So You're Going to Have an Abortion ...

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World renowned abortionist Warren Hern of Boulder, Colorado states: "In medical practice, there are few surgical procedures given so little attention and so underrated in its potential hazards as abortion. It is a commonly held view that complications are inevitable."

Here are some possible complications you may have that you'd like to ask your abortionist about. Print this article and ask him to check at the end of each complication listed to confirm whether he agrees with these statements or not. Then ask him to initial your print-out at the end for future reference, especially if you have problems later.

And remember! Literally all of the problems listed below have been found in studies conducted in the medically sophisticated setting of university hospital centers, and by highly trained surgeons. These, however, constitute less than 10% of abortions done.

Here are complications you can have with your abortion:

HEMORRHAGE: Between 1-out-of-7 to 1-out-of-100 women require a blood transfusion due to bleeding from an abortion.

HEPATITIS: This can occur if you have to have a blood transfusion after an abortion.

LACERATION OF THE CERVIX: About 1-out-of-20 women suffer this during an abortion. This causes you to have nearly a 50/50 chance of miscarrying in your next pregnancy if it is not treated properly during that pregnancy. A high incidence of cervical damage from the abortion procedure has raised the incidence of miscarriage in aborted women to 30-40%.

PERFORATION OF THE UTERUS: Punching a hole in the uterus occurs between 1-out-of-40 to 1-out-of-400 abortions. This almost always causes peritonitis similar to having a ruptured appendix.

BOWEL INJURY: If your uterus is perforated, your intestines can be perforated too. This will cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, blood in stool, peritonitis and death if not treated quickly enough. A portion of the intestine may have to be taken out, and a temporary or permanent colostomy may be put in your abdomen.

BLADDER INJURY: If your uterus is perforated, your urinary bladder can be perforated too. This also can cause peritonitis with all its misery, dangers and necessary reparative surgery.

INFECTION: Mild fever and sometimes death occurs when there is an infection from an abortion. This happens anywhere from 1-in-4 abortions to 1-in-50 abortions.

STERILITY: You may become sterile so that you can never get pregnant again. This happens in 1-out-of-20 to 1-out-of-50 abortions. The risk of secondary infertility among women with at least one induced abortion is 3-4 times greater than that among non-aborted women.

ECTOPIC PREGNANCY: After an abortion you are 8 to 20 times more likely to have an ectopic pregnancy. If not discovered soon enough, an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, and you can bleed to death if you do not have emergency surgery. Statistics show a 30% increased risk of ectopic pregnancy after one abortion and a 160% increased risk after two or more abortions. There has been a 3 fold 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.

FAILED ABORTION: Failure to kill unborn babies younger than 6 weeks is relatively common. Surprise, surprise! Mommy's pregnant even though she endured the dangers and cost of an abortion.

UNRECOGNIZED ECTOPIC PREGNANCY: Without an ultrasound to be sure, your abortionist may scrape your uterus to take out the baby, but the baby is growing in one of your fallopian tubes out of harm's way. Unfortunately the tubal pregnancy ruptures later and emergency surgery must be done to save your life. It is safe to say that ALL FIRST TRIMESTER ABORTIONS SHOULD HAVE AN ULTRASOUND TO MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ECTOPIC PREGNANCY.

RETAINED PRODUCTS OF CONCEPTION: If your abortionist leaves pieces of the baby, placenta, umbilical cord or amniotic sac, you may develop pain, bleeding or low grade fever. Besides antibiotics and possible hospitalization you may require additional surgery to remove these "left overs."

SEVERE, RAPID BLEEDING: You may develop DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy) from your abortion. This is extremely life threatening and difficult to treat. It occurs in 2 out of 1,000 second trimester abortions and in 6.6 out of 1,000 (nearly 1-in-100) saline installation abortions.

BREAST CANCER: Breast cancer has risen by 50% in America since abortion became legal in 1973. Women who have aborted have significantly higher rates of breast cancer in later life.

POST-ABORTION SYNDROME: Frequently after an abortion, mothers have recurrent memories, dreams and repetitions of the abortion experience; avoidance of emotional attachment; relationship problems; sleep disturbances; guilt about surviving when the unborn child died; memory impairment; hostile outbursts; suicidal thoughts or actions and substance abuse. This may occur days to years later.

PLACENTA PREVIA: In this condition (placenta previa) your baby's placenta lies over the exit from the uterus so that the placenta has to be delivered BEFORE the baby can get out. This causes the mother to bleed severely while the baby almost always dies. An astute obstetrician who recognizes placenta previa removes the baby by Caesarean section at just the right time in the pregnancy -- not too early and not too late. Statistics show this problem in your future pregnancies is 6 to 15 times more likely after you have had an abortion.

MORE MISCARRIAGES LATER: Women who have had two or more previous abortions have TWICE as many first trimester miscarriages in later pregnancies. There was a TENFOLD increase in the number of second trimester miscarriages in pregnancies which followed a vaginal abortion.

EFFECTS ON THE NEXT PREGNANCY: If you have an abortion: (1) you will be more likely to bleed in each of the first three months of the following pregnancies; (2) you will be less likely to have a normal delivery in the following pregnancies; (3) you will need more manual removal of placenta and other third stage interventions in the following pregnancies; (4) your next child will be twice as likely to die in the first few months of life; (5) your next child will be three to four times as likely to die in the last months of his first year of life; (6) the likelihood of your next baby having a low birth weight will be increased; (7) your next baby is more likely to be born prematurely with all the dangerous and costly problems that entails.

Rh INCOMPATIBILITY: Your abortionist should be sure of your baby's Rh blood type if you are Rh-negative so that he can protect you and your next baby against future Rh incompatibilities. These Rh incompatibilities: (1) can require that future babies will need transfusions soon after birth, (2) future babies may be born dead because of the incompatibility, (3) future babies may die soon after birth because of the Rh incompatibility. If your abortionist doesn't ascertain the blood type of the baby you are going to abort even in very early suction abortions done before eight weeks, fetal-maternal hemorrhage can occur, thereby sensitizing you if you are Rh-negative.

IF YOU ARE A YOUNG MOTHER: Complication rates of abortion increase as the mothers are younger and the unborn babies are older. BUT younger (teen-age) mothers who carry their babies to term have better births than older mothers if they get proper care. There is evidence that in 15 to 17 year old women, pregnancy may even be healthier than in older ages.

The above statements are attested to by:
Laurence J. Burns, D.O.
Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology
I. Dale Carroll, M.D.
Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Ronald E.Graeser, D.O.
Board Certified in Family Practice


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Posted 9 Sep 2000.

Copyright 1998 by Ronald E.Graeser, D.O. Used with permission.
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