Studies - General Research

Abortion: Adverse Effects in a Nutshell (updated May 2013)

Women Need to Know, and have The RIGHT to Know…


The Effects to Their Bodies    The Effects to Their Future Children
DEATH                                 LABOR COMPLICATIONS
                                        All Can Lead to –> DISABILITIES IN FUTURE BABIES



Women Have the Right to Know: there are Two Breast Cancer Risks Associated with Abortion

All experts recognize the first risk:– that abortion denies women an opportunity to reduce their risk for breast cancer through childbearing.

Scientists only debate the second risk:
— known as the "independent link."        
Eight medical organizations and a bioethics journal recognize the independent link – that abortion leaves a woman with more cancer-vulnerable cells than she had before she became pregnant.

An additional medical group, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has called for "full disclosure" of a "highly plausible" relationship between abortion and the disease.        

Overwhelming evidence of a cause-effect relationship is supported by…
1. A biological explanation which scientists have been unable to disprove and do not challenge [ ].
2. A study on rats.
3. Epidemiological research.        
Scientists began extensive research [ ] on the abortion-breast cancer link in 1957. Why didn’t the government and cancer fundraising businesses want women to know about the existence of this research? If they cared about women’s health, they would have revealed their research to the public.        
According to the "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer (1973-1998)," published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2001, only the youngest of three generations – the Roe v. Wade generation – suffered a more than 40% increase in breast cancer cases since the mid-1980s. These were women young enough to have had access to legal abortions starting in 1973. The increase in breast cancer rates did NOT take place among women from the two older generations that couldn’t obtain legal abortions.        

The U.S. National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated on the report.

Two of the report’s authors had conducted earlier research [ ] showing that abortion increases breast cancer risk, but that research and the word "abortion" were omitted from the report. The report’s authors expressed no interest whatsoever in preventing breast cancer. [Howe et al. Jrnl Natl Cancer Inst (June 6, 2001) Vol. 93, No. 11, Figure 3]        
Two American women have succeeded in prosecuting their medical malpractice lawsuits against abortion doctors, who failed to warn them about the risks of breast cancer and emotional damage. Neither of the women has yet developed breast cancer.        
Post-abortive women are being deprived of a window of opportunity to adopt strategies to reduce their risk for breast cancer, seek early detection, and join clinical trials. They’re denying abortion-bound adolescents and young women their rights to make informed choices about their health care.
[see this homepage for imbedded links — ]





    1. Substance Abuse
    2. Clinical Depression  

    2-5 TIMES more substance abuse among women who had aborted than

    among non-aborters

   Recent Studies:
    5/2005            Brit Journal of Health Psychology
    6/04 & 6/05    American Journal Drug /Alcohol Use
    12/2002           ACOG
    1986, 1993      Archives of Sexual Behavior
2006 New Zealand Study — studied women from birth:
women who abort —  2 TIMES more likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels
AND 3 TIMES more likely addicted to illegal drug 
December 2007 — The Latest Study is an Australian study presented at the World Psychiatric Association in Melbourne, Aust. by Kaeleen Dingle, of the University of Queensland: tracked 1100+ women from birth

Women who aborted were 3 TIMES more likely to abuse hard drugs like heroin or meth than non-pregnant women or women who delivered; 2 TIMES as likely to be an alcoholic or engage in binge drinking; and 1.5 TIMES more likely to suffer from depression.         


    11/04     MSM — Traumatic Stress — Russian and American women
                    JAD  — Anxiety
    5/2003    CMAJ — Emotional Impact of Abortion & Miscarriage
    5/2004    PM
    1/02         BMJ — Depression
    7/02   &nbs

p;    AJO       "
    5/03        MSM & BMJ       "
    8/2000    AGP        "
    6/2000    APS        "
    5/03        CMAJ        "
2006 New Zealand Study — 42% women who aborted had 2 TIMES more major depression within 4 years
AND 2 TIMES more anxiety than women who were never pregnant

1. GISSLER 1997 STUDY (1987–1994)
    GISSLER 2004 STUDY  (13 years of data – 1987-2004)


[More Detail on these 2 studies at end of this page…]


Death Rate by Abortion Is 2.95 Higher Than Death Rate by Childbirth (AJOG,3/2004)    

[Gissler M, Berg C, Bouvier-Colle MH, Buekens P. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000. Am J Ob Gyn 2004; 190:422-427 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology]

The study found that the mortality rate associated with abortion is 2.95 times higher than that associated with pregnancies carried to term.

The 2004 study included the entire population of women 15-49 years of age in Finland, 1987-2002.


The researchers linked birth and abortion records to death certificates. The annual death rate of women who had abortions in the previous year was 46% higher than that of non-pregnant women…

Non-pregnant women — 57.0 deaths per 100,000;

Carried to Term —         28.2 deaths

Miscarried —                 51.9 deaths

Aborted —                    83.1 deaths 

The authors [lead Mika Gissler, Finland's National Research/Dev’t Centre for Welfare/Health] concluded: pregnancy contributes to a healthy effect on women.
This is the second record-based study to be published in the last 18 months to show that the death rates following abortion are significantly higher than those associated with birth.

2. REARDON/COLEMAN STUDY: Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a record linkage study of low income women.  
South Med J 2002 Aug; 95(8):834-41. Reardon DC, Ney PG, Scheuren F, Cougle J,   Coleman PK, Strahan TW.
Link to the actual study ttp://
47 References


Linked death records to Medi-Cal payments for births & abortions for ~173,000 low income CA women in 1989.

The study compared women whose history of pregnancy outcomes fell into 5 different categories.
The delivery-only group had the fewest deaths and the abortion-only group had the most deaths.
— Women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following 2 years
— the elevated mortality rate of aborting women persisted over at least 8 years (1989-1997).
— difference in death rates between the delivery-only group and the abortion-only group continued to be significant even when controlling for previous psychiatric problems.

 Projected on the national population, this effect may contribute to 2000-5000 additional deaths among women each year.
The authors suggest that delivering a child has a protective effect on women.
When specific causes of death were examined, two findings stand out.
1.  abortion increases the risk of dying from AIDS and
2. of dying from cardiovascular disease.

    NIH    8/2003
    BMJ  1996    & other studies

Abortion and mental health: The link we cannot ignore
Andrea Mrozek, National Post
September 13, 2007
Abortion is one of the most common surgeries performed on women in Canada. Roughly 105,000 are performed annually, 70% of them on women between the ages of 10 and 29.
 We owe it to women to learn exactly what risk they face when they have an abortion. – Andrea Mrozek is manager of Research and Communications at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
  Women who abort may LIVE RISKIER & MORE ABUSIVE LIFESTYLES after the abortion 
"It might be that women who have abortions are also more likely to live a riskier and more abusive lifestyle but there's also some evidence to suggest the procedure itself could put women on that path," Dingle told AAP.

VERY politicized
Generally Accepted: The PROTECTIVE EFFECT of early 1st full term pregnancy against cancer
Thorpe UNC – Obstetric & Gynecologic Survey 1/2003
Breast Cancer Epidemic: Modeling/Forecasts Based on Abortion & Other Risk Factors  (3 Oct 07)
Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 12 Number 3 Fall 2007

Using national cancer registration data for female breast cancer incidence in 8 European countries—England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Denmark— also comprehensive data on abortion incidence, trends are examined and future trends predicted.

Seven reproductive risk factors are considered as possible explanatory variables.

Induced abortion is found to be the best predictor, and fertility is also a “us

eful” predictor.
The other 5 variables not as helpful in predicting breast cancer.

“The increase in breast cancer incidence appears to be best explained by an increase in abortion rates, especially nulliparous abortions, and lower fertility."
Previous forecasts using the same model and incidence data for years through 1997 for England & Wales are compared with numbers of cancers observed in years from 1998–2004 in an Appendix.

Countries with higher abortion rates, such as England & Wales, should expect a substantial increase in breast cancer incidence.
Carroll’s forecast predicted 100.5% of the cancers observed in 2003, and 97.5% of those observed in 2004.

He found that, when abortion rates are low such as in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, a smaller increase is expected.
And in nations experiencing a decline in abortions, like Denmark and Finland, a similar decline in breast cancer is anticipated.
In four nations — England & Wales, Scotland, Finland and Denmark — he discovered a social gradient unlike that for other cancers. He found upper class and upwardly mobile women have more breast cancer than lower-income women.
Carroll suggests that the known preference for abortion in Women pursuing higher educations and professional careers who delay marriage and childbearing might explain the phenomenon.. Abortions before the birth of a first child are highly carcinogenic, he explained.
Carroll used national data from nations believed to have "nearly complete abortion counts."
Therefore, his study is not affected by recall bias.
The Challenge of Abortion for Epidemiologists in Female Breast Cancer Research Trends:
1. In most studies, and in many nations, the numbers of women who have had abortions may be underreported – hard to evaluate
2. The long LAG TIME for the development of breast cancer magnifies the problem. The average age of diagnosis is over 60, while most abortions and live births occur at ages under 30.
The long time lags, however, can be used to make long-term forecasts of cancer trends.
 The increase in breast cancer incidence appears to be best explained by an increase in abortion rates, especially nulliparous abortions, and lower fertility.
The new forecasts for eight countries can be tested in the coming years.
Patrick S. Carroll, M.A., is Director of Research, Pension and Population
Research Institute (PAPRI), 35 Canonbury Road, London N1 2DG, UK
Acknowledgements: Particular thanks are due to the charities LIFE and The Medical Education Trust, which funded the research, to the national statistical offices and cancer registries, which provided the data, and to the statisticians who kindly gave advice. Figure 10 is reproduced from the publication with permission of the Cancer Surveillance Team, Information Services Division (ISD), NHS National Services, Scotland. Computing was done by Andrew Chan and Lee Young.Potential conflicts of interest: none disclosed
1. Abortion and Premature Birth (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health  JECH, 12/07)    
Abortions increase the risk of low birth weight in future pregnancies by a factor of 3, and of premature birth by a factor of 2, according to the largest U.S. study of its kind.
What makes the report significant is the size and detail of data.
But the researchers behind the JECH study, which evaluated over 45,000 single-child live births from 1959 to 1966, were able to adjust for an impressive array of confounding variables, including race, age, weight, height, marital status, occupation, the number of prenatal visits, the number of previous children, smoking and drinking habits, drug habits, infant gender and both parents' education levels.

Link between abortion and low birth weight, AND that the risk increases with every subsequent abortion.
The accruing risk, says co-author Tilahun Adera at Virginia Commonwealth University, suggests that termination of pregnancy is a true cause of low birth weight and preterm birth rather than a variable associated with such conditions. "It's not just an association," he says. "
The risk of premature birth increases with the increasing number of abortions.
"Women who had had 1, 2 or 3 prior abortions were 3, 5 and 9 times more likely, respectively, to have a low-birth-weight child. (cervix may be weakened, increasing the risk of preterm birth later on. Or, it could be that uterine adhesions or infections from the terminated pregnancy  slow the growth of the fetus in subsequent pregnancies.")
"Women need to be informed about these risks."
 [18Dec2007, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH); 18Dec,,8599,1695927,00.html, By Laura Blue, Time]
2. DR. RICHARD BEHRMAN, representing Stanford Univ Institute of Medicine: prior first-trimester induced abortion as an “immutable medical risk factor associated with pre-term birth.”

In his book Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, & Prevention (2006), Behrman found that the premature birth rate in the U.S. was 12.5% in 2004 – 40% higher than the rate of 8.9% in 1980.

Citing that data, researchers Brent Rooney, of Canada, and William Robert Johnston, of Texas, published a letter in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: prohibiting abortion would reverse the trend and also drive down medical costs.

To back up their claim, they point to United Nations data [UNICEF] showing Poland dramatically reduced its rates of premature birth, maternal mortality and infant mortality within a few years after its abortion rate declined by 98% between 1989 and 1993 (as a result of the passage of an abortion ban).

"If induced abortion significantly elevates pre-term birth risk, one would expect Poland’s pre-term birth rate to slump 5–10 years after the induced-abortion rate plunge”.

Between 1995 and 1997, Poland’s pre-term birth rate dropped by 41.8%; maternal mortality decreased 41.4%; infant mortality was down by 25.0%. 

Improved diet and better medical care are alternate explanations for the plunge in premature birth figures.
But Rooney and Johnston cite a 1987 study of Polish women, published in the Polish journal Wiad Lek, which found that women who had induced abortions had 88% higher relative odds of pre-term birth compared to women who had never had an abortion.


3. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE — Previous Abortions Linked With Pre-Term Birth, Low Birth Weight, and Cerebral Palsy (JRM, 10/07)   
Brent Rooney Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition based in Vancouver, are Dr. Byron Calhoun [OBG prof, Western Virginia Univ]; Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian [OBG University of Michigan]

    Used study of 58,717 newborns with a birth weight und

er 1500 grams (3 lbs 5 oz) most of whom were very-preterm:
The authors examined data from more than 4,000,000 births  made a direct correlation between preterm births & mothers who had prior abortions.
Suggests: 31.5% of children born with very low birth weight are due to their mothers' prior induced abortions.
[Almost 8% of very low birth weight babies develop cerebral palsy.]
AND concludes that nearly 32% of “very-preterm” U.S. births (before 32 weeks gestation) are due to the mother having had a prior abortion…
This information, combined with previous research in the relation between low birth weight children and cerebral palsy (CP), results in an estimated 1,096 children suffering from CP because of their mother’s prior abortion. The 2002 data  examines 4,021,726 preterm babies and 72,751 very-preterm babies.
Conclusion: prior induced abortion is a significant risk factor in very pre-term births and cerebral palsy.
Very pre-term babies have much higher than normal risks of suffering medical problems including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, mental retardation, blindness, deafness, lung impairment and serious infections.
The article further estimated a direct cost to the health care system of abortion-related pre-term babies at US $1.2 billion in 2002. This estimate did not include long-term costs for ongoing, often life-long medical expenses and lost income such children will suffer.

Women deserve to be informed–not encouraged to conform–on the issue of abortion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~           GISSLER STUDIES        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Maternal death rates include all abortion-related deaths — the very data to which they are being compared

Deaths from causes unrelated to pregnancy (accidents, homicide) are frequently included in maternal mortality figures. Maternal death rates may include deaths up to 12 months after delivery/birth.

Abortion is promoted to make life better and safer for women — a worthy standard.

Claim is made that 5000-10,000 women died from illegal abortion each year prior to Roe v. Wade…
No evidence supports this.
In 1972, CDC documented 39 deaths. [B. Nathanson, M.D., Aborting America, 1979]

Finland’s National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health published their landmark study.

Retrospective record review of all death certificates for women of reproductive age (15-49) who died between 1987-1994 (n=9,192)
    [Gissler, M.,, “Pregnancy Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 – Definition Problems and Benefits of Record Linkage”, Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 76:651-657, 1997]

Age-adjusted odds ratio of death, using the death rate of women who had not been pregnant as the standard equal to one.

The data showed that in this cohort, the odds ratio of death in women who had given birth was half that of women who had not. (CI=.32-.78)…

Finland’s socialized healthcare system provides complete and accurate records
STAKES researchers identified women who had died within a year of their last pregnancy
Unadjusted mortality rates
27 deaths for women giving birth
48 deaths for women with a SAB (miscarriage)
101 deaths for women who had elective abortions

Perhaps more importantly, the women who had undergone abortion were 76% more likely to die in the 12 months following abortion.

Compared with women who carried to term, those who aborted were 3.5 times more likely to die within the year following the abortion.

27% of the women who had died caused by suicide

Suicide most likely about 1 month and 9 months after the abortion

The statistical data on abortion-suicide risk is corroborated by interview-based studies  showing:
30-55% levels of suicidal ideation and 7-30% incidence of suicide attempts following abortion
Many of the respondents specifically described abortion as the motivation of their suicidal behavior.

20% of the deaths were from ACCIDENTS – higher than other cohorts

The most plausible explanation: women who have undergone abortion are more apt to engage in risk-taking behaviors

Women with newborn children are likely more cautious and avoid risks
It is certainly possible that some deaths classified as accidents were in fact suicides

5% of the deaths were a result of homicide
Following abortion, a women had a  4-fold risk of being murdered compared to controls
Combined with accident and suicide data, this again suggests that post-abortive women are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior

A 2004 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology included the entire female population in Finland, ages 15 – 49, from 1987-2000 [an additional 6 years of records].

The researchers linked birth and abortion records to death certificates for this 13-year period, just as before in the 1987-1994 study.

In this study as well as her earlier one, [Finland's National Research & Dev’t Center for Welfare and Health]  Gissler et al concluded that:

Women who carried to term had a significantly lower death rate than non-pregnant women: Pregnancy contributes to a healthy effect on women.
Maternal Mortality rate associated with abortion was 2.95 times higher than that associated with pregnancies carried to term.

The annual death rate of women who had an abortion in the previous year was 46% higher than that of non-pregnant women.

Gissler M, Berg C, Bouvier-Colle MH, Buekens P. Pregnancy-associated mortality after birth, spontaneous abortion or induced abortion in Finland, 1987-2000. Am J Ob Gyn 2004; 190:422-427.

Non-pregnant women had 57.0 deaths per 100,000, compared to:

 28.2 deaths for women who carried to term
 51.9 deaths for women who miscarried
 83.1 deaths for women who had abortions
(very similar to the 1997 study: 27 deaths term/48 deaths miscarried /101 deaths aborted)

Women who had Abortions were 1.7 times more likely to die from natural causes (not pregnancy-related on the death certificates). Aborted women were also 6.3 times more likely to die from violent causes.



A Southern Medical Journal study linked death records to Medi-Cal payments for births and abortions for 173,279 low income California women:

women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die i

n the following 2 years

the elevated mortality rate of aborting women persisted over at least 8 years
    “Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Reardon DC, Ney PG, Scheuren F, Cougle J, Coleman PK, Strahan TW. South Med J     2002 Aug; 95(8):834-41

During the 8 year period, women who aborted (age/time-adjusted) had a:
Higher risk of death from all causes (1.62)
Higher risk of suicide (2.54)
Higher risk of death from accidents (1.82)
Higher risk of death from natural causes (1.44), including AIDS (2.18), circulatory disease (2.87), and cerebro-vascular disease (5.46)…

than women who gave birth.                                                                                                                                                         

“Deaths associated with pregnancy outcome: a Record Linkage Study of     Low Income Women,” Reardon DC, Ney PG, Scheuren F, Cougle J,  Coleman PK, Strahan TW. South Med J 2002 Aug; 95(8):834-41.



Breast Carcinoma:

Huge meta-analysis of 23 studies, 18 of which indicate a strong link between abortion and breast cancer  [Brind, J., “induced Abortion as an Independent Risk Factor for Breast Cancer”, J. of Epidemiolgy & Community Health, 50:481-49]



Increased risk of hemorrhage with subsequent pregnancy 

Obel, E., “Long-Term Sequelae Following Legally Induced Abortion”, Danish Med. Bull., 27:61, 1980

Increased risk of postpartum hemorrhage or retained products Lopes, A., “The impact of Multiple Induced Abortions on the Outcome of Subsequent Pregnancy”, Aust NZ J. Obstet Gynaecol., 31(1):41-43, 1991

Increased risk of Pre-Eclampsia/PIH Campbell, D., “Pre-Eclampsia in Second Pregnancy”, Br J. Ostet Gynecol, 92:131-140, 1985

About 10% of women suffer immediate complications from abortion, and about one-fifth of these are life-threatening:

infection *             
excessive bleeding * 
ripping or perforation of  the uterus *
anesthesia complications *
cervical injury *             
convulsions * 
hemorrhage *              
cervical injury *
endotoxic shock *            
vomiting *
chronic abdominal pain *  
Rh sensitization *
gastro-intestinal disturbances               


Cervical and uterine damage may increase risk of: 
premature delivery,
complications of labor, and
abnormal development of the placenta in later pregnancies.  

These complications are the leading causes of  disabilities among newborns.     Hogue, Cates and Tietze, "Impact of  Vacuum Aspiration Abortion on Future Childbearing: A Review", Family Planning Perspectives 15(3), May-June 1983.


Pregnancy offers women a protective effect

Abortion can remove the protective effect

Women Deserve the Right to Be Informed

The 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/cerebral palsy – were all found to be associated with abortion.