Facts About Abortion

  • Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy and is a permanent decision.
  • Abortion is not just a simple medical procedure, and for many women it is a life-changing event with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences.
  • Most women who struggle with past abortions say that they wish they had been told all of the facts about abortion.
Before you decide, you deserve to have as much information as possible. It’s tough to imagine the future and the impact this one decision will have on your life. Despite the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing, we encourage you to weigh your alternatives!  Real empowerment comes when you find the strength and resources necessary to make the decision you can live with.

Know the facts and learn about abortion procedures:

What is the Procedure? When is it Used?
How is it Performed?
Manual Vacuum Aspiration 7 weeks
The cervical muscle is stretched with dilators (metal rods) until the opening is wide enough to allow the abortion instruments to pass into the uterus. A hand-held syringe is attached to tubing that is inserted into the uterus and the fetus is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage 6 - 14 Weeks
The doctor opens the cervix with a dilator (a metal rod) or laminaia (thin sticks derived from plants and inserted hours before the procedure). The doctor inserts tubing into the uterus and connects the tubing to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus apart and out of the uterus. One variation of this procedure involves a a Curette (a loop-shaped knife) to scrape the fetal parts out of the uterus.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) 13 - 24 weeks Because the developing fetus doubles in size between weeks 11 and 12, it is now too large to pass through the suction tubing. Therefore, the cervix must be opened wider than in the first trimester abortion, by inserting laminaria a day or two before the abortion. After opening the cervix, the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus' skull is crushed to ease removal.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X) From 20 weeks to Full Term This procedure takes 3 days. During the first 2 days, the cervix is dilated and medication is given for cramping. On the 3rd day, you receive medication to start labor, after which the doctor uses ultrasound to locate the fetus' legs. Grasping a leg with forceps, the doctor delivers the baby up to the baby's head. Next, scissors are inserted into the base of the skull to create an opening, where a suction catheter is used to remove the skull contents. The skull collapses and the baby is removed completely.
RU486, Mifepristone 4-7 weeks Also called "medical abortion," this procedure is used for women who are within 30 - 49 days after their last menstrual period. this procedure usually requires 3 different office visits. The RU-486 or Mifepristone pills are given 2 days prior to a second medication, called Misprostol. The combination of these medications causes the uterus to expel the fetus.

Consider the Physical Risks:

Some side effects may occur with induced abortion, as with any major medical surgery. These include abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In most abortions, no serious complications occur. However, complications may happen in as many as 1 out of every 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of every 50 later abortions.

Some complications may include:

Hemorrhage – Sometimes women bleed heavily during an abortion or, a few days afterwards. With a medical abortion (RU-486), bleeding lasts 13-15 days or more. Occasionally, it is necessary to receive a transfusion to replace the lost blood. Sometimes a second curettage procedure or a hysterectomy is needed to stop the bleeding.

Infection – The uterus is susceptible to infection after an abortion especially if part of the baby or placenta is accidently left inside of you. Infections are even more of a risk if you have Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. Symptoms are pain and fever. This is generally treated with antibiotics, but sometimes another curettage procedure must be used. If untreated, a very serious infection can develop and could result in infertility.

Perforation – Sometimes the tools of abortion are accidently pushed through the wall of the uterus during an abortion. If the instrument damages one of our internal organs, it may be necessary to do major surgery to repair the damage. This complication can cause extensive bleeding.

Effects on Later Pregnancy – Injury to the cervix may cause the early loss of future pregnancies. Scarring, which blocks your fallopian tubes, may also occur. This can keep you from becoming pregnant in the future. The risk of miscarriage in later pregnancies is higher if a woman has had two or more abortions.

Continued Pregnancy – The fetus may be growing in your fallopian tube rather than in your uterus. An abortion procedure would miss this. The continued growth of the fetus in your tube is dangerous and potentially fatal.

Breast Cancer - Twenty-seven worldwide studies have independently linked induced abortion with breast cancer. Abortion interrupts the natural process of breast development, abruptly stopping cell growth, leaving the breast with extra cells that can become cancerous.

Death – Death has occurred after abortion, although this is rare. When abortion is done after the first three months of pregnancy, the risk of death increases. The cause of death by abortion is usually from heavy bleeding or from complications with the drugs used for pain.

Consider the Emotional & Mental Risks:

Some women and men experience an immediate feeling of relief following an abortion, but many find themselves later coping with feelings they did not expect. They may have a difficult time talking about these feelings. Some psychologists have labeled these problems as Post-Abortion Stress.

You may recognize some of the following side effects in your friends or family members who have had abortions. These are several of the outcomes you may expect after having an abortion:
•    Sadness
•    Long-term Grief Anger
•    Sexual Dysfunction
•    Flashbacks
•    Guilt
•    Memory Repression
•    Hallucinations
•    Anniversary Reactions
•    Suicidal Thoughts
•    Increased Alcohol and Drug Abuse
•    Difficulty Maintaining Relationships

Consider the Spiritual Risks:

It's important to know how God saw you before you were born. The Bible is very clear about God’s love and concern for each of us from the time we are conceived. This includes you.

God created you, and God loves you.

God said, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart. . . "
Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)

This is also how God sees your unborn child.

"You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mothers womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day passed."
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)

Every human is created in His image and for a purpose. No life is a mistake. Choosing to abort violates God’s perfect plan for you and your unborn child. When choices are made that only God should make, there are consequences.

You may experience these Spiritual struggles:
•    Alienation in your relationship with God and others.
•    Needing forgiveness from God and others.
•    Confusion and denial of your role as a provider and protector of the life God entrusts to you.
•    Interruption of God’s best plan for your life.

Know that you are not alone!  God knows and cares about your struggles right now and He is ready to help you as you reach out to Him.  Everyone at LifeCare is here for you.