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Teens Most Vulnerable to Complications from Abortion.

The following quotations are taken directly from medical and psychological studies on teen abortions.

About 20 percent of all abortions taking place in the U.S. today are performed on teens. Teenage abortion has been linked to a number of physical and psychological problems, including drug and alcohol abuse, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation, and other self-destructive behaviors.

Compared to women who abort at an older age, women who abort as teens are significantly more likely to report more severe emotional injuries related to their abortions. This finding is supported by the fact that women who aborted as teens participate in disproportionately large numbers in post-abortion counseling programs.

Amy R. Sobie and David C. Reardon, PhD, “Detrimental Effects of Adolescent Abortion,” The Post Abortion Review, Vol. 9, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 2001

Physical Complications from Abortion

The number and types of physical complications resulting from abortion are as diverse as the various abortion methods.

  • Cervical tearing and laceration from the instruments.
  • Perforation of the uterus by instruments. This may require major surgery, including hysterectomy.
  • Scarring of the uterine lining by suction tubing, curettes, or other instruments.
  • Infection, local and systemic.
  • Hemorrhage and shock, especially if the uterine artery is torn.
  • Anesthesia toxicity from both general or local anesthesia, resulting in possible convulsions, cardiorespiratory arrest, and in extreme cases, death.
  • Retained tissue, indicated by cramping, heavy bleeding, and infection.
  • Postabortal syndrome, referring to an enlarged, tender and soft uterus retaining blood clots.
  • Failure to recognize an ectopic pregnancy. This could lead to the rupture of a fallopian tube, hemorrhage, and resulting infertility or death, if treatment is not provided in time.

Emotional Complications from Abortion

Some women experience immediate psychological problems from abortion. Other women repress feelings of guilt, delaying emotional reactions sometimes for several years and oftentimes triggered by their first planned pregnancy.

  • Sad mood.
  • Sudden and uncontrollable crying episodes.
  • Deterioration of self-concept.
  • Sleep, appetite and sexual disturbances.
  • Reduced motivation.
  • Disruption in interpersonal relationships.
  • Extreme guilt and anxiety.
  • Psychological “numbing.”
  • Depression and thoughts of suicide.

New Studies Connecting Abortion to Broader Problems:

The largest and most thorough of these studies appeared in the British Journal of Psychiatry conducted by Professor Priscilla Coleman, PhD, of Bowling Green State University, published in 2011.

Abortion Problems and Complications in the study included:

Women who undergo abortion face an 81% elevated likelihood of experiencing subsequent mental health issues compared to their counterparts who have not undergone the procedure.

Furthermore, those who have had an abortion exhibit a 138% increased risk of mental health problems when contrasted with women who have given birth.

Additionally, women who have terminated pregnancies encounter a 55% higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with unplanned pregnancies who carry the pregnancy to term.

Moreover, women with a history of abortion demonstrate heightened rates of anxiety (34% higher), depression (37%), alcohol use/misuse (110%), marijuana use (230%), and suicidal behavior (155%) in comparison to those who have not undergone an abortion.

Compared to pregnant women who had their babies, pregnant women who aborted were 6-7 times more likely to die of suicide.

D. C. Reardon et al, “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, Aug. 2002

Women who abort are five times more likely to report subsequent drug or alcohol abuse than women who deliver.
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2000

Among women who had unintended first pregnancies, those who had abortions were more likely to report, an average of four years later, more frequent and recent use of alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine than women who gave birth.
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2004

A review of the medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160% more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery. Psychiatric treatment rates remained significantly higher for at least four years.
Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2003

In a study of U.S. and Russian women who had abortions, 65% of U.S. women experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, which they attributed to their abortions. 60% of the American women reported that they felt “part of me died” after their abortions.

V. M. Rue et al, “Induced Abortion and Traumatic Stress: A Preliminary Comparison of American and Russian Women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10):SR5-16, 2004

Abortion can damage reproductive organs and cause long-term and sometimes permanent problems that can put future pregnancies at risk. Women who have abortions are more likely to experience ectopic pregnancies, infertility, hysterectomies, stillbirths, miscarriages, and premature births than women who have not had abortions.
T. Strahan, Detrimental Effects of Abortion: An Annotated Bibliography with Commentary (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002, 168-206

The children of women who have had abortions have less supportive home environments and more behavioral problems than the children of women without a history of abortion. This finding supports the view that abortion may negatively affect bonding with subsequent children, disturb mothering skills, and otherwise impact a woman’s psychological stability.

D. C. Reardon et al, “Psychiatric Admissions of Low-Income Women Following Abortions and Childbirth,” Canadian Medical Association Journal 168(10):May 13, 2003

One study found that women with a history of induced abortions were 144% more likely to physically abuse their children than women who had not had an abortion.

Priscilla K. Coleman et al, “Associations Between Voluntary and Involuntary Forms of Perintal Loss and Child Maltreatment Among Low Income Mothers,” Acta Paediatrica 94, 2005

Abortion is linked with increased violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, depression, and poor maternal bonding with later children. These factors are closely associated with child abuse and would appear to confirm a link between unresolved post-abortion trauma and subsequent child abuse.

Reardon, Aborted Women, Silent No More (Springfield, IL:Acorn Books, 2002) 129-30

Do Some Women Experience Grief and Regret Following Abortion?

Although many women express a sense of relief after an abortion, many others experience regret and remorse. These psychological reactions are far more common than physical side effects of abortion.

  • Remorse and regret
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Disturbing dreams
  • Shame
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Loneliness and Isolation
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seeking relief through alcohol or drugs
  • Eating disorders

Who is most likely to regret an abortion?

Women who do not believe the pregnancy is a real baby until it is born are not likely to have these emotional effects. However, those who believe they are carrying a living, moving baby even before it is born are far more likely to experience negative psychological effects from aborting their baby.

Girls/women who:

  • are coerced into their abortions.
  • feel they have no support for their pregnancies.
  • are afraid to bring shame to their families.
  • have strong moral or religious beliefs opposing abortion.
  • are having abortions late in their pregnancies.
  • with previous psychological issues.

Real Stories from Girls Who Suffered Grief and Regret Resulting From Abortion

It hits me every day

The day I found out was July 11. When the doctor came back and told me I was so in shock that I had no idea what to do. I was seeing a great guy at the time, and I called him and told him that we needed to talk. When I told him he was glad and thought we should keep the child. We had a feeling that it was going to be a boy, so we picked a name for him.

About a week later it hit us that we are just kids ourselves and we could not take care of a child. July 28 was the day that changed my world. After the abortion I felt so different inside, like kind of relieved. I broke up with the guy I was with because we could not look at each other the same way. It has been almost a year since the abortion, and it hits me every day. I regret it so much. Before you make a decision, think about whether it is worth the pain of only 9 month or the pain of a lifetime.

Mine has been pain and shame

I was 17 years old and very scared. My boyfriend and I skipped school and we drove to Chicago. When we got there the first thing they asked for was money. Then they asked for my name. I was taken into a large room with many other girls and given a gown. A woman stood in the front and told us we would feel some discomfort but not much more than a female exam. We were then lined up in single file. I remember feeling like I was a cow being led to a slaughterhouse, but I quashed those feelings.

Then we were taken, one by one, into a small room where the abortion would take place. The abortionist was cold. Never said a word. Just put me in the position. The sound was horrible, as was the pain. After it was over I was taken back to the small cubicle where I had left my clothes. I was not told anything about the mental anguish and the physical pain I would feel.

Finally we drove home, and on the way I fell asleep. I guess maybe that was my way out. We arrived at my house. My boyfriend awakened me with sort of a slap. He said, “You’re home.” That’s all he said. My seven-week-old baby was gone.

Mine has been pain and shame, and I stand here today and say, “Abortion is wrong!”

But I realized it too late…

Terminating a pregnancy, I was told, is no more significant than removing a tiny blood clot in my uterus. Sounded harmless, I reasoned; so, exercising my right, I opted for abortion. At that time, no other options; such as adoption or single parenting, were explained to me.

Had I been counseled properly concerning the pain I would feel and the facts about the development of my unborn child, I doubt that I would have chosen abortion. I was not forewarned of the health risks or the deep psychological after-effects of abortion.

I was a bright college student and had a promising future ahead of me. But following my abortion I became deeply depressed and suicidal. I had never mourned the loss of my appendix, so why did I grieve over the passing of this “uterine blob”? The answer is, of course, that it wasn’t a mere “blob of tissue.” This was a living baby, and I realized this the moment I saw his dismembered body – but I realized it too late.

I will always regret having the abortion.

At the age of 19, I underwent an abortion with my 22-year-old boyfriend. The revelation of my pregnancy occurred on a Saturday afternoon, and by the following Tuesday morning, I had already undergone the procedure. Now who can make an important decision rationally like that in two days? The people at the clinic never encouraged me to tell my parents or a clergyman, even though they knew I wasn’t married.

No one explained to me that I would undergo so many emotional, psychological, and mental after-effects. By the way, I was chosen in a class of 30 students as “the most stable.” Those people at the clinic, though, never told me about the beginning of life, of the fetus growing. While they informed me about the “blob of tissue” to be vacuumed out, there was no mention of the emotional toll that would follow. The aftermath of the abortion brought forth unexpected challenges, including depression, anger, anxiety, and self-hatred. Sleepless nights and a diminished appetite persisted for weeks.

Additionally, the unease around babies, children, pregnant women, and people in general became a lingering issue, fueled by the belief that I was a terrible person. Regrettably, they never warned me about the intense self-loathing and the emergence of suicidal thoughts that would accompany this experience.

But the saddest thing for anyone affected by abortion – the saddest thing is that it’s irreversible.

I will always regret having the abortion.

When I was 13 I got pregnant from my boyfriend who was 17. When he drove me to the clinic and I found out I was pregnant, I broke down crying. He was supportive of me the whole time. I decided three days later to have the abortion. During the abortion, I felt numb. I was in denial the whole time.

It finally hit me a couple of weeks later what I had done. I felt depressed, and sleeping became harder and harder. My appetite was nearly gone and I would cry uncontrollably for hours. Even now I have to take sleeping pills to even get a little shut-eye. I haven’t had the heart to tell anyone except my current boyfriend who is 14.

I will always regret having the abortion. The thing that bothers me most is seeing other girls pregnant or with babies. It makes me think about what my child would have been like. If any of you are thinking about getting pregnant, consider the long-term results and make sure you know all of your options before aborting the baby. Had I known there were a lot of other choices, I would not have had an abortion.

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