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Medical Risks of Abortion for Women

Are women being impartially informed about the medical risks associated with an abortive procedure?

Dismissing the issue of abortion as a simple case of women’s reproductive rights continues a cycle of misinformation. Abortion is a procedure with physical and psychological l risks and many women are not being adequately informed.

The methods in which a pregnancy termination is carried out vary depending on the stage of pregnancy that a woman has reached. The two most common surgical methods are suction curettage, and, dilation and evacuation.

A suction curettage procedure is typically performed between seven to twelve weeks of foetal development, during the first trimester of pregnancy, under local or light general anaesthetic. The woman’s cervix is gradually dilated through the insertion of increasingly large probes until a suction tube, called a cannula, enters the uterus and the foetus and placenta are suctioned out.  The lining of a woman’s uterus is then scraped to ensure the removal of any remaining contents.

Dilation and evacuation occurs at around twelve weeks onwards. Given that the size of the foetus has now increased, the woman’s cervix will also require additional dilation. After receiving a local or general anaesthetic, the cervix is dilated and the foetus and placenta are subsequently removed from the uterus. However, due to the degree of foetal development at this point, most foetus’ are simply too big to be removed in one piece and so using a grasp and pull method the abortionist dismembers the unborn child and finally removes the head.

Risk of complications  increase the further along a woman is in her pregnancy. For instance, there is a chance that the abortive procedure will not successfully remove all of the contents of the conception. This can cause infection, and prolonged or heavy bleeding and can require a repeat curette surgery to be undertaken. Symptoms include pain, heavy or prolonged bleeding or the passing of clots.

Women are also susceptible to problems which arise from scar tissue development. Cervical Stenosis, which affects approximately one in every five hundred women, prevents blood from exiting the uterus because of the development of scar tissue at the opening of the uterus. Cervical Stenosis can usually be treated, but in rare cases severe scarring may cause untreatable infertility.

There are many women who also experience severe psychological and emotional difficulties following an abortion. The contributing effects of coercion and conflicted feelings can unfortunately eventuate into cases of clinical depression and PTSD.

The abortion industry has a deep financial interest in women having terminations and should not be considered an impartial source of information. It is important that women receive impartial information on the reality of the abortion procedure and the post-abortive risks from a third source before they make the decision to go ahead.