually done
Consent of parents for minor At present, not required Always - legally required. Even the school nurse needs the parents permission to give your child an aspirin.
Tissue disposal in garbage, sometimes ground in meat grinder and put in the sewer Sent to pathology
Burial in garbage or ground up always in a dignified manner
Surgical training Not required Legally required
Licensed physicians often not required LEGALLY required
Non medical reasons for surgery 99 percent of the time Wilke wrote "never" here and although medical reasons are given for elective surgery like bariatric surgery, some of those reasons are flimsy to say the least.  Also we now have things like liposuction and some plastic surgeries which are done for non medical reasons.  Notice the slippery slope here!
NB added to chart: selling of organs on black market yes, a percentage of the time especially with late term D & X abortions (partial birth) when the organs are in tact. I guess that was too much to let go, right? LDI has done the research on this... not in hospitals and legally very against the law
NB Also added: emergency care available Never in the clinics - in an emergency, the woman is taken in a car (out the back door) to a local hospital. There have been cases where the woman was allowed to die without emergency care. In most mainstream surgeries, yes, emergency care is immediately available. In some elective surgeries like bariatric surgeries, emergency care is available but patient must be transported from the clinic by ambulance i.e. it's not available on site.
NB also added: sexual misconduct on the part of the surgeon There have been several cases of where the abortionists have been tried and convicted of sexual misconduct and are now in prison.  NEVER in mainstream surgery for medical reasons.  Seldom if ever in cosmetic surgery for non medical reasons

Is abortion done for sex selection?

Yes. And the girls are almost always the ones killed.  (NB: the Chinese with their one child policy, have "dying rooms" in the hospitals where babies of the wrong sex are left to starve to death. Some babies have been labeled in American hospitals "no food, no water" in the nursery - these are usually Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida babies...slippery slope again!)

"Of a series of 100 pregnant women recently tested and told the sex of their unborn children, a female fetus was detected in 46. Twenty-nine of these mothers elected to abort. Of 53 found to be carrying males, only one woman chose to terminate her pregnancy."

Med. World News, Dec. 1, 1945, p. 45

In a recent series of 8,000 amniocenteses done in Bombay, India, 7,999 unborn girl babies and one boy baby were killed.

How about race?

Based on a percentage of total population, since legalization there have been two minority race babies killed by abortion for every one white baby per unit of population. This stands in stark contrast to the fact that all polls have consistently shown a higher percentage of minority race people opposing abortion than white people.

Why? Michael Novak, in an article in the "Washington Star," pointed to the loss of 1.3% of the total population of black people annually in the U.S. through abortion and expressed his surprise "that black leaders so easily go along with the abortion rate among black women."
M. Novak, "How Placidly They Accept Aborting So Many Black Babies," Washington Star, Nov. 14, 1976

Abortion statistics from the state of Michigan also confirm this. In 1982, 67% of Medicaid abortions were performed on black women, while only 35% of blacks of all ages were receiving Medicaid.

But black leaders often support legal abortion.

"Black leaders react in traditional, knee-jerk liberal fashion to issues across the board, even though, in general, black Americans are decidedly conservative on a number of issues. The Black Caucus, for example, advocates a 'right' to abort, whereas 62% of blacks oppose abortion (National Opinion Research Center, 1984)."
J. Perkins, "Are Black Leaders Listening to Black America?" Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 1984, p. 28

What percentage of those who get abortions are teenagers?

About one-third. Another one-third are in the 20-24 age group, while slightly more than the remaining one-third are age 25 and older.

Three-fourths of the women getting abortions are unmarried.

Planned Parenthood claims that one million teenagers get pregnant each year. Is this true?

This is a classic half-truth. The inference is that all of them are unmarried and young. In fact, 280,000 teenagers who get pregnant are married, and an additional 100,000 marry when the pregnancy is confirmed, so only 620,000 are unmarried. That is less than two-thirds the number Planned Parenthood claims.

As for the actual ages of these one million teenage pregnancies claimed by Planned Parenthood, fewer than 250,000 were under 18 years old and unmarried. There were 9,632 births in the 14-year-old and under group.
New York Times, (AP Washington), Nov. 7, 1984

No one should be proud of these figures, but they are sharply less than those claimed by Planned Parenthood. Further, there has been no increase in the percentage of teenagers becoming pregnant in recent years. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that the births among under 20-year-old women in 1981 were 537,024, which amounted to 18% fewer births than in 1970, when far fewer teenagers gave birth to 656,460 babies.

But think of the additional welfare costs for all these babies born to teenagers.

Planned Parenthood's own figures are that there will be welfare costs of $13,900 for each first birth to a teenager (married and unmarried), and $8,400 cost for each first birth to her if she is 20 years or older. Compare this with the average of nearly $50,000 each will ultimately pay in taxes as an adult.
M. Burt, "Public Cost of Teen Childbearing," Family
Planning Perspectives, vol. 18, no. 5, Sept. 1986

In the decade of the 1970s, while pregnancies did increase, abortions more than doubled, so that the number of babies being born to teenagers dropped 23%.

Abortions -- How They Are Done 

(Sue's Note: this was written before the gruesome partial birth abortion was invented - called the "D and X" where the baby - up to full term - is turned breech position, partially delivered to so that only the baby's head remains in the uterus. Then a scissors is stuck into the baby's skull and the baby's brains are suctioned out.  Dr Haskell who invented this type of abortion, was asked "Couldn't you just deliver the baby alive since most of the babies aborted this way are viable?"  Dr Haskell's answer was "sure but the goal of this procedure is a dead baby." END NOTE)

Induced abortions are of three general types:

* Those that invade the uterus from below.

* Those that use drugs which kill the unborn child and then empty the uterus through subsequent labor and delivery.

* Those that invade the uterus from above.

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage or "spontaneous abortion" happens when the uterus, for natural reasons, goes into labor early in pregnancy.

Why does this happen?

We don't always know. Usually, the growing baby has died because of abnormalities within itself or its placenta, and after this has occurred, the mother has the miscarriage.

Is this dangerous?

Most miscarriages occur at home with little danger to the mother. There is sometimes excessive bleeding, however, or incomplete emptying of the uterus requiring hospitalization, during which the surgeon must gently tease the rotting remnants of the placenta (afterbirth) from the inside walls of the womb with a blunt instrument. Even when this procedure (called a D&C) is needed, there is rarely damage to the mother because the cervix (womb opening) is already softened and partly opened. Infection is rare. Baby parts are seldom found.

What of abortion "from below?"

There are several types:

* Menstrual extraction: This is a very early suction abortion, often done before the pregnancy test is positive.

* Suction-aspiration: In this method, the abortionist must first paralyze the cervical muscle ring (womb opening) and then stretch it open. This is difficult because it is hard or "green" and not ready to open. He then inserts a hollow plastic tube, which has a knife-like edge on the tip, into the uterus. The suction tears the baby's body into pieces. He then cuts the deeply rooted placenta from the inner wall of the uterus. The scraps are sucked out into a bottle. The suction is 29 times more powerful than a home vacuum cleaner.

* Dilitation & Curettage (D&C): This is similar to the suction procedure except that the abortionist inserts a curette, a loop-shaped steel knife, up into the uterus. With this, he cuts the placenta and baby into pieces and scrapes them out into a basin. Bleeding is usually profuse.

* Dilitation & Evacuation (D&E): This is done after 12 weeks. A pliers-like instrument is needed because the baby's bones are calcified, as is the skull. There is no anesthetic for the baby. The abortionist inserts the instrument up into the uterus, seizes a leg or other part of the body and, with a twisting motion, tears it from the baby's body. This is repeated again and again. The spine must be snapped, and the skull crushed to remove them. The nurse's job is to reassemble the body parts to be sure that all are removed.

Isn't this as dangerous as it is barbaric?

It is both. Even though it is dangerous, a report from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Dept. HEW, stated that it is still safer for the mother than the salt-poisoning or Prostaglandin method.
"Comparative Risks of Three Methods of Midtrimester Abortion," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Center for Disease Control, HEW, Nov. 26, 1976

In 1980, for instance, about 100,000 women were aborted by the D&E method, between 13 and 24 weeks gestation. Of this, 500 had "serious complications." This was still judged to have a "lower risk of morbidity and mortality than the infusion procedures."
MacKay et al., "Safety of Local vs General
Anesthesia for Second Trimester D&E Abortions."
OB-GYN, vol. 66, no. 5, Nov. 1985, p. 661

What of the "Drug" abortions?

The first one widely used was Salt Poisoning (saline amniocentesis): This is done after the 16th week. A large needle is inserted through the abdominal wall of the mother and into the baby's amniotic sac. A concentrated salt solution is injected into the amniotic fluid. The baby breathes and swallows it, is poisoned, struggles, and sometimes convulses. It takes over an hour to kill the baby. When successful, the mother goes into labor about one day later and delivers a dead baby.

Is it actually poisoning?

Yes. The mechanism of death is acute hypernatremia or acute salt poisoning, with development of widespread vasodilatation, edema, congestion, hemorrhage, shock, and death.
Galen et al., "Fetal Pathology and Mechanism
of Death in Saline Abortion," Amer. Jour. of
OB & GYN, 1974, vol. 120, pp. 347-355

Some people refer to salt-poisoned babies as "candy apple babies."
Why is this?

The corrosive effect of the concentrated salt often burns and strips away the outer layer of the baby's skin. This exposes the raw, red, glazed-looking subcutaneous layer of tissue. The baby's head sometimes looks like a candy apple.

Some have also likened this method to the effect of napalm on innocent war victims. It is probably every bit as painful.

Are there other "Drug" abortions?

Yes. The other widely used method is Prostaglandin Abortion: The first form of this human hormone marketed was Prostin F2a, which was for injection into the baby's bag of waters. Its first approved use (by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) was for "the induction of midtrimester abortion." Since then, its manufacturer, the Upjohn Company, has marketed a vaginal suppository form, Prostin E2, and an intramuscular shot form, Prostin 15M. The action of this hormone is to produce violent labor and delivery of whatever size baby the mother carries. If the baby is old enough to survive the trauma of labor, she may be born alive, but is usually too small to survive.

In one article, among the complications listed was "live birth."

Upjohn is the first major drug company that has abandoned the ethic of producing only drugs which will save lives and is now making one whose specific purpose is to kill. For this reason, many pro-life people have stopped using its products, since they do not want to support such a company.

In 1985, Upjohn announced it was closing its Prostaglandin research unit. In 1986, it said it would not market its new do-it-yourself abortion suppository. In 1987, it withdrew Prostin F2a from the market but continues to produce and sell the others.

Are the Prostaglandins safe for the mother?

". . . a large complication rate (42.6%) is associated with its use. Few risks in obstetrics are more certain than that which occurs to a pregnant woman undergoing abortion after the 14th week of pregnancy."
Duenhoelter & Grant, "Complications
Following Prostaglandin F-2 Alpha
Induced Mid-trimester Abortion,"
Jour. of OB & GYN, Sept. 1975

What is RU-486?
It is a drug that produces an abortion. It is taken after the mother misses her period. Its effect is to block the use of an essential hormonal nutrient by the newly-implanted baby, who then withers on the vine, dies, and drops off.
Couzinet et al., "Termination of Early
Pregnancy By RU-486 (Mifepristone),
New Eng. J. of Med., vol. 315, no. 25, Dec. 18, 1986

O. Ylikorkala et al., Outpatient
Abortion With RU-486, OB-GYN,
vol 74, no. 4, Oct. '89

M. Rodger et al., Blood Loss . . .
After RU-486 and Prostaglandin . . .,
Contraception, vol. 40, no. 4, Oct. '89.

Science Magazine, Sept. '89

Isn't RU-486 a contraceptive?

No. It does not prevent fertilization. It is not used to prevent implantation at one week of life. It is used only after she has missed her period and the baby is at least two to three weeks old, with a beating heart. It is no longer effective after six or eight weeks.

Is RU-486 available?

It has only been licensed in France. Research is going on in many countries, however, strong Right to Life and political opposition is being exerted to prevent its release. If a drug company did market it in the U.S., there would be an immediate nationwide boycott of all of that drug company's products.

Why Do Pro Life People Object to RU-486?

For Three Reasons:

1. Because it kills a developing unborn baby after her heart has begun to beat. The fetal heart begins to beat when the woman is four days late for her period. This pill is always administered after that, and up to her seventh week. Taken alone, the pills kill 85% of unborn babies. If followed with an expensive shot of prostaglandin, the toll goes to 95% or more.

2. It will cause the death of thousands of women in Third World countries. Prolonged and severe bleeding is common with this drug. In one major study, one woman in every hundred needed a D&C to stop the bleeding. This was in a tightly controlled clinical trial, a very sophisticated atmosphere. In a Third World village, the pills will be handed out by a health care worker who then will leave. Because of pre-existing anemia in many women, severe and prolonged bleeding will be far more dangerous as in many areas there are no hospitals, no methods of surgically stopping the bleeding, and no transfusions available. Many of these women will bleed to death.

3. It will cause severe fetal deformity in surviving babies through two separate mechanisms.

a. It deprives the developing baby of a vital nutrient hormone, progesterone, at the crucial time of organogenesis, when the body structure and the organs are being formed. RU-486, a powerful, poisonous, artificial steroid, will kill most of these unborn babies, but not all. Those who survive will have a significant probability of major defects, including major limb deformities similar to those caused by Thalidomide.

b. This drug may have an action similar to DES, which was used in the '60s to prevent miscarriage, and which turned out to be a chemical time bomb. RU-486 also can, in the body, react chemically to produce a free radical. This can combine with DNA, the genetic building blocks of our bodies. Through this mechanism fetal deformity can be produced at birth, and/or possibly show up 20 or more years later as a malformation or even cancer, such as the DES did. It is even possible that it could unite with maternal DNA to produce cancer or fetal defects in subsequent offspring.

What of abortions "from above?"

The most common of these is hysterotomy: This is an early Caesarian section. The mother's abdomen is surgically opened, as is her uterus. The baby is then lifted out, and, with the placenta, discarded. This method is usually used late in pregnancy.

One abortionist who used this method removed a tiny baby who breathed, tried to cry, and was moving his arms and legs -- so he threw the placenta on top of the baby and smothered him. Another solution abortionists use to snuff out the baby's life is to plunge the little one into a bucket of water. Still others cut the cord while the baby is still inside the uterus. This deprives the baby of oxygen. Then, after waiting five minutes or so --after the baby has died of suffocation -- the abortionist takes out the "product of pregnancy" (as they call the tiny boy or girl).

What about abortion to save the mother's life?

These are almost nonexistent in today's sophisticated medical climate. Such an abortion would be a true "therapeutic" abortion.

If the mother's actual life were threatened, a conscientious doctor would try to save both. In the rare, rare case where such a decision is really needed, the problem would be that of balancing one human life against another (note that all other reasons given for abortion are reasons less than human life itself).

In such a case, it would be proper to give to the local family and local medical and ethical authorities the right to make whatever decision they believed right. An ethical physician would certainly try to save both, but might have to make a choice. The proposed Human Life Amendments allow this exception.

Is surgery on an ectopic pregnancy an abortion?

Some do define this as an abortion. By the time most ectopic surgery is done, the developing baby is dead and often destroyed by the hemorrhage. In any case, such surgery is done primarily to prevent the death of the mother. This is good medical practice because there is no chance for the baby to survive.

Even if a yet-alive, tiny baby were removed from the tube, the Right to Life movement would allow this, for without the procedure, both would die. The baby has a zero chance of survival. The surgery will save the mother's life.

If medical technology were advanced enough to allow transplanting the baby from its pathological location, and placing it into the uterus, then most ethicists would say this should be done. Since this is not possible with present technology, the tiny new baby's life will be lost.

How about removal or treatment of a cancerous or of a traumatized pregnant uterus, or of some other organ while the mother is pregnant?

The same applies. Surgery is done or treatment is given to prevent the death of the mother. The death of the baby, if it occurs, would be an unfortunate and undesired secondary effect. If at all possible, the baby should also be saved.

Late Physical Complications

The Mother


Forty-five percent of America's 27 million couples are unable to have children or have difficulty conceiving. Of these, 10% wanted children but have been sterilized for medical reasons, 19% were voluntarily sterilized, and 15% just could not conceive.
New York Times, Feb. 10, 1983, p. C9.

Reasons include the tripling of cases of Gonorrhea in the past decade, the sixfold increase in women using I.U.D. birth control devices, the sharp rise in Chlamydia infections, and the major increase in induced abortions.

Please cite some studies.

OK. "The relative risk of secondary infertility among women with at least one induced abortion and no spontaneous miscarriages was 3-4 times that among non-aborted women."
D. Trichopoulos et al., "Induced Abortion & Secondary Infertility," British Jour. OB/GYN, vol. 83, Aug. 1976, pp. 645-650

In 1974 Dr. Bohumil Stipal, Czechoslovakia's deputy minister of health, stated: "Roughly 25% of the women who interrupt their first pregnancy have remained permanently childless."

Also, see chapter 14 regarding PID and sterility.

If the abortionist's curette scrapes or cuts too deeply across the opening of the tubes, there is scar formation and often blockage. If total, the woman is sterile. But when partial blockage is a result of this procedure, the microscopic sperm can still travel through the tube to fertilize the ovum as it breaks out of the ovary. After fertilization, this new human life, many hundred times larger than the sperm, may not be able to get back through the tube if it has been partly scarred closed. Then, the tiny baby nests in the tube, and the mother has an ectopic pregnancy.

What is the incidence of ectopic pregnancies?

There has been a 300% increase in ectopic (or tubal) pregnancies in the U.S. since abortion was legalized. In 1970 the incidence was 4.8 per 1,000 live births. By 1980 it was 14.5 per 1,000 births.
U.S. Dept. H.H.S., Morbitity & Mortality
Weekly Report, vol. 33, no. 15, April 20, 1984

Is this bad?

Yes. The thin-walled tube cannot support this life, and it soon ruptures, causing internal bleeding and requiring emergency surgery. Sometimes these women die. In the U.S., there were 437 deaths in the past nine years (13% of all maternal deaths).
Medical Tribune, Jan. 26, 1983

Nine of these deaths were after induced abortions. The mothers had their wombs emptied by "abortion," when, in reality, the tiny baby was lodged in the tube. Later, the tube ruptured and the women died.
Rubin et al., "Fatal Ectopic Pregnancy
After Attempted Induced Abortion," JAMA,
vol. 244, no. 15, Oct. 10, 1980

Among women who had aborted their first pregnancy, there was a 500% increase in subsequent ectopic pregnancies.
Chung et al., "Effects of Induced Abortion Complications on Subsequent Reproductive Function," U. of Hawaii, Honolulu, 1981

In Athens, half of ectopic pregnancies may be attributed to previous abortions -- a ten fold relative risk.
Panayotou et al., "Induced Abortion & Ectopic Preg." Am J. OB-GYN, 1972 114:507

Tubal pregnancy increased 30% after one abortion and 160% after two or more abortions.
Am. J. Public Health, 72:253-6, 1982

"Especially striking is an increased incidence in ectopic pregnancies."
A. Kodasek, "Artificial Termination of Pregnancy in Czechoslovakia," Internat'l Jour. of GYN & OB, vol. 9, no. 3, 1971

Why is this?

"The increased incidence of PID -- especially Chlamydia -- and induced abortion appear to play leading roles in the dramatic rise in ectopic pregnancies."
H. Barber, "Ectopic Pregnancy, a Diagnostic Challenge," The Female Patient, vol. 9, Sept. 1984, pp. 10-18

This affects the next pregnancy?

"Seven hundred and fifty-two mothers with one or more previous abortions were more likely to: Bleed in each of the first three months of the present pregnancy; less likely to have a normal delivery, more needing manual removal of placentae and other third stage interventions; early neonatal death was doubled; late neonatal deaths increased three-to-four fold; frequency of low birthweight was increased."
Harlap & Davies, "Late Sequelae of Induced Abortion . . ." Am. J. Epidemiology, vol. 102, no. 3, p. 917, 1975

Do menstrual symptoms change after abortion?

"Women with prior abortions consistently reported an excess of symptoms in all age groups."
L. Roth et al., "Increased Menstrual Symptoms Among Women Who Used Induced Abortion," Amer. Jour. OB/GYN, vol. 127, Feb. 15, 1977, p. 356

What about synechia?

"The frequency of uterine adhesions [synechia] is especially high among patients who have had two or more curettages. . . . Dr. J. G. Asherman, for whom the syndrome is named, has reported intrauterine adhesions in 44 of 65 women who had two or more curettages."
"Abortion Risks: Getting the Picture," Medical World News, Oct. 20, 1972

Do miscarriages occur more frequently after induced abortions?

A Boston study by a group who have aggressively done abortions denied any increase after one abortion, but, after two or more abortions, they did find a "two- to three-fold increase in risk of first trimester spontaneous abortions [miscarriages]," as well as "losses up to 28 weeks gestation."
Levin et al., "Association of Induced Abortion with Subsequent Pregnancy Loss," JAMA, vol. 243, no. 24, June 27, 1980, pp. 2495-2499

Of a group of 52 women who had induced abortions 10-15 years previously and who were followed very closely during that length of time, it was found that one-half (27) had no problem with subsequent pregnancies. There was one ectopic pregnancy, eight subsequent -- but long-delayed -- conceptions, and three women with permanently blocked tubes. Of the remaining 11 women, there were 33 pregnancies with 14 early and 3 midtrimester losses, 6 premature deliveries, and only 10 full-term births.
Hilgers et al., "Fertility Problems Following an Aborted First Pregnancy." In New Perspectives on Human Abortion, edited by S. Lembrych. University Publications of America, 1981, pp. 128-134

A high incidence of cervical incompetence resultant from abortion has raised the incidence of spontaneous abortions to 30-40%.
A. Kodasek, "Artificial Termination of Pregnancy in Czechoslovakia," Internat'l Jour. of GYN & OB, vol. 9, no. 3, 1971

Women who had one induced abortion had a 17.5% miscarriage rate in subsequent pregnancies, as compared to a 7.5% rate in a non-aborted group.
Richardson & Dickson, "Effects of Legal Termination on Subsequent Pregnancy," British Med. Jour., vol. 1, 1976, pp. 1303-4

Women who had delivered their first pregnancy had (in the second pregnancy) the "best reproductive performance." Those who had a spontaneous miscarriage on the first had "the highest frequency of an early loss." Those with induced abortion on their first had "the highest frequency of late spontaneous abortion and premature delivery."
Koller & Eikham, "Late Sequelae of Induced Abortion in Primagravida" Acta OB-GYN Scand, 56 (1977) p. 311.

What about second trimester losses?

There was a doubled incidence of midtrimester spontaneous losses. Herlap, New England Jour. of Med., no. 301, 1979, pp. 677-681

"In a series of 520 patients who had previously been aborted, 8.1% suffered a mid-trimester loss (compared to 2.4% controls)."
G. Ratter et al., "Effect of Abortion on Maturity of Subsequent Pregnancy," Med. Jour. of Australia, June 1979, pp. 479-480

"There was a tenfold increase in the number of second trimester miscarriages in pregnancies which followed a vaginal abortion."
Wright et al., "Second Trimester Abortion after Vaginal Termination of Pregnancy," The Lancet, June 10, 1972

"It is concluded that a relationship, presumably of a cause-effect relationship, exists between an induced abortion and a second trimester abortion in a subsequent pregnancy." There also was a four fold increase in prematurity.
Puyenbeck and Stolte, Relationship Between Spontaneous and Induced Abortion, and Second Trimester Abortion Subsequently, Europ. J. OB-GYN, Reprod. Biol. 14, 1983, 299-309.

What of placenta previa?

Placenta previa is when the afterbirth (placenta) covers part or all of the cervix, the womb's opening into the birth canal. It can be very serious and usually requires a Cesarean section, sometimes with loss of the baby.

Doctor Barrett and others did a study at Vanderbilt University in which they evaluated over 5,000 deliveries and found that those who had prior induced abortions in the first trimester had a "seven to fifteen fold increased prevalence of placenta previa." They linked it to scaring of the lining of the womb from the currettage or suction aspiration "predisposing to the abnormal site of placental implantation and an increased placental surface area." They also found that the changes occurred with the first induced abortion and were permanent. Neither the time elapsed nor the number of induced abortions changed this.
Barrett et al., "Induced Abortion, A Risk Factor for Placenta Previa," Amer. Jour. OB/GYN, Dec. 1981, pp. 769-772

"We rather often observe complications such as rigidity of the cervical os, placenta adherens, placenta accreta, and atony of the uterus."
A. Kodasek, "Artificial Termination of Pregnancy in Czechoslovakia," Internat'l Jour. of GYN & OB, vol. 9, no. 3, 1971

"We cannot exclude the possibility that the large number of induced abortions plays a role in the remarkable increase in cases of placenta previa."
Z. Bognar, "Mortality and Morbidity Associated with Legal Abortions in Hungary, 1961-1973" Amer. Jour. Public Health, 1976, pp. 568-575

What of uterine rupture?

This condition occurs during labor in almost 1% of cases when women have had earlier first trimester abortions.

D. Nemec et al., "Medical Abortion Complications," OB & GYN, vol. 51, no. 4, April 1978, pp. 433-436

Six percent of women who become pregnant after hysterotomy abortions suffered rupture of their uterus. Substantial risk of rupture was demonstrated in 26% of these cases. Babies who were born subsequently were small for their due date.

Clow & Crompton, "The Wounded Uterus: Pregnancy after Hysterotomy," British Med. Jour., Feb. 10, 1973, p. 321

Uterine rupture (1%) is also one of the feared and sometimes fatal complications from prostaglandin abortions.
Duenhalter & Gant, "Complications Following Prostaglandin Mid-Trimester Abortion," OB & GYN, vol. 46, no. 3, Sept. 1975, pp. 247-250

And urinary incontinence?

The major study here showed twice the amount of urinary incontinence, 23.7%, after induced abortion as the incidence seen, 12.6%, after term pregnancy.
Slunsky, "Urinary Incontinence in Pregnancy," Z. Geburt, Perinatology 165:329-35, 1966.

What about endometriosis?

This can develop along the needle or catheter tract from the midtrimester puncture.
Ferrare et al., "Abdominal Wall Endometriosis Following Saline Abortion," JAMA, vol. 238, no. 1, July 4, 1977, pp. 56-57

Do abortions affect Rh sensitization?

"Even in very early suction abortions done prior to eight weeks, fetal-maternal hemorrhage can occur, thereby sensitizing Rh-negative women."
M. Leong, "Rh Therapy Recommended in Very Early Abortion," OB-GYN Observer, June 1978

This means that in later pregnancies, babies of these mothers will have Rh problems, need transfusions, and occasionally be born dead or die after birth. This can be tested for prior to the abortion and largely prevented by giving the mother a very expensive medication called RhoGAM. If not done, the number who become sensitized varies from "3% to 17%." Unfortunately, many abortion chambers do not take this expensive precaution.
J. Queenan, Cornell University Medical World News, April 30, 1971, p. 36G

What about teenage abortions? Are they different?

After years of legalized abortion experience, a pro-abortion professor of OB/GYN at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne reported on his follow-up, ranging from two to twelve years, of 50 teenage mothers who had been aborted by him. He noted that "the cervix of the young teenager, pregnant for the first time, is invariably small and tightly closed and especially liable to damage on dilatation." He reported on the "rather dismal" results of their 53 subsequent pregnancies:
Six had another induced abortion.
Nineteen had spontaneous miscarriages.
One delivered a stillborn baby at 6 months.
Six babies died between birth and 2 years.
Twenty-one babies survived.
J. Russell, "Sexual Activity and Its Consequences in the Teenager," Clinics in OB, GYN, vol. 1, no. 3, Dec. 1974, pp. 683-698

"Physical and emotional damage from abortion is greater in a young girl. Adolescent abortion candidates differ from their sexually mature counterparts, and these differences contribute to high morbidity." They have immature cervixes and "run the risk of a difficult, potentially traumatic dilatation." The use of lamanaria "in no way mitigates our present concern over the problems of abortion."
C. Cowell, Problems of Adolescent Abortion, Ortho Panel 14, Toronto General Hospital

"The younger the patient, the greater the gestation (age of the unborn), the higher the complication rate. . . . Some of the most catastrophic complications occur in teenagers."

"Eighty-seven percent (87%) of 486 obstetricians and gynecologists had to hospitalize at least one patient this year due to complications of legal abortions."
M. Bulfin, M.D., OB-GYN Observer, Oct.-Nov. 1975

But pregnancy for teenagers has higher risks, too!

That is incorrect. Earlier opinion had taught this. In recent years, however, it has been shown that teenage mothers have no more risks during pregnancy and labor, and their babies fare just as well as their more mature sisters' babies, if they have had good prenatal care.

"We have found that teenage mothers, given proper care, have the least complications in childbirth. The younger the mother, the better the birth. [If there are more problems,] society makes it so, not biology."
B. Sutton-Smith, Jour. of Youth and Adolescence. As reported in the New York Times, April 24, 1979

"No relationship between mother's physical growth and maturation and adverse pregnancy course or outcome was demonstrated.
Sukanich et al., "Physical Maturity and Pregnancy Outcome Under 16 Years," Pediatrics, vol. 78, no. 1, July 1986, p. 31

Dr. Jerome Johnson of John Hopkins University, and Dr. Felix Heald, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Maryland, agree that the fact that teenage mothers often have low birth weight babies is not due to "a pregnant teen-ager's biologic destiny." They pointed to the fact that the cause for this almost invariably is due to the lack of adequate prenatal care. "With optimal care, the outcome of an adolescent pregnancy can be as successful as the outcome of a non-adolescent pregnancy."
Family Practice News, Dec. 15, 1975

"The overall incidence of pregnancy complications among adolescents 16 years and younger is similar to that reported for older women."
E. Hopkins, "Pregnancy Complications Not Higher in Teens," OB-GYN News, vol. 15, no. 10, May 1980

"Obstetric and neonatal risks for teenagers over 15 are no greater than for women in their twenties, provided they receive adequate care."

There is evidence that in 15- to 17-year old women, pregnancy may even be healthier than in older ages.
E. McAnarney, "Pregnancy May Be Safer," OB-GYN News, Jan. 1978

Pediatrics, vol. 6, no. 2, Feb. 1978, pp. 199-205

F. Avey, Canada Col. Family Physicians, "Pregnant Teens . . ." Family Practice News, Jan. 15, 1987, p. 14.