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Complications Of Abortion

AN ABORTION is usually a safe and legal procedure, but many problems can occur either during or after a legal abortion, problems that you might not have been told about. You deserve to know what can happen to you if you choose an abortion.

Approximately 10% of women undergoing elective abortion will suffer immediate complications. The most common complications that can occur at the time of an abortion are:

  • perforation of the uterus
  • excessive bleeding
  • infection
  • embolism
  • retained tissue
  • hemorrhage
  • cervical injury
  • endotoxic shock
  • “boggy” uterus
  • failure to recognize an ectopic pregnancy

Warren Hern, Abortion Practice (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1990).

A survey of post-abortive women found that: 28% attempted suicide

31% experienced suicidal feelings

60% commented that the decision to abort made their lives worse

94% regretted the decision to abort
“Survey of Reaction to Abortion,” The Post Abortion Review, Fall 1994, pp. 6-8.

Over 50% of women experienced one or more of the following feelings after they had abortions: depression, guilt, regret, nervousness, insomnia.

Celeste McGovern, “Hag-Ridden by Post-Abortion Guilt,” British Columbia Report, 10/18/93.

Problems with future pregnancies

After abortion, 24% of women experience complications with later pregnancies. These include excessive bleeding, premature delivery, cervical incompetence or rupture of the placenta.

Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology Scandinavia, Vol. 58 (1979), pp. 491-494, American Journal of Obs/Gyn Vol. 141 (1981), pp.769-772 and Vol. 146 (1983), pp.136-140.

Women who abort are nearly four times more likely to start abusing alcohol or drugs.

New Study Confirms Link Between Abortion and Substance Abuse,” The Post Abortion Review, Vol. 1 No. 3, Fall 1993.

Tubal Pregnancies

Tubal (ectopic) pregnancies increase by 30% after one abortion, and by 160% after 2 or more abortions.

American Journal of Obs.& Gyn, Vol. 160 (1988), pp. 642-6. 


Approximately 14% of women who have an abortion will miscarry a future pregnancy, and that risk increases to 200% with multiple abortions.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 243, (1980) pp 2495-2499. 

Placenta Previa

The risk of placenta previa, which produces extremely severe, life-threatening bleeding during future pregnancies, is increased by 600% after an abortion.

American Journal of Obs. & Gyn., Vol. 141 (1981), pp. 769-772. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (P.I.D.)

Approximately 5% of women who abort develop P.I.D. within 4 weeks after a first trimester abortion. For patients who have a Chlamydia infection at the time of abortion the risk of P.I.D. increases to 23%.

“Physical Health Risks of Abortion: Scientific Studies Reveal Significant Risk,” The Elliot Institute, PO Box 9292 Colorado Springs, CO 80923.

Women with prior or current P.I.D. experience a decrease in fertility and an extended period of pain following an abortion.

Acta/Obstetrics and Gynecology Scandinavia, Vol. 58, 1979, pp. 539-542 and Vol. 61 (1982), pp. 557-560. 

Breast Cancer

An analysis of 38 worldwide studies found a 30% overall increased risk of breast cancer after abortion.

“Induced Abortion as an Independent Risk Factor for Breast Cancer: A Comprehensive Review and Meta-Analysis” Joel Brind, et al., Epidemiology & Community Health, Vol. 481 (1996)

The risk of breast cancer increases to 90% for abortions performed after 18 weeks, and to 150% if the woman is under 18.

Mads Melbye et al., “Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer,” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 336 (1997), p. 83 / Janet Daling et al., “Risk of Breast Cancer Among Young Women: Relationship to Induced Abortion,” Journal of National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86 (1994) p. 1585.

Some women are at higher risk

100% greater risk of medical complications for women under 20 than for women between 25-29.

Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 73 (1982), pp. 396-400.

150% greater risk of cervical injury as a result of abortion for women under 20 than for women over 30 years of age.

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 309 (1983), pp. 621-624.

A teenage girl is 10 times more likely to attempt suicide if she has had an abortion in the last six months.

Garfinkel,, Stress Depression, and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota, Minneapolis University of Minnesota Extension Services 1986.

Women who have one abortion are four times more likely to abort a later pregnancy than women with no abortion history.

Joyce, “The Social & Economic Correlates of Pregnancy Resolution Among Adolescents in New York by Race & Ethnicity: A Multivariate Analysis,” American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 78(6) (1988), pp. 626-631.

The more severely ill the psychiatric patient, the worse is her post-abortion state.

E. Sandberg, “Psychology of Abortion,” Comprehensive Handbook of Psychiatry, 3rd ed. Kaplan & Friedman Publishers, 1980.

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