We all make choices every day. The issue isn't the right to choose, but instead, what it is we're choosing.

Three things that may happen to you during an abortion

When women consider abortion, it’s important that they’re aware of the hard stuff, too – not just the easy things that abortion clinic counselors often tell them. There are always two sides to every story, and it’s vital that women hear this other side.

Abortion is not just an easy procedure that takes care of all their problems. Abortion doesn’t just wipe the slate clean. Sure, there are a few women out there who will stick to that claim. But for the vast majority of women and girls, abortion is a difficult, heart-rending tragedy. From an article on the Huffington Post:

Abortion is a tragedy in and of itself, regardless of whether or not we, as individuals or as a society, feel that it is so.

It’s not an easy thing to end the life of a child, especially your own. It’s not an easy thing to pretend you were never a mother when you know, deep in your heart, that you still are. And abortion is even harder and more tragic for women when they are uninformed and when they’ve never been presented with the real truth and the real risks. I’m going to be blunt and to the point, so here goes.

1) You may lose your life or be permanently injured.

While the majority of women do not die from their abortions, it is definitely a risk that abortion clinics rarely admit. Abortion is not just a safe, simple procedure. Some abortionists are more concerned with efficiency and money than the lives of women, and it shows in the deaths of women under their care. The Real Choice blog tells the stories of hundreds of women and teens who died or were severely injured from their abortions – from causes such as cardiac arrest, bleeding, choking to death on vomit, and embolism. Ladies, abortion is not a walk in the park. You need to realize that you may die from this procedure.

There are many risks involved with teen abortion. To begin with death can occur because of teen abortion. It is reported that legal abortion is the fifth leading cause of maternal death in the United States. These deaths are caused by infection, embolism, hemorrhage, anesthesia, and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies. The actual figure of deaths caused by legal abortion is probably much higher than reported since many of the maternal deaths reported are not recorded as being caused by legal abortion.

RU-486, an abortion drug (a medical abortion rather than a surgical abortion) also risks women’s lives. In 2009, it was reported that 29 women had died from the use of RU-486, nine more had had their lives endangered, and 120 had received blood transfusions, while over 200 were hospitalized. Despite FDA approval, this is not a safe drug for women, especially when abortion clinics continue to disregard the standard procedure for giving the drug to women and thus endanger their lives.

One of the most concerning things that women need to realize is that injuries and deaths at abortion clinics across the country are on the rise.

2) You may lose your motherhood entirely.

Some women believe that their abortions will allow them to postpone motherhood until they believe they are ready. However, all too often, these women never get another chance. In yet another example of nondisclosure by abortion clinics, women are rarely properly informed that an abortion – and especially multiple abortions – may cost them their fertility.

While this article first seems to almost deny the claim that women can lose their fertility in abortion, the end section admits the risks that are present and which all women should be aware of:

The most serious problems occur in those rare instances when a post-operative infection develops. But if a woman has had a significant number of abortions, scar tissue might develop at the top of the cervix or inside the uterus. If this interferes with later attempts to get pregnant, it is often possible to repair this medically. A woman who has had more than one abortion may also have a weakened cervix, due to repeated dilations during the earlier procedures; this could cause difficulty sustaining a pregnancy later on, as the cervix could dilate (open) prematurely. In many cases a weakened or incompetent cervix can be sutured closed for the duration of a pregnancy.

Additionally, an abortion can be an emotionally challenging experience for a woman, and this in turn might have an indirect effect on fertility, if she retreats from sexual contact out of feelings of guilt or conflict.

Women should not only be advised of risks that are common or widespread. They ought to be told all of the risks so that they are fully informed. No one can guarantee a woman or a girl that her abortion will not come at the price of her future fertility. Her abortion may take the life of her first, last, and only child.

Miscarriage is also a risk after an abortion. One expert explains the risks:

Yes, having an abortion during the first trimester does increase the chances of a miscarriage later, by about 400%. The literature is not telling you the truth. But in your case, since you had an abortion so late, it would be even higher. When they force open the cervix in order to do an abortion, they damage it. There will be many tiny tears in the flesh, and this weakens it so that it can’t hold the weight of a full term baby. And yes, this damage also happens in abortions done during the first trimester. Scarring on the surface of the uterus can also be a problem, because if the placenta is trying to grow over scars, it won’t be able to grow there, so this could restrict the size and effectiveness of the placenta. Placenta previa is also a risk. This is due to scarring as well. When they do a surgical abortion, they have to cut away the placenta, and they scrape the surface. This is why scars form.

3) You may pay – both literally and emotionally – to end the life of your child.

After abortion, many women experience post-traumatic stress disorder. (There is help for you if you’re in a spot like this.) Many realize, all too late, that their unborn children were unique, helpless individuals who needed a chance at life that only their mothers could have given them. Abortion clinics specialize in giving women inaccurate information about an unborn child’s development, often leaving out the true facts about when a baby’s heart begins to beat (22 days), when brain waves can be measured (about six weeks), and when a baby’s organs are present and functioning (eight weeks for all but the lungs; they follow at 11-12 weeks). At five weeks, all four heart chambers are functioning. At eight to ten weeks, a baby can suck her thumb.

One of the most surprising things about fetal development is that nothing significantly new happens after 12 weeks after conception – the child simply gets bigger and matures. Nearly 90 percent of abortions are done before the twelfth week, when the child is supposedly ‘blood clots’ (Mifeprex [mifepristone] pamphlet) or ‘pregnancy tissue’ (Planned Parenthood document).

There is evidence that a mother’s connection to her child begins almost immediately and is basically beyond her control. Almost as soon as a child begins to exist, a psychological and biological relationship begins like no other. Multiple studies “demonstrate that a mother’s bond with her child (and the child’s attachment to her) begins during pregnancy and even at its early stages.” Experts conclude:

[T]he attachment between mother and child begins almost immediately after conception and the basis of maternal attachment is both psychological and physical, and this process, and the natural protective urges of maternal attachment, often form irrespective of whether the pregnancy was intended or wanted.

Simply put, abortion hurts a woman and takes the life of her defenseless child. Listen to the stories of other women, realize the risks, and please, choose life.

Want more info on abortion, the risks, and the realities? Check out this article, this site, and this awesome paper.

  • #1 and #2 are risks you could associate with pregnancy in general.

    • Kristiburtonbrown

      But are women properly warned of this before an abortion? Nope. And #2 is more common with abortions, especially repeated abortions.

  • doctor

    @twitter-225047858:disqus your is an untrue comment that is common falacy perpetuated by junk science articles and pro abort trolls. bye bye.

    • No, it’s just common knowledge that you can die or be injured while giving birth to a child. You can also miscarry and never get pregnant again either. And why is someone who holds a differing opinion automatically a troll in the eyes of the anti-choicers?

      • Kristiburtonbrown

        Can you address why women aren’t commonly warned of this risk with abortion? Usually, in pregnancy, women’s doctors closely monitor them and help them stay aware of any risks that arise. That’s caring for women. Abortion clinics, by often refusing to accurately inform women, do a great disservice. And women need to be told this.

        • “Can you address why women aren’t commonly warned of this risk with abortion?”

          I can’t say if that’s true or not. What certainly is true is that states with anti-abortion legislatures have been hard at work passing laws that mandate the doctor read from a script that outlines risks (some of which are scientifically sound and some which are not). LA just recently ran a piece about the state of Arizona building an entire website that is explicitly meant to communicate risk. So I imagine your complaint isn’t with those states.

          But if risks aren’t being communicated the way you might prescribe in other states, it might be that the probabilities are too low to take the place of other doctor-patient communications. Because, in the end, I’d like to honor that relationship, instead of force-feeding the doctor a script concocted by ideologues.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Well, if abortion doctors were being honest with their patients, there would be no need for states to mandate accurate info for women. I’d far rather a doctor read from an accurate “script” than women suffer from being uninformed because the abortionists believed it wasn’t “important enough”.

            And no one is saying that an accurate description of the risks needs to take the place of other communications. Is it really asking too much for doctors to spend a few extra minutes to ensure that women – and teenage girls – are truly informed? It’s only too much to ask when it’s all about the money, which is exactly the case here. The more abortions done faster, the more money the clinics rake in.

          • Even if LA has gone in with a few video cameras, I’m not sure that you can say you have special insight into what transpires in the doctor patient relationship in abortion clinics across the land. While I’m sure there’s some bad abortion doctors, I think you’re mostly trafficking in a kind of confirmation bias here. That’s really driven home by the cartoon you draw of abortionists just printing their own money.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Do you have an answer for why SO MANY WOMEN (completely unconnected with Live Action) say that they were misinformed or lied to before their abortions? They’re not lying. And the multitude of those kind of testimonies indicate that there’s a whole lot more than a few bad abortion doctors out there. You can’t kill children for a living and not get callused to the real fears, concerns, and needs of women.

          • A collection of anecdotes is not data.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Hmmm…so that’s what you call women truthfully sharing their painful experiences? “Anecdotes?” I guess that’s an easy word to use when you want to avoid the reality of what abortion does to many, many women.

          • If your goal is to complain, then cherry-picking women who have had bad experiences is fine. Throw in a blanket-statement (“there’s a whole lot more than a few bad abortion doctors”) and you’re all set. Whine accomplished. But if you’ve got some sort of policy prescription in mind, like forcing doctors in more states to recite every possible exposure women might face after an abortion, then we’ve got to at least start with what the probabilities are. If the probabilities are even modestly high, pro-choice people might not even disagree with some prudent risk-disclosure for the patient.

            So when I say all you have is “anecdotes”, I’m not dismissing the women who own the anecdotes. I’m dismissing your evidence (or lack thereof).

        • That’s fair. I have no way of knowing whether or not they are letting them know the risks of an abortion but if they aren’t they should. But how does making abortion illegal minimize those risks? It doesn’t because then you’ve created a completely black market, unregulated industry which is even more dangerous and would lead to even more deaths. When will conservatives learn that by banning things they don’t go away and wind up creating a void that is then filled by the most unscrupulous and dangerous individuals who are out for nothing but money. Drug prohibiton is probably the most glaring example of the failures of that mentality and it’s not much better with prostitution and as we know from the days pre-roe v wade it wasnt any good with abortion either. People still sought these things out and the ban only made the environment more dangerous.

          • Steve Farrell

            Hey, John, maybe that’s why anti-choicers are almost always right-wingers too: by outlawing legitimate abortion clinics, they’re creating a market for entrepreneurs. These small businessmen won’t have to worry about all that pesky government regulation and tax paperwork! No malpractice suits in this industry!

          • Sarah

            Except that the legal abortion industry is basically unregulated now anyway!
            If you are going to call us anti-choice, I guess we can call you pro-death.

          • And no, we’ll always be pro-choice since that’s what we support:CHOICE. You on the other hand would rather force a woman against her will under the threat of imprisonment to have a child she doesn’t want or can’t care for. Sounds like a bad deal for all involved but Im sure your toes will be tapping and you’ll be feeling all honey dorey, far far away from the situation that woman is left in ,deluding yourself that because abortion is banned that all is right with the world. FREAK!

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            A bad deal for ALL involved? So you think it’s a bad deal for the baby to actually get a chance at life? I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. And there are plenty of pro-life organizations that reach out to pregnant women and provide them with needed funds, supplies, counseling, and help to get through their pregnancies. Yes, I agree that it’s better for a woman to go through an inconvenience, some sickness, and even a bit of pain for the sake of letting another person live. And I say this as a woman. When we weigh inconvenience, the usual sickness associated with pregnancy (not that bad), and some pain vs. death, it’s pretty obvious which one is worse.

          • Sarah

            “When will conservatives learn that by banning things they don’t go away”
            Yeah, sure. Let’s legalize murder – people do it anyway, and it would be safer for the murder; let’s legalize rape -people do it anyway, and it would be safer for the rapist; let’s legalize armed robbery- people do it anyway, and it would be safer for the robber.

            Your argument does not make sense.

            FYI – prolifers don’t want people getting or performing illegal abortions either.

            Look at the histroy of our own country. The number of abortions went way up, as soon abortion was legalized. I mean, duh.

            And, half the people that go through an abortion don’t survive it.

          • Are you seriously trying to draw a moral equivalency between drug usage,abortion, and murder or rape? And how has that drug war worked out for all of you? And of course the rate of abortion went up when it was legal because more abortions are reported and people dont have sneak around back alley’s and fly to countries that allow them to get them done. D’uh!

  • Detroiter327

    I underwent an abortion via Ru486 around five years ago. It happened to be in North Carolina. For what it is worth I was clearly told almost all of these things (with the exception of The PTSD thing) and experienced no negative physical or emotional side effects. Also, if you anyone would like to actually do a bit of simple math for themselves, you are more likely to die during childbirth than taking RU486. The risk of death from this prescription is minuscule.

    • Kristiburtonbrown

      One of the most recent studies claiming that childbirth is more dangerous than abortion is incredibly biased and flawed. There are several other studies demonstrating that abortion – and RU486 would be grouped in with abortion – is more dangerous to women than childbirth. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/01/24/reuters-pushes-biased-study-claiming-abortion-safer-than-birth/

      • Detroiter327

        Just do a bit of math on your own. Over 1.6 million women have taken RU486 and 29 died. Note this is worldwide. Now check the worldwide maternal mortality rate.

        • Many of the claims of mortality rates for abortions are. discredited–they compare nationally reported maternal mortality rates with Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported deaths associated with abortion. There is no standard reporting of abortion-related deaths. Apparently, the rules regarding completion of death certificates rule out the naming abortion as a cause of death. A better record- based Danish long term study found “more than three times higher mortality rate for abortion than birth(s).”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22954474 Instead of abortion, offer women safe pregnancy” measures such as “prenatal detection” and accessibility to professional birth attendants in a hospital setting, and that is when there is a decrease in maternal mortality. In Chile, over a 50 year time period, the maternal mortality rate declined In Chile, “Education, Not Abortion, Reduces Maternal Mortality, Study Suggests” Science Daily (May 10, 2012)

    • TebowFTW

      Glad you’re emotionally dead inside. Must be a great way to live your life, Susan Smith.

  • Detroiter327

    And how in any way, shape or form is an Annonoymus source on a random question and answer website credible! That is so rididulous! You have to know this is not a credible medical source. If you used this as evidence you would be laughed out of court. How can you pretend this is a fact in one of your articles?

    • Detroiter327

      Excuse me. “Pat G” is a self taught midwife with no educational credentials. Even better. I fail to see how her made up statistic trumps the thousands of well researched reports that disagree with her.

      • Kristiburtonbrown

        Your proof that her statistic is made up?

        And your list of the “thousands” of reports?

        Again, try not to blow your claims out of proportion =)

        • Detroiter327


          • Kristiburtonbrown

            And you similarly have no source to claim it’s made up. One thing for you to say things in opposition; quite another to back them up.

            I’m still waiting for the thousands of reports, whenever you’re ready to provide them =)

          • peach

            It’s not up to Detroiter to prove it’s made up. It’s up to you and “Pat” to prove it’s true. Linking to “Pat G” who thinks literature can’t be trusted is not proof. I did a quick search and found one reference to a study from 1969 Japan that found a 400% increase in tubal pregnancies and death of fetus after an abortion. Maybe that was true then and there but you really need to provide information up to date with greater medical advances.

          • Detroiter327

            This is the most ridiculous comment thread. Even pro life sources do not suppose a 400% increase after one abortion. You have linked to a random source that provides no proof for their claim. You are supposed to be a lawyer. This would never hold up in court, or in any newspaper. You have never provided one source for this made up statistic. If you’d like me to pile on the evidence tomorrow night, I’d be happy to. I highly suggest you amend your article, it makes you and the website look bad. Until then lets continue this stupid game. Caitlin C. says that 900% of these articles are false. Prove me wrong!

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Ok, well, as Peach said, there is proof in the 1969 Japanese study which was a thorough study. I think we can all agree that 1) just because info is “old” (a relative term), it doesn’t make it bad or incorrect. I mean c’mon, Roe is based on very old info and I don’t see you disagreeing with that decision at all, despite all the lies and fallacies involved there.

            2) Studies are going to disagree. Period. Look at all the studies that link abortion and breast cancer or the ones that deny a link. And people on both sides are always going to claim that the opposing studies are old, not well-done, bad data, warped, biased, etc. Let’s just realize that we’re not going to agree on which studies to trust.

            But that doesn’t mean that I can’t let women know about the studies that do support my claims. No one should make anything up, but when there is a study/studies to back up claims, it’s not wrong to make them. If you do some searching, it will be evident to you that different studies report different increase rates of miscarriage after abortion. Please note that I said “ONE expert” says 400%. I did not say that was a consensus. Different studies also come up with different numbers because of how they measure – some measure total rates and some measure increases. Those are different.

            Anyway, here’s my point. There is a valid study to back up the claim in my article. You may not like it; you may disagree. But I don’t think either one of us is going to change the fact that there are opposing studies and we’re going to believe different ones. Women deserve the complete picture of info though, and they’re rarely adequately warned that abortion can increase their rate of miscarriage.

          • peach

            Hey now, I was not defending you here Kristi. That study, which I only saw a reference to, not the actually study, was from over 40 years ago (and it sounds as though this is the first you’re hearing of it?). Abortion almost certainly was not as safe then as it is now. So that statistic has certainly changed. You’re right that being old doesn’t necessarily make it incorrect, but it makes it out of date so essentially, it’s not a good statistic. It’s no longer accurate. How would you like if I started quoting studies from the 50s or whatever about maternal deaths rates and then based an argument on that out of date info?

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Let’s say at least two things here. 1) You are simply assuming that it’s bad. You don’t actually have proof. (Contrary studies aren’t always proof, as I just explained above. Usually there aren’t really enough studies done on these types of issues to get a complete consensus, unfortunately.)

            2) I would LOVE it if pro-choicers would STOP using out-of-date arguments. For example, Roe v. Wade itself is a very out-of-date, illogically argued case, based on false history, and extremely old science. Another example – back alley abortions. First, those numbers were blown completely out of proportion (read Bernard Nathanson’s commentary on that), and second, if, in your opinion, medicine has advanced today, fewer women would die even if abortion became illegal. So it’s a bit hypocritical to accuse me of relying on what you consider old data when many of the pro-choice movement’s main contentions are based in old science, old history, old medicine, and an old case.

          • Steve Farrell

            ” if, in your opinion, medicine has advanced today, fewer women would die even if abortion became illegal.”
            Do you actually mean that, since back-alley abortionists presumably have access to better equipment these days, making abortion illegal would result in less deaths from illegal abortions than before Roe?
            What compassion!

          • Steve Farrell

            “just because info is “old” (a relative term), it doesn’t make it bad or incorrect.”
            It usually does. There’s no reason to ignore the latest research on a subject, unless it just doesn’t support the point you’re pushing. Not that I’d ever accuse an anti-choice propagandist of such a thing.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Care to explain why you support all the old notions, old science, old history, and old logic in Roe instead of agreeing with modern science and medicine that clearly prove an unborn child is a fully unique human being from the moment of existence?

          • Steve Farrell

            “Old logic”?
            I don’t think science or anything else has “proved” that the woman ceases to exist at the moment conception occurs. I don’t make family planning choices for others.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            Of course she doesn’t cease to exist. But a new, unique human life (the baby) begins to exist as well. There are two people we need to care about here, and we must protect them both.

          • Detroiter327

            Hint. Your own website says there is a 45% increase after one abortion. I guess all those articles are wrong.

    • Kristiburtonbrown

      Uh…not sure what you’re referring to. As I think I’ve told you before, you might want to try not to blow your claims out of proportion =) I did not use any anonymous sources in this article.

      However, if you’d like further sources on an increased risk of miscarriage, feel free to check these out:

      Levin et al., “Association of Induced Abortion with Subsequent Pregnancy Loss,” JAMA, vol. 243, no. 24, June 27, 1980, pp. 2495-2499

      Koller & Eikham, “Late Sequelae of Induced Abortion in Primagravida” Acta OB-GYN Scand, 56 (1977) p. 311.

      Of course, Planned Parenthood answers the question, “Does an abortion make miscarriage more likely in future pregnancies?” with a very compelling “No.” That’s some great evidence and research for you =)

      • Detroiter327

        You linked directly to an annonymous source known as Pat G who claimed a 400% increase in miscarriage after one abortion. I’m curious why you are also now linking to sources over 20 years old and ignoring more current research.

        • Kristiburtonbrown

          Haha, if she has a name, she’s not anonymous fyi =). Just because you assume that’s not her real name doesn’t make you right.

          And just because research is old doesn’t make it wrong. Not at all. We have medical textbooks from the 70’s that clearly state human life begins at fertilization. That’s still accurate today.

          • Detroiter327

            Really! Pat G. With no last name is by any journalistic standard an anonymous source. Please note the statistic you linked to is not linked to or validated. This would not be publishable in any newspaper, or admissible in court. I really hope one day at the doctor you tell him/her to ignore all other modern medicine any rely on outdated research from the seventies. That’s going to work out real well.

          • Besides, shouldn’t we all listen to the claims of those with three numbers as part of his or her name?

          • Detroiter327

            Shouldn’t we all check the facts we are being fed?

  • Debra

    I have always been pro life but when I read posts of pro baby killers, I ponder the idea that perhaps those pro baby killers should not reproduce. And yet with 50 plus million babies deleted from history via legalized slaughter, one must wonder how many of those individuals would have made this world a better place? We will never know the answer..

  • Mama K.K.

    Always a good to read your articles Kristi! Keep up the good work!

  • Evangeline

    Yet another profound and great article, Kristi. Thanks for your good work!

  • Debi

    Hey- I’d like to know where you got that statistic near the beginning of the article about abortion being the 5th leading cause of maternal death. I’d like to use that statistic, but I try to know where numbers come from before I spread them around :) Thanks.