25 Aug The Effects of Abortion
By Pastor Jim Ricci
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court struck down every federal, state, and local law regulating or restricting the practice of abortion. This action was based on the premise that the states no longer had any need to regulate abortion because the advances of modern medicine had now made abortion “relatively safe.”
Since the Court’s ruling in 1973, there have been many studies into the aftereffects of abortion. Their combined results paint a haunting picture of physical and psychological damage among millions of women who have undergone abortions. Now in light of the Planned Parenthood Videos and the debate it has stirred up, I thought I would shine some light on this issue from a counseling point of view. In my over 25 years of counseling, I have attested to the following negative results with scores of young and mature women seeking abortion counseling.
The Physical Complications of Abortion (My research, based on reliable national data)
National statistics on abortion show that 10% of women undergoing induced abortion suffer from immediate complications, of which one-fifth (20%) were considered major.
Over one hundred potential complications have been associated with induced abortion. “Minor” complications include: minor infections, bleeding, fevers, chronic abdominal pain, gastro-intestinal disturbances, vomiting, and Rh sensitization. The nine most common “major” complications are infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock or a potentially lethal drop in blood pressure due to the presence of bacteria in the blood.
One possible outcome of abortion related infections is sterility. Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of the operation’s latent morbidity. The risk of sterility is even greater for women who are infected with a venereal disease at the time of the abortion. In addition to the risk of sterility, women who acquire post-abortal infections are five to eight times more likely to experience ectopic pregnancies.
The Psychological Effects of Abortion
A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found that 25% of aborted women made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. Women who have undergone post-abortion counseling report over 100 major reactions to abortion. Among the most frequently reported are: depression, loss of self-esteem, self-destructive behavior, sleep disorders, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, chronic problems with relationships, dramatic personality changes, anxiety attacks, guilt and remorse, difficulty grieving, increased tendency toward violence, chronic crying, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and people, and difficulty bonding with later children.
Among the most worrisome of these reactions is the increase of self-destructive behavior among aborted women. In a survey of over 100 women who had suffered from post-abortion trauma, fully 80 percent expressed feelings of “self-hatred.” In the same study, 49 percent reported drug abuse and 39 percent began to use or increased their use of alcohol. Approximately 14 percent described themselves as having become “addicted” or “alcoholic” after their abortions. In addition, 60 percent reported suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times.
Every human life is precious because the Bible says that we are all created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Christians, we must pray. We must pray that God would protect the innocent—that he would rise up and defend the helpless (Ps 146:7–9). And we must also pray for the salvation of abortionists and those who support the Pro-Choice position.
(Jim Ricci was the Associative Pastor and Care and Counseling Pastor at Cranston Christian Fellowship in Rhode Island from 1989 to 2017. He is now the Executive Director at Aletheia Counseling Ministries in Warwick, RI.)