Eight Reasons Why Abortion is Bad for Women

By Georgette Forney

 

    Women from the National Organization of Women scoffed at me as I held my homemade sign that said “I Regret Choosing Abortion.”  As I walked away I thought of all the people who had contacted me, seeking help for the pain, shame and guilt they felt for having abortions.

    That’s when the seed for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign was planted. Since that day, Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life have worked to raise awareness about the devastating effect abortion has on women and men. We want to expose the secrecy and silence surrounding abortion and heal the pain. I’ve learned that personal experience outweighs theories discussed by policy makers and judges. I’ve also identified the top eight reasons why abortion is harmful to women, which are as follows:

    1. Abortion is bad for women because it creates more problems than it solves.

    After an abortion many women find themselves dealing with increased use of drugs and/or alcohol to deaden their pain, reoccurring insomnia and nightmares, eating disorders, suicidal feelings, and many even attempt suicide. Difficulty in maintaining or developing relationships. Loneliness, isolation, anger, fears of the unknown, indecisiveness and a sense of self-hatred.  Since 2001, 15 studies have focused on the psychological affects of abortion. These studies underscore the fact that evidence-based medicine does not support the conjecture that abortion will protect women from ‘serious danger’ to their mental health. It indicates just the opposite!

    For instance, Kathy had a saline abortion. A saline solution was injected into her fetus’s body, poisoning him to death. Kathy never grieved her abortion, and when she had children she began to experience intrusive thoughts about poisoning them. Very gentle and soft-spoken, Kathy was terrified. She sought counseling, and identified the root: her saline abortion. Her mourning over her abortion had mutated into these intrusive thoughts as a way to re-live her emotional experience. They stopped once she admitted her pain, and grieved her abortion. Though most women who have abortions do not act upon these intrusive thoughts, their torment affects their mental health and their relationship with their living children.

    Consider Cathie, she said, “I was 14 yrs old when I was coerced into having an abortion. The doctor lied to me at Planned Parenthood and told me my 2nd trimester baby was just a mass of flesh floating around my womb and they were going to stick a vacuum up me and suck the baby out! Doctors should have to tell the patient the method used in the abortion from start to finish. They did not tell me that my baby would feel pain, or that the baby would first be cut up into pieces before the doctor sucked it out. I found this out after the abortion from looking at an abortion booth at a fair. I could not look at myself in the mirror. I had self-loathing after this knowledge. I was addicted to heroin, alcohol and other drugs for the past 30 years. Trying to mask what I had done to my baby. I am clean and sober now, but my life has been hell since that awful abortion ruined my entire life. I cannot have children; I had to have my fallopian tubes removed because of infections caused from the abortion.”

 

    2. Abortion is bad for women because it creates physical problems.

    Abortion advocates frequently assert that carrying an unintended pregnancy to term is more harmful to women than abortion. But all the research and women’s personal experience says something else. 

    In the US, over 140,000 women a year have immediate medical complications from abortion.  This includes problems such as: infection, uterine perforation, hemorrhaging, cervical trauma, and failed abortions with ongoing pregnancies. Consider that in 1998, Denise Doe (not her real name) left a Louisiana clinic with a two-inch gash across her cervix and an infection so severe it sent her into a coma for 14 days. For the next six months, she could not even use the bathroom—she had to rely on a colostomy bag.  An emergency hysterectomy at a nearby hospital ultimately saved her life. And in 2000, a woman in Bucks County, PA went home from a clinic in pain—called back because of painful bleeding and the doctor never responded. She went to the ER and had surgery to remove the fetus from the fallopian tube.

    Long-term health risks include an increased risk of cervical and ovarian cancer, and a 30% increased chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Abortion can also lead to infertility due to hysterectomies, pelvis inflammatory disease and miscarriage. Finally, abortion can lead to complications in future pregnancies including: premature birth, placenta previa, and ectopic pregnancy.

 

    3. Abortion is bad for women because they are dying from it.

    Death from abortion proves that it is not safer than childbirth and women are still dying from the abortion procedure itself.

    In February 2002, 25 year-old Diana Lopez died at a Los Angeles clinic because the staff failed to follow established protocols before and after the abortion. If they had followed protocols, they would have realized she was not a good candidate for abortion because of blood pressure problems, and afterwards when her uterus was punctured during the abortion they should have called for an ambulance.

    In January 2004, a 15 year old girl died in Southfield MI from “uterine infarction with sepsis due to a second trimester abortion.”  The Coroner, Dr. Hlavaty told Ann Norton, who is also a nurse, that the “girl’s death was normal.”  The doctor explained:  “I ruled it normal because these complications are expected with this type of abortion.”

    Women with abortion history have increased risk of dying from a variety of causes after abortion. A study done in Finland shows that 94% of maternal deaths associated with abortion are not identifiable from death certificates alone. Proper tracking of pregnancy associated deaths requires linking the death certificates to the deceased women’s medical records. Therefore, with proper identification of pregnancy history, the research revealed that the death rate associated with abortion is actually three times higher than that of childbirth. The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    In a study of 173,000 women’s health records in California, women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following two years and that the elevated mortality rate of aborting women persisted over at least eight years. This study was published in the Southern Medical Journal.

   

    4. Abortion is bad for women because it opens the door for subtle pressure and coercion by family, friends, employers, institutions of learning, sexual predators and the culture. 

    Jennifer O’Neill, the celebrity spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and well-known actress, who starred in the movie Summer of ‘42, was forced by her fiancé to abort the baby she wanted.  He told her that he would sue for custody of her older daughter if she didn’t abort their child. 

    In some cases, parents threaten to kick the girl out of the home, boyfriends and husbands threaten to leave, or women are told by well-meaning friends that having a baby would ruin their lives and they simply have to have an abortion. For a woman who is already facing a crisis situation, this kind of manipulation, intimidation and pressure is subtle coercion; it can be the final push towards making a decision that she would not have chosen if someone had offered her support in her pregnancy. One Elliot Institute survey found that more than half of women suffering from post-abortion trauma said they were pressured to abort. Their experiences are haunting: “A homeless woman was denied shelter until she submitted to an unwanted abortion... a teen was ridiculed by a school counselor and bussed to the abortion clinic...a daughter was pushed into an abortion clinic at gunpoint by her mother...a girlfriend was injected with an abortifacient outside a parking garage...a 13-year-old was returned to her molester after her abortion...three sisters were raped repeatedly by their father and forced into abortions for nearly a decade...a wife miscarried after her husband jumped on her stomach to force an abortion...a waitress was fired after refusing to have an abortion.”  Many of these women say they would have carried to term if they had been given support by someone close to them.

 

    5. Abortion is bad for women because it negatively affects future relationships.

    When we have abortions, we struggle with issues of trust afterwards. Especially when those around us pressure us. How can someone love us and then make us go through this painful, violent procedure. I struggled to trust my husband for years.

    It affects how we relate to children we have in the future. Sometimes we can’t bond with them or we over protect them. I was an over-protector.

    Abortion is a secret we’ve kept from spouses, children, or parents; if we do want to seek healing, we must tell them. Telling others creates another set of problems and concerns. For instance explaining to my eight-year-old that I aborted a baby when I was 16 was the most awful thing I ever had to do.

 

    6. Abortion is bad for women because it has become a band-aid that allows society to abandon women.

    Our culture has come to depend upon abortion so that individuals and churches don’t have to get involved in caring for today’s widows and orphans. It also frees many men from taking responsibility for their sexual promiscuity. 

    Abortion stops being one choice among many and becomes the only choice because all the emotional and financial support dries up. Friends default to endorsing abortion so they don’t have to be bothered. Pregnancy support should be emphasized instead of handing a girl $300 and telling her to take care of her problem.

 

    7. Abortion is bad for women because it is a form of racism against poor and ethnic women.

    Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) said in 1922, “All our problems are the result of over breeding among the working classes.”  Today, Planned Parenthood identifies its core clients as young women, low-income women and women of color. Black and Hispanic women represent only a quarter of American women of child-bearing age, yet account for more than half of all abortions in the US. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King quotes her uncle who said’ “The negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” Today, Alveda asks, “How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder our children?”

    Legalized abortion doesn’t help poor women, after their abortion they are still poor.

 

    8. Abortion is bad for women because it has led to increase violence against pregnant women.

    According to one study of battered women, the target of battery during their pregnancies shifted from their face and breasts to their pregnant abdomens, which suggests hostility toward the women’s fertility. Women are literally being killed for refusing to abort. The leading cause of death during pregnancy is homicide. In one study of violent deaths among pregnant women, three out of every four were killed during their first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

 

    These eight reasons are why thousands of women are joining the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and being SILENT NO MORE! The Campaign has three goals:

    a. To educate the public that abortion is harmful emotionally, physically and spiritually with lasting consequences.

    b. To reach out to those hurting after their abortion and let them know help is available.

    c. To invite those who are ready to share their stories to join us in being silent no more.

    We accomplish our goals by:  1. Holding gatherings in public places where people share their abortion stories. People also share at churches and one-on-one. They write articles, op-eds and letters to editors, 2. The Campaign celebrity spokesperson Jennifer O’Neill (Actress, Model and Author) and Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King) frequently appear on television and radio shows and speak before thousands of people sharing the negative impact of abortion in their lives, 3. Campaign billboards, commercials and products that promote the Campaign message such as bumper stickers, pins, mugs and t-shirts.

    The voices of experience need to be heard so others can learn about the help available. We want people who think abortion is a good solution for an unplanned pregnancy to understand the real long-term consequences their friend or loved one is likely to face in the future.

    To learn about help in the St. Louis area, contact Amy Martin at amy@clothedwithjoy.org or call 636-489-1600. To learn more about the Campaign or read the back-up the information related to this article visit www.SilentNoMoreAwareness.org.


 

    Georgette Forney is the President of Anglicans for Life, a life-affirming global ministry. She is also the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. Since officially launching the Campaign in 2003, 2,040 women and men have shared their testimonies at 142 gatherings that have occurred in 44 states and 5 countries with more than 11,855 spectators having heard the truth about abortion’s negative after-affects.  More than 3,800 people are registered to be silent no more. Georgette has spoken at many CPC banquets, pro-life conferences, conventions, churches, rallies, and university and college campuses. She served as the host for the television infomercial Tilly. In addition, she has addressed the Pro-Life Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives concerning abortion and women and gave testimony at the Senate Commerce sub-committee on Science, Technology and Space Hearing, chaired by Senator Brownback (KS-R) regarding the impact of abortion on women’s health. Recently Georgette has spoken at the SPUC Annual Conference in England, Princeton University’s Organization of Women Leaders Conference and in May 2005 she attended a meeting with 19 religious leaders and President Bush. She has done numerous print, radio and television interviews for local, syndicated and national shows, papers and magazines. Georgette lives in Sewickley, PA with her husband and daughter.