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Facts of Life

The Impacts of Abortion


Prenatal Development


Human Life

Begins

at Fertilization

“This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual... A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).

Day 1: From the moment of conception all the way through its development up unto death this individual is UNIQUE, HUMAN and ALIVE.

Unique – The child has its own unique code of DNA, a road map for the future of that small person that will influence the way they appear, their personality, their talents and individual way of perceiving the world.

Human – Their DNA, their essence is human, not chicken, or horse, or monkey. They are distinctly human organisms.

Alive – They are a living organism according to the four criteria of life: Metabolism, Growth, Response to stimuli and Reproduction

21 days
4 weeks
8 weeks
23 weeks
32 weeks

21 days: The heart begins to beat.

4 weeks: Tiny arms and legs develop.

8 weeks: Body systems all developed and grow from there.

23 weeks: Baby can experience pain and survive outside the womb.

32 weeks: Baby is already forming memories and will recognise the voices of its family once born.


Abortion Harms Children


We know that it is

killing

but the States

permit

killing under certain

circumstances

- Dr Neville Sender, Abortionist

1st Trimester Abortions
Mifepristone and Misoprostol
Used up to 9 weeks gestation. Mifepristone is taken first. It blocks progesterone hormones from acting on the uterine cells, causing the lining to deteriorate. The fetus is then starved of oxygen and nutrition and dies. 24-48 hours later Misoprostol is taken. This causes uterine contraction to expel the placenta and fetus.
Vacuum Aspiration
This is the most common procedure between 7-12 weeks gestation. The woman is put under anaesthetic. The cervix is dilated with a series of rods of progressively larger sizes being inserted. A suctioning tube is then inserted into the uterus and the foetus and placenta are removed. The lining of the uterus is scraped down to ensure that all the contents have been taken away.
2nd Trimester Abortions
Dilatation and Evacuation Abortion
This is usually performed between 12 and 24 weeks. The mother is put under general anaesthetic and given drugs to dilate the cervix. Using long toothed forceps the body parts are grasped at random and pulled from the body. Eventually they grasp and crush the baby’s head to pull it from the uterus. The parts of the baby are then reassembled to ensure that it has been completely removed and the placenta and any remaining contents are removed via a vacuum.
Saline Induction
Usually performed after 12 weeks. This procedure is performed by injecting a high concentration saline fluid directly into the amniotic sac. This fluid poisons and chemically burns the unborn baby until it dies after about an hour. The saline also induces contractions and eventually the mother will deliver the baby. This procedure is now very rarely done because of the relatively high number of babies born alive.
3rd Trimester Abortions
Dilatation and Evacuation Abortion
Usually performed after 24 weeks but most commonly after 28 weeks. The mother is put under general anaesthetic and given drugs to dilate the cervix. The unborn baby is pulled feet-first from the uterus until just the head remains inside the cervix. The abortionist then uses long scissors or a hollow metal tube (a trochar) to pierce the base of the skull and then suctions the baby’s brain. The skull then collapses and the abortionist completes the delivery of the baby.

Abortion Harms Women


My case was

wrongfully

decided, and has caused

great harm

to the women and

children of our nation

- Norma McCorvey, plaintiff in Roe v. Wade

Physical Harms

Short term risks

Surgical abortion

Like any surgical procedure, abortions have risks:
  • Infection - 0.2-0.5% of cases. The surgery can introduce harmful bacteria which can cause an acute fever and has a small risk of inducing future issues with fertility.
  • Retained products of conception - 1-2% of cases. Not all the contents may be removed and a further surgical procedure may be required.
  • Haemorrhage requiring transfusion - 0.2% of cases. The irritation to the uterus may cause excessive bleeding.
  • Perforation of the Uterus - 0.1% - 0.4% of cases. This may require surgical repair and possibly the complete removal of the uterus.
  • Cervical Stenosis - Around 0.2% of cases. Can develop scarring at the opening of the cervix which may lead to subfertility or infertility.

Medical Abortions

Medical abortions have significantly greater rates of complications compared to surgical abortions. One large Finnish study showed that 5.7% of medical abortion cases required hospitalisation compared with 0.4% of surgical abortion cases. The risk of infection was triple that of surgical abortions and risk of haemorrhage was around ten-fold that of the surgical alternative.

Long term risks

  • Infertility - Women who have abortions are more likely to experience ectopic pregnancies, infertility and hysterectomies.
  • Placenta Praevia - Placenta covers the opening of the uterus, complicating the pregnancy. A 2009 meta-analysis found a 50% increase in placenta praevia for women who had had at least 1 induced abortion.
  • Miscarriages- A large 2006 UK study found that post-abortive women had a 63% increased risk of miscarriages.
  • Future premature births - A 2009 international meta-analysis found that 1 termination was associated with a 36% increased risk and 2 or more with a 93% increased risk of future preterm deliveries.
  • Breast cancer - A large 2014 Chinese meta-analysis found a strong correlation between abortion and breast cancer with 1, 2 and 3 or greater abortions conferring 44%, 76% and 89% increased risk respectively. There are three key ways in which abortion increases breast cancer risks: First delay in or lack of full pregnancy increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer (pregnancy is protective), second abortion increases the risk of preterm delivery which also increases breast cancer risk and finally it leaves many underdeveloped mammary cells that are susceptible to mutate to form cancerous cells.

Psychological Harms

A 2011 meta-analysis that examined 22 studies and over 800,000 women found that women who have an abortion are at an 81% higher risk of subsequent mental health problems compared to women who have not had an abortion, and 138% higher risk compared to women who have given birth. Furthermore, post-abortive women have increased rates of anxiety (34% higher), depression (37%), alcohol use/misuse (110%), marijuana use (230%), and suicidal behavior (155%) compared to those who have not had abortions.

Abortion Harms Australia


A Nation's

greatness

will be judged on how it

protects

its most

innocent

- Mahatma Gandhi

1 in 4 people in this generation are missing because of abortion.

If you imagine how different your life would be without your brother, sister, best friend or partner you will come to the tragic realisation that our world is so very different now that we are missing 1 in 4 of these valuable people. We will never know who they would have been - a green grocer who serves their community, a musician who lives to make people happy or a scientist who finds a cure for cancer. Australia is missing millions of people because of abortion.


The Tough Cases


A person's a person,

no matter

how small

- Dr. Seuss

Abortion is always a difficult situation but particularly in cases of rape, incest and risk of harm to the mother, it is especially challenging. These situations, despite making up a small minority of cases, are repeatedly used to argue for legalised abortion without any limits.

Endangerment of the life of the mother

Complications such as ectopic pregnancy, cancer and eclampsia are genuine life threatening risks to the health of the mother in pregnancy. Abortion is the “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy” and is not necessary for any of these cases. In cases of ectopic pregnancy and cancer, if the mother’s life is in danger early in the pregnancy the procedures undertaken will save the life of the mother and as an unintended side effect may cause the death of the foetus - but it is not the “deliberate” or “intended” effect of the treatment. For most life threatening situations past 25 weeks, the pregnancy can be terminated by inducing labour or performing a caesarean and everything can be done to save the life of both the mother and child.

Rape

Rape is an abhorrent tragedy and an incredibly traumatic situation for any person. In a minority of cases women become pregnant through rape. For these women abortion does not undo the rape, in fact in some cases it adds to the trauma. Furthermore, as children of rape victims point out, simply because they were born of a terrible situation does not mean that they had any less of a right to live. The solution is not abortion but rather that the mother gets love, support, counselling and any needed help she needs, the criminal is given a just punishment and our culture is driven away from the demeaning sexualisation and objectification of women.

The Solutions

Recognise the beauty and value of all life

The first and most important step in changing our nation’s culture will be to create a society that truly values life in all of its forms. The conviction that all life is precious, valuable and worth protecting and cherishing paves the way to supporting women and children and the recognising what abortion really is.

Support women and children

Pregnancy, birth and raising a child is an emotionally, financially and socially challenging situation, particularly if the woman does not have adequate supports. There are a number of wonderful organisations around Australia who support women in these situations. To be pro-life means to support life at all stages and thus we need a pro-life culture that supports women in crisis pregnancies and gives them the structures to provide for their child.

Rebuild the adoption option

More than 40,000 children were living in foster homes or out-of-home care in 2015, but the number of adoptions in Australia fell to an all-time low of 209. In the year 1971-72 there were 10 000 adoptions in a significantly smaller Australian population. Some of the reticence of women to continue an unexpected pregnancy is that they could not bear to be separated from a child they had borne for 9 months. They cannot imagine their child having a good life in the foster care system. A culturally positive attitude towards adoption as a loving option for both the mother and child needs to be in place as part of addressing the systemic issues we have with abortion.

Destigmatise disability

The stigma and negativity associated with intellectual disability in Australia means that 90% of our children with Down syndrome are aborted. Despite the ostentatious public support for disability there is a strong sub-culture, particularly amongst the medical profession, of seeing individuals with Down syndrome as a burden, people who will live short, unhappy lives and would be better off dead. We need a community that genuinely loves, supports and values those with disabilities.

References

Coleman, P.K., 2011. Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 199(3), pp.180–6. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21881096 [Accessed January 11, 2013].

Faiz, A.S. & Ananth, C. V., 2003. Etiology and risk factors for placenta previa: an overview and meta-analysis of observational studies. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 13(3), pp.175–190. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/jmf.13.3.175.190.

Huang, Y. et al., 2014. A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females. Cancer causes & control : CCC, 25(2), pp.227–36. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24272196.

Maconochie, N. et al., 2007. Risk factors for first trimester miscarriage--results from a UK-population-based case-control study. BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 114(2), pp.170–186.

Shah, P. S., & Zao, J. (2009). Induced termination of pregnancy and low birthweight and preterm birth: A systematic review and meta-analyses. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 116(11), 1425–1442. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02278.x