Studies – General Research

Abortion Has Greater Negative Impact On Teens (AIRVSC,2001)

The hazards of abortion for women are greatest for teenagers, according to a research report, “Differential Adverse Impact on Teenagers Who Undergo Induced Abortion,” Association for Interdisciplinary Research in Values and Social Change, Vol. 15, No. 1. Researchers found that, in comparison to women who had abortions after 20 years of age, the adolescent women had higher incidences of antisocial traits, paranoia, drug abuse, psychotic delusions, nightmares, and post-abortion suicide attempts. A study of 75 female runaway adolescents in New York City found that suicide attempts and ideation were significantly related to a prior abortion. Another inner city study indicated that teens who were HIV+ were more likely to have a history of abortion. This relationship was found also in a study of women in West Africa where abortion was a risk factor for HIV-1 infection, with women in the teen years having the greatest risk. A prior elective abortion has also been found to be related to significantly higher drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers. Such substance abuse appears to be both a cause and effect of induced abortion. Repeat abortions are a frequent phenomena since adolescents in particular seek replacement pregnancies. A Los Angeles study found that 38 percent of teenagers having an abortion had had a previous abortion, and 18 percent had had two abortions in the same year. Teens who decide to have an abortion are more likely than older women to have been pressured by parents, boyfriend or peers, and therefore the decision is difficult and hazardous. Some psychiatrists have concluded that adolescent immaturity is a likely contributor to ambivalence about the decision and to...

Major Compilation Finds Abortion Risks Much Higher Than Expected (dV,4/2002)

Abortion complications are seriously under-reported, leaving women who undergo abortion largely unaware of the range of physical and psychological risks they face. The deVeber Institute, a nonprofit Canadian bioethics institute and social research group based in Toronto, has released its comprehensive review of the world medical literature on abortion in a new book entitled “Women’s Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence.” The investigation is based on 500+ studies that have appeared in medical and other journals, chiefly during the past 20 years. Breast cancer, pelvic infection, infertility, life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, and subsequent premature births – with higher rates of children born with cerebral palsy – were found to be associated with abortion. Abortion complications were not limited to physical health. While abortion is often regarded as a cure for the depression and stress of a crisis pregnancy, the study found that women are more likely to commit suicide after abortion than after giving birth to a child. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Emory University professor of humanities and women’s studies, calls the findings “compelling”, and says the study “makes overwhelmingly clear [that] women who seek abortions in the United States and Canada are not even told of the risks they are running.” The current high level of 114,000 reported abortions in Canada and 1.4 million/year in the U.S. underscore the magnitude of this suppressed public health issue. [To order the study from deVeber Institute ($24.95 (Cdn), $19.95 (US) visit the website: http://deveber.org/publications2.html#launch NV; 24April02,...

Canadian Research: Abortion More Dangerous Than Pro-Abortion Claims (StatsCan)

Canadian Abortion Rights Action League’s (CARAL) Web site claims, “Under normal medical conditions, abortion is a very safe procedure.” It does admit, “rare, serious complications requiring follow-up treatment can occur.” It also acknowledges recent studies suggesting a link between abortions and the development of breast cancer, but calls these studies “inconsistent and inconclusive.” According to Isabelle Begin, v-p of a pro-life group in Quebec, abortions are far more dangerous to women than groups such as CARAL admit. In 2/01, Begin’s group was sued by an abortion center for publishing a pamphlet claiming that one out of 25 women receiving a legal abortion in Canada is in subsequent need of up to 7 days of hospital care. The clinic claimed the pamphlet was “fallacious, morbid and alarmist.” The clinic presented a Statistics Canada table placing the abortion complication rate at 1.1%, far lower than pro-lifers’ claimed 4%. In 7/01, however, the abortion center dropped the suit, probably because the pro-life group did an effective job of rebutting the center’s evidence in court. “They never took the time to read the endnotes at the bottom of the Statistics Canada complication table they quote.” RVO demonstrated to the court that the StatsCan study cited by the abortion center listed only those abortions performed in hospitals & did not include the nearly 1/3 of abortions performed at abortion sites. Furthermore, only 75% of hospitals report abortions to the Statistics Canada Therapeutic Abortions database. Of those, only some declare medical complications, and even then, only “immediate” complications are taken into account. Another StatsCan study, “Second-trimester abortions: Trends & medical complications,” suggests an abortion performed...

Abortion Deadlier For Women Than Childbirth (STAKES,1997)

FINISH STUDY SHOWS ABORTION DEADLIER FOR WOMEN THAN CHILDBIRTH — The study results were released in 1997 by STAKES, the statistical analysis unit of Finland's National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health, but are only now attracting attention in the USA. These studies are all based on computerized  medical records, i.e., they depend on written records rather than potentially erroneous patient interview material: References: Gissler, M, et.al., “Pregnancy associated deaths in Finland 1987-1994, Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 76:651-657 (1997); Gissler, M., et.al.,,”Suicides after pregnancy in Finland: 1987-1994: register linkage study.  British Medical Journal 313:1431-34, (1996); Summarized in The Post-Abortion Review, Vol 8, No. 2, April-June 2000, from Elliot Institute, PO Box 7348, Springfield, IL 62791: Examines records of all women ages 15 to 49 who died in Finland from 1987 to 1994, includes in the study those who died within 1 year of their last pregnancy event: 281 deaths. Of these 281 women dying within 1 year of  pregnancy event (ie, liveborn delivery, stillborn, miscarriage, or induced abortion), 27% died by suicide, 20 % died due to “accident,” 5% died by homicide,  45% died due to “natural cause,” 3%”violent-unclear cause—either accident, suicide, or homicide..” These are compared to non-pregnant age matched women. For purposes of meaningful comparison, maternal deaths are expressed  as # of deaths/100,000, and are compared to similar age women who are not pregnant. The study involved maternal post-abortion deaths of 9,192 Finnish women, aged 15-49, during the period of 1987-1994. The researchers pulled death certificates and reproductive health records and then narrowed the study to women who had a pregnancy related event (birth, miscarriage,...

Adolescent Pregnancy, Adolescent Birth, Adolescent Abortion

The Decline in Adolescent Pregnancy, Birth and Abortion Rates in the 1990s: What Factors Are Responsible? by The Physicians Consortium (formerly the Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils), 7January1999 — http://www.physconsortium.com/pdfs/teen_birthrate_01_07_99.pdf NUMBER OF TEEN ABORTIONS IN 1999 LOWEST SINCE ROE, 1973 According to the AGI data, there were 835,930 pregnancies among girls ages 15-19 in 1999 — 475,745 of which ended in birth, 240,940 of which ended in abortion, and slightly more than 119,000 ended in miscarriage. Because of the difficulty in gathering the abortion data needed to calculate pregnancy data, the AGI data lag about 2 years behind birth data reports. In 1973, there were 231,900 abortions in this age group. The fewest teen abortions were 191,000 in 1972. "What I find most encouraging is that the abortion rate for teens is lower than it has ever been since abortion became legal," said O'Bannon of NRLC. "That means that fewer teens are seeing abortion as any kind of solution… And that bodes well for the future." According to the data, there were 85.6 pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 15-19 in 1999, 27% lower than the record high of 116.9 pregnancies per 1,000 teens in 1990. Also, there were 24.7 abortions for every 1,000 teen pregnancies, the lowest rate since 1973, when the rate was 22.8 abortions for every 1,000 teen pregnancies. AGI researchers attributed about one-fourth of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate to increased abstinence among teens and the remainder to changes in behavior, including increased use of long-lasting contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera. A study published in the spring issue of Adolescent and Family Health...

Pro-choice Researchers Acknowledge Existence of Post Abortion Syndrome (AGP,8/2000)

Researchers writing in the Archives of General Psychiatry [Aug 2000] have acknowledged that some women experience post-abortion syndrome (PASS). The research team, led by Dr. Brenda Major, diagnosed PASS among 1.4 percent of a sample of women who had abortions two years previously. “Even at the low rate identified in this study, the impact is tremendous,” said Dr. Vincent Rue, who first proposed PASS as a variant of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 1981. “With 40 million abortions since 1972, this would translate into 560,000 cases of PASS.”  [581,000 cases as of  1/2004] Rue also notes that many women in the study reported psychiatric disorders that are less severe than full-blown PAS. Twenty percent of the women in the Majors study experienced clinical depression. When asked if they would do it all over again, 31 percent reported that they would not have chosen abortion or were uncertain. “Since ambivalence is a good predictor of post-abortion problems, ” said Rue, “it is likely that many of these women are having post-abortion symptoms that simply fall short of full-blown PAS.” Dr. David Reardon, who directs a post-abortion research & education organization, the Elliot Institute, notes: “Clearly, this study shows that abortionists should be screening for a history of depression,” he said. “It also confirms a large body of earlier research that shows that prior psychological problems are more likely to be made worse by abortion, not better…The biggest shortcomings of this study are the high dropout and refusal rates,” he said. “Even though women were offered payment to participate, 15 percent of the women who were initially approached refused to participate,...

Bobbitt Mutilation and Abortion (1/2004)

TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF BOBBITT MUTILATION TRIAL BRINGS NEW ANSWERS   Ten years ago, on January 10, 1994, Lorena Bobbitt went on trial for the “malicious wounding” of her husband’s manhood with an eight-inch kitchen knife. After an eleven day trial, she was acquitted on grounds of temporary insanity.    On the tenth anniversary of this internationally watched trial, the Elliot Institute is releasing a special report on the case, entitled “The John and Lorena Bobbitt Mystery, Unraveled” that reveals surprising new information on the case. The 14,000-word report goes beyond the standard explanation of an abused wife striking back at her husband. This in-depth analysis offer a detailed account of why the attack happened on that particular night; why Lorena focused her attack and took her husband’s manhood, and even why, when fleeing the house, she even paused long enough to steal their houseguest’s handheld video game.    According to Dr. David Reardon, author of the Elliot Institute report, “All the evidence presented at Lorena’s trial supports the view that her psychiatric symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were precipitated by a coerced abortion three days before their first wedding anniversary. Lorena pleaded to keep her child and gave in to the abortion only because she was pressured into it by John. Like other women before her, Lorena experienced the unwanted abortion as an attack on both her maternity and her sexuality. That is the key to understanding her subsequent attack on John.”     Dr. Reardon, a well-known expert on the abortion experiences of women, believes guilt, shame, and resentment over the abortion fueled the rapid rise in violence and sexual...

Infertility Linked to Fetal Fragment Remains From Abortion (FSJ,4/2003)

Unexplained infertility in otherwise healthy women may sometimes be caused by fetal bone fragments left embedded in the uterus after an abortion, which cause chronic irritation and interfere with future pregnancies. The fragments can work their way into the muscular uterine lining, making them invisible even with a hysteroscope. Any fetus at least 12 weeks old can have bony tissues. Doctors at the Univ of Ottawa describe an infertile 36-year-old woman who had an abortion 15 years earlier. Her uterus appeared normal by hysteroscope; but an ultrasound exam showed embedded bone fragments which they removed. Four months later, she became pregnant and later delivered a healthy boy. In previous studies, virtually all women who had such fragments removed were able to get pregnant soon afterward. [Fertility and Sterility Journal, Apr03; Elliot Institute News Vol.2, No.5, 19May03; The Washington Post, 1May03; 5May03 Pro-Life E-News...

Substance Abuse Among Pregnant Women Linked to Prior Abortion (ACOG,12/2002)

RESEARCH UNDERSCORES ABORTION'S RISKS TO WOMEN AND LATER CHILDREN Am J Obstet Gynecol 2002;187:1673-8 Previous research has revealed a general association between induced abortion and substance use. The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation when substance use is measured specifically during a subsequent pregnancy. Women with a prior history of abortion are twice as likely (2.22) to use alcohol, five times more likely (5.60) to use illicit drugs, and ten times more likely (10.29) to use marijuana during the first pregnancy they carry to term compared to other women delivering their first pregnancies, according to a study published in the newest issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The researchers conclude that higher rates of substance use during the subsequent pregnancies would place the newborn children of these women at higher risk of congenital defects, low birth weight, and death.               The research is based on the National Pregnancy and Health Survey, using a nationally representative sample of 2,613 women who had recently given birth. The survey was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the Division of Epidemiological and Prevention Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse for the purpose of providing the first national assessment of licit and illicit drug use and alcohol consumption among pregnant women.  This is the seventeenth study linking abortion to elevated rates of substance abuse. It is the first study, however, to specifically show that drug and alcohol abuse remain higher during subsequent pregnancies. Reardon, who directs the Elliot Institute and is co-author of the new book, "Forbidden...

Women who Abort (SMJ,8/2002)

A study published in the 8/2002 issue of the Southern Medical Journal reveals that women who have abortions are at significantly higher risk of death than women who give birth, both in the short- and long-term, and across socioeconomic boundaries. Compared to delivering women, women who abort have an elevated risk of death from all causes that persists for at least 8 years. Projected on the national population, this effect may contribute to 2000-5000 additional deaths among women each year. [Southern Medical Journal study reported in 3/03 Lifelines; Elliot Inst 02 Year End Report] It appears that the death rate following abortion is actually much higher than previously known. Researchers examined death records linked to Medi-Cal payments for births and abortions in 1989 for approximately 173,270 low income Californian women. The study compared women whose history of pregnancy outcomes fell into five different categories. The delivery-only group had the fewest deaths and the abortion-only group had the most deaths. They discovered that 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 (1989-1997). The authors suggest that delivering a child has a protective effect on women. This finding contradicts the widely accepted opinion that abortion is safer than childbirth. During the eight year period studied, women who aborted had a significantly higher age-adjusted risk of death from all causes (1.62). They had a 154 percent higher risk of death from suicide (2.54), an 82 percent higher risk of death from accidents (1.82), and a 44 percent higher risk...

Abortion More Dangerous Than Pro-Abortionists Claim (Canada, 8/2001)

Canadian Abortion Rights Action League’s (CARAL) Web site claims, “Under normal medical conditions, abortion is a very safe procedure.” It does admit, “rare, serious complications requiring follow-up treatment can occur.” It also acknowledges recent studies suggesting a link between abortions and the development of breast cancer, but calls these studies “inconsistent and inconclusive.” According to Isabelle Begin, v-p of a pro-life group in Quebec, abortions are far more dangerous to women than groups such as CARAL admit. In 2/01, Begin’s group was sued by an abortion center for publishing a pamphlet claiming that one out of 25 women receiving a legal abortion in Canada is in subsequent need of up to 7 days of hospital care. The clinic claimed the pamphlet was “fallacious, morbid and alarmist.” The clinic presented a Statistics Canada table placing the abortion complication rate at 1.1%, far lower than pro-lifers’ claimed 4%. In 7/01, however, the abortion center dropped the suit, probably because the pro-life group did an effective job of rebutting the center’s evidence in court. “They never took the time to read the endnotes at the bottom of the Statistics Canada complication table they quote.” RVO demonstrated to the court that the StatsCan study cited by the abortion center listed only those abortions performed in hospitals & did not include the nearly 1/3 of abortions performed at abortion sites. Furthermore, only 75% of hospitals report abortions to the Statistics Canada Therapeutic Abortions database. Of those, only some declare medical complications, and even then, only “immediate” complications are taken into account. Another StatsCan study, “Second-trimester abortions: Trends & medical complications,” suggests an abortion performed...

Risk of Contracting Endometriosis Following Abortion Even Higher for Teens

  1986 report, “Post-Abortal Endometritis and Isolation of Chlamydia Trachomatis,” published in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology says that not only is it possible to contract endometriosis from an abortion, but that the risk is higher for teenagers. The report says teenagers are 2.5 times more likely than women 20-29 to acquire endometriosis following abortion. Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Nov;68(5):686-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3763086 Postabortal endometritis and isolation of Chlamydia trachomatis. Barbacci MB, Spence MR, Kappus EW, Burkman RC, Rao L, Quinn...