The Harms of Abortion

Surgical abortion is an action that surgically kills a baby while she or she is growing in the womb. 

Chemical abortion is an action that chemically kills a baby either before or after she implants in the womb.

Birth control can not only cause early chemical abortions—before a pregnancy is even discovered—but it also poses major health threats.


Surgical Abortion

Surgical abortion is an action that surgically kills a baby while she is growing in the womb.  Different methods can be used depending on the age of the baby.


About 1 in 10 women undergoing elective abortion suffers immediate complications, of which one-fifth are considered life-threatening.

Common major complications include infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, endotoxic shock and ripping or perforation of the uterus.

Minor complications include infection, bleeding, fever, second-degree burns, vomiting and chronic abdominal pain.

Is there depression and psychological trauma?

Women who choose abortion suffer higher rates of substance abuse, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders and hospitalization.

65%  of women who have abortions report symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Women whose first pregnancy ends in abortion are 65% more likely to be at high risk of clinical depression. Married women are 138% more likely to be at high risk of clinical depression compared to married women who carry their first pregnancies to term.

Women are 63% more likely to receive mental care within 90 days of an abortion compared to delivery. In addition, abortion is strongly associated with neurotic depression, bipolar disorder, adjustment reactions and schizophrenic disorders.

A survey of post-abortive women found that: 60% commented that the decision to abort made their lives worse; and 94% regretted the decision to abort.

Is there risk of death?

Women are 3.5 times more likely to die over the next year after an abortion, and suicide rates are 6 times higher.

Women who have abortions are almost twice as likely to die within the following two years. Also, over the next eight-year period women who aborted had:

  • 154% higher risk of death from suicide.

  • 82% higher risk of death from accidents.

  • 44% high risk of death from natural causes.

Is there an increased risk of breast cancer?

One abortion almost doubles breast cancer risk; two or more abortions further increase risk.

A meta-analysis of 28 reports concluded that induced abortion is a significant independent risk factor for breast cancer.

Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had an abortion was 50% higher than among other women. Women 18 and under or over 30 were at highest risk.

What about if I want children in the future? Am I at higher risk?

Women who have abortions face a higher risk of future infertility, stillbirths, miscarriages and premature births.

Women who had at least one abortion are about 200% more likely to have a subsequent pre-term delivery. Pre-term delivery increases the risk of neo-natal death and disabilities.

Prior induced abortion is associated with an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. There is a significant trend between the number of previous induced abortions and ectopic pregnancy risk.

Abortion increases the risk of delayed delivery by about 200%.

Am I in more danger if younger than 20 years old?

Teenagers are at a much higher risk for many long-term complications related to abortion.

A teenage girl is 10 times more likely to attempt suicide if she has had an abortion in the last six months than is a comparable teenage girl who has not had an abortion.

Sources: American Life League and the Elliot Institute


Abortion Pill

Chemical abortion is an action that chemically kills a baby either before or after she implants in her mother’s womb.  Post-implantation chemical abortion is primarily caused by a drug regimen known as RU-486.

How does the Abortion Pill/Injection work?

Common drugs used for post-implantation chemical abortions include:

Mifepristone (RU-486 / Mifeprex): Mifepristone blocks the hormone that helps develop the lining of the uterus during pregnancy (progesterone). This lining is the source of nutrition and protection for the developing baby. The tiny boy or girl is starved to death and then a second drug, misoprostol, causes contractions so that the dead baby is expelled from the womb.

Methotrexate: This highly toxic chemical directly attacks and breaks down the baby’s fast- growing cells. It also attacks the life-support systems the baby needs to survive. When the systems fail, the baby dies. Misoprostol is then used to cause contractions and push the dead baby out of the womb.

Salt poisoning: This technique is used in the second and third trimester. The abortionist sticks a long needle into the mother’s womb. The needle contains salt which is then injected into the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. The baby breathes in, swallows the salt and dies from salt poisoning, dehydration, brain hemorrhage and convulsions. Taking nearly an hour to die, the baby’s skin is completely burned, turns red and deteriorates. The baby is in pain the entire time. The mother goes into labor 24-48 hours later and delivers a dead baby.

Prostaglandins: Used during the second and third trimester, prostaglandin abortions involve the injection of naturally produced hormones into the amniotic sac, causing violent premature labor. During these convulsions the baby is often crushed to death or is born too early to have any chance of surviving.

Source: American Life League 



Not only can birth control cause early chemical abortions—before a woman even realizes she’s pregnant—it also poses major health threats to women.

Although the Pill and other forms of hormonal contraception work primarily by preventing ovulation, these methods of birth control also thin the lining of a woman’s uterus, preventing a newly conceived child from implanting in his or her mother’s womb. The number of pre-implantation chemical abortions that occur this way each year probably exceeds the number of typical surgical and chemical abortions.

What are the dangerous side effects of some of the more popular methods of hormonal birth control?

The Pill: Risks include heart attack, blood clotting, stroke, breast cancer, weight gain, cancer of the liver, gallbladder disease, and hypertension.

The Morning After Pill/Plan B®: The Morning After Pill is a high dose birth control pill. Specific risks include heightened risk of ectopic pregnancy and blood clot formation. There are no long-term studies to show if women could be permanently injured or risk diseases like cancer from these chemicals being given in such high doses.

The Ortho-Evra® Patch: The Patch is associated with numerous reports of death from blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. The Food and Drug Administration has warned women that the patch carries a higher risk of blood clots than the birth control pill.

The NuvaRing® vaginal ring: Dozens of NuvaRing lawsuits have alleged that the birth control ring caused them to develop blood clots which led to a pulmonary embolism, amputation or death.

Depo-Provera® Contraceptive Injection: Specific risks include excessive bleeding, temporary or permanent sterility, increased risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer.

Ella®: The new “Ella” pill has both pre- and post-implantation abortifacient mechanisms of action. It has the same chemical make-up as the RU-486 abortion pills and thus can block progesterone and kill an already implanted embryo. Risks include ectopic pregnancy and blood clot formation, excessive bleeding. Alarmingly, there are no reproductive toxicology studies to demonstrate the effect of Ella on fetal development.

Source: American Life League and Pro-Life Wisconsin