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This section of the Family & Life site contains a list of common question and the answers to those questions.


How Women are Affected by Abortion


The adverse effect of legal abortion on women we see more and more coming to the forefront as a particularly important human rights issue. Issues such as the abortion-breast cancer link, the abortion-depression link, the abortion-suicide links are now receiving widespread coverage.

Women who have had an abortion are now “silent no more”. More women in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland are speaking out and taking legal action against abortion clinics and referral agencies, putting down a marker that the days of these agencies are numbered.

“People do not understand that there are thousands of serious physical complications from abortion every year this country”. - Dr.Bernard Nathanson, M.D., Ob/Gyn. Former abortion doctor in USA.

“We are a group of women in Ireland who are finding healing after abortion. In this handbook we are setting forth what we have learnt from our experience, in order to help other women who have suffered as we have”. (Women Hurt by Abortion, Cork, 1988).

According to the organisation, “hurt by abortion” refers to all the damaging consequences of abortion in their lives. The group realised that the longer it was since an individual had an abortion the more extensively and deeply their lives had been affected by it. One of the purposes of their organisation was that everyone understood “the full price women pay for abortion”.

What is the Meaning of the Word “Abortion”?

It is important to be clear by what is meant by abortion in today’s context.

Abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, at any time from conception to birth.

Abortion is not to be confused with essential medical treatment to save the mother’s life that results in the death of her baby. There is a clear difference between essential medical treatment during pregnancy, and the direct targeting of the life of the unborn baby.


The immediate consequence of abortion is the risk of damage to a woman’s reproductive organs and her future ability to have children.

The hurtful consequences – Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS), may be emotional, physical, psychological, social, moral, or medical.

Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS).

The psychological damage, today known as Post-Abortion Syndrome, is all too real for many women. The consequences are long lasting and destructive

When an individual undergoes an abortion she has a high stress reaction to the experience. Yet all too often her emotional pain is denied at the abortion clinic, minimised by partners and families, mis-diagnosed or trivialised by helping professions and ignored by society in general.

She can experience shock or horror, she can experience a sense of loss and grief, and she can be filled with remorse, grief and guilt. These emotions are often repressed and denied. In the short term emotions are numbed. But at this stage she will begin to develop post-abortion syndrome or PAS, and her behaviour can begin to change profoundly.

Symptoms tend to fall into a number of general areas:

- Denial and repression of emotions.

- Avoidance patterns which can lead to isolation.

- Emotional numbness.

- Violence or aggression towards themselves or others.

- Psychosomatic symptoms – bodily signs of continuing stress:

1. Sleep problems – insomnia, nightmares, and “hearing” a baby crying.

2. Back pain, abdominal cramps, and skin irritations, non-hormonal PMT.

3. Sexual difficulties – cervical pain, frigidity etc.

4. Eating disorders –excessive weight gain or loss, anorexia, bulimia.

5. Trouble with relationships and intimacy in general.

6. Self-punishing and self-degrading behaviours (promiscuity, entering abusive relationships, becoming accident-prone).

7. Preoccupation with the abortion child, resulting in anniversary reactions- stress, tension, etc.

8. Many women suffer from depression, turn to drugs or alcohol, and have recurring thoughts of suicide.

9. Trauma – because an unborn baby has been destroyed.

There is no doubt that a psychological price is paid. The trauma may sink into the woman’s unconscious but it is not harmless and casual. Not only that but research has shown the negative effect the abortion had on the behaviour of children of mothers who had abortions.

Do All Women Suffer as a Result of Abortion?

When a woman becomes pregnant she experience hormonal, biological and psychological changes. If she chooses abortion she goes against her deepest instincts. It is reasonable to expect that all women, to different degrees, will suffer as a result of abortion.

As well as the psychological effects listed above there are physical and medical effects such as:

Exhaustion, perforated womb, intense pain, cervical incompetence, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, haemorrhaging, shock, abdominal damage, headaches, breast cancer and even death.

Subsequent pregnancies are more often affected following abortion and this would represent a particularly significant complication. These complications would include premature labour and delivery (and with the associated dangers to mother and child); ectopic pregnancies; complicated labour; sterility; sexual libido decreased; irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

There are also other aspects that are not often mentioned publicly. What about the women who are crippled by abortion. We doubt very much if they go back to the abortion clinic in England to report it. They go to their family doctor, the hospital or the morgue. If they die of infection or internal haemorrhaging, this is not attributed to abortion. The cause of death will be listed as peritonitis or internal haemorrhaging, rather than abortion.

Abortion, Depression and Suicide

Numerous studies reveal that women who have had an abortion experience a high incidence of depression, stress, low self-esteem, suicidal feelings and various form of substance abuse. Vincent M.Rue, “The Psychological Realities of Induced Abortion”, Post-Abortion Aftermath: A Comprehensive Consideration, Michael T.Mannion, Ed., London, 1994, p.543.

In fact a five-year study shows that 25% of women who have had abortions sought out psychiatric care, versus 3% of women who have not had abortions. Report on the Committee on the Operation of the Abortion Law, Ottawa, 1977, p.321.

A World Health Organisation report concluded that the termination of pregnancy might precipitate serious psychiatric problems in a susceptible individual. Recent studies have shown that serious mental disorders arise often in women with previous emotional problems; thus the very women for whom abortion is considered to be justified on psychiatric grounds are the ones who have the highest risk of post abortion psychiatric disorders.

The Elliot Institute, a US based international organisation that deals with the effects of abortion has drawn our attention to three studies published as recently as 2002 linking abortion to higher rates of clinical depression and suicide.

The first of the three, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal (2002; 24:151-2), found that women who women who have abortions are at significantly greater risk of clinical depression than women who carry their unintended pregnancies to term.

The second study, from the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (2002; 72(1): 141-52), reveals that abortion was most strongly associated with higher rates of subsequent treatment for neurotic depression, bipolar disorder, adjustment reactions, and schizophrenic disorders.

n the third study (ibid. 2002; 95(8): 834-841), researchers discovered that women who had abortions were almost twice as likely to die in the following two years. They also discovered that the higher mortality rate of aborting women persisted over at least eight years.

A similar study of all women in Finland found that compared to non-pregnant women and delivering women, women who had abortions were 3.7 and 6.5 times (respectively) more likely to commit suicide within one year.


Abortion does not cure any physical disease or mental disorder. It’s a short-term escape that leads to long-term agony. Women, who have had an abortion, as we have shown, suffer terrible guilt and grief, and the psychological damage often lasts a lifetime. Many women are physically damaged, and cannot have children again. Some women even die in the process, and the baby always dies.

What if there is a risk of suicide ---?

In the public hearings on abortion before the All-Party Committee in 2002, psychiatrists agreed that pregnancy makes suicide very, very rare, while those who had an abortion were much more likely to experience suicidal thoughts. They agreed that abortion is not the appropriate treatment for depression or threatened suicide.

Dr.Patricia Casey, Professor of Psychiatry at University College Dublin, (National University of Ireland), stated in 1992 that pregnant women are six times less likely to commit suicide than non-pregnant women.

Referring to the girl at the centre of the case she said in 1999: “She was photographed on her return (from England), smiling and saying how happy she was. She has since been hospitalised for psychiatric disorders”.

A shocking proof that abortion does not work.

Abortion is not a Psychiatric Issue, say Irish experts:

“The fact is, as the Royal College of Psychiatrists has made plain, "there are no absolute psychiatric indications for termination of pregnancy" - that is to say, there are no psychiatric conditions for which abortion is the only answer.” (Quoted from the full text of the statement, of which Prof Patricia Casey was a signatory, Irish Times, February 14, 2002).

According to an official statement of the World Health Organisation (WHO), “The very women for whom legal abortion is considered justified on psychiatric grounds are the ones who have the highest risk of post-abortion psychiatric disorders”.

What About Victims of Rape?

Experts insist therefore that abortion is not the appropriate treatment of depression or rape.

However unprepared a woman may feel she is to have her child, however tragic she feels the circumstances of her pregnancy are, abortion is a short-term escape. It may bring her immediate relief but it leads to long-term agony, not to mention the death of an unborn baby.

Abortion does not heal the woman or undo the rape. Abortion is nothing else than a further violation of a violated woman and an attack on another human being. Punish the rapist not the innocent unborn baby.

What if abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother?

This is a very common argument used. But what do the experts say?

“As obstetricians and gynaecologists we affirm that there are no medical circumstances justifying direct abortion, that is, circumstances in which the life of a mother may only be saved by directly terminating the life of her unborn child.”

This is the joint opinion of the four leading experts in Ireland:

Professor John Bonnar, Head of the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Trinity College, Dublin; Kieran O’Driscoll, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College, Dublin; Eamonn O’Dwyer, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College, Galway; and Julia Vaughan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.

It is an opinion shared and supported by the Irish Medical Council and the Irish Medical Organisation.

And Dr.C.Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States, says that “protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty six years in paediatric surgery I have never known one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life ---”.

With more than 36,000 births per annum between them, the three Dublin maternity hospitals had only three deaths of pregnant patients in the past four years. All three died of complications caused by heart disease. Pregnancy did not cause or aggravate their conditions and abortion would not have saved the life of any of these expecting mothers.

THE ABC LINK — Abortion Doubles Breast Cancer Risk

Research going back to 1957 in many countries where abortion is legal has shown a clear connection between abortion and breast cancer, again an illness that has risen sharply since abortion was legalised.

Even more recently the link between abortion and breast cancer has been highlighted in a number of major studies. Even doctors who had previously rejected the link have now revised their views.

Dr Thomas Stuttaford, The Times newspaper’s medical correspondent has recently written: “Breast cancer is diagnosed in 33,000 women in Britain each year; of these, an unusually high proportion had an abortion before eventually starting a family. Such women are up to four times more likely to develop breast cancer”. The Times, May 17, 2001.

In a recent landmark study, Abortion and Other Pregnancy-Related Risk Factors in Female Breast Cancer (London, 2001), scientists have shown that women who have had an abortion are up to twice as likely to suffer from breast cancer. In the first study of its kind in Britain, researchers said the risk of breast cancer is significantly increased if a woman has undergone an abortion.

The study, undertaken by Dr Patrick Carroll which looked at breast cancer and abortion rates in Britain, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, draws a direct link between rising cases of breast cancer and an increase in abortion since it was legalised.

The research suggests that up to 50 percent of breast cancer cases in England and Wales over the next 26 years will be “attributable to abortion”.

Launching the study Professor Joel Brind of New York's City University and director of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute in New York, pointed out it was intellectually watertight.

Know Your ABC’s!

Professor Brind said: “Women are at risk and they do not really know about it. They certainly don't seem to be finding out about it from the National Health Service”. “This implicates a risk factor that is a matter of choice”, Brind explained.

“Simply undergoing an abortion once measurably increases the risk of breast cancer. We are talking about thousands of cases of breast cancer over the next twenty years. This is a very sobering statistic”.


An absolute “sham” is the only way to describe counselling process offered by abortion clinics and those who are their agents in Ireland. They are not interested in the girls and women as persons, and who come to them with unwanted pregnancies. They are only interested in despatching them as quickly as possible to the clinics in the U.K. or elsewhere where thousands of unborn babies are brutally slaughtered.

The abortion industry is has come under increasing scrutiny in the media. In Britain, The People Newspaper (01/11/’92), reported the traumatic story of a young woman who underwent an abortion at the British Pregnancy Advisory Services Clinic in Liverpool, only to give birth to her supposedly aborted baby 48 hours later. The woman said that she held the tiny baby in her hands before collapsing in distress. “I’ll never forget holding that tiny thing – I felt like I was playing God. I was hysterical”, she told reporters. The woman claims that she had wanted to keep the baby but counsellors “pressurised” her into believing that “termination would be best” after she told them the baby’s father had left them.

The People’s medical expert, Michael Van Straten said, “I am horrified at what this lady has been through. She will require long-term counselling”.

British Woman Loses Kidney in Botched Legal Abortion. Unborn Baby Dies

A woman received horrific internal injuries when a consultant gynaecologist from Birmingham attempted an abortion he was not capable of performing, the UK General Medical Council (GMC) was told in March 2003. Andrew Gbinigie ruptured the patient's womb during the abortion, and pulled out her right fallopian tube and ovary, and her urethra – the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder.

Only after he had removed a piece of bowel did he realise something was wrong and called for help from staff at Birmingham's Calthorpe Clinic,Vivian Robinson, the QC representing the GMC, told the hearing.

The woman was rushed to a hospital for specialist treatment and her life was saved, although one of her kidneys had to be removed.

Robinson told the committee that Gbinigie's problems began on his very first day at the Calthorpe Clinic when, during his morning duties, he left parts of unborn babies inside three women during abortions and these had to be removed.

Lower level staff became concerned about the consultant's capabilities and told senior staff, who had a meeting with him at lunchtime. But Gbinigie reassured the senior staff he was capable of performing abortions where the unborn child was more than 15 weeks old.

Robinson said Gbinigie's first abortion in the afternoon was the abortion of a 20-week-old unborn baby.

The hearing was told the consultant removed a piece of white human tissue other staff did not recognise, and a long piece of cord with a loop on both ends.

“He then pulled down what appeared to be some bowel”, Robinson told the hearing. Staff were shocked and asked if it was the bowel and he said he was not sure, the QC added. Robinson said that Gbinigie realised what he had done and the patient was taken to Birmingham Women's Hospital.

He added that, when the women's abdomen was opened, the “cavity was full of blood and floating on top was a 20-week-old foetus, largely intact apart from a missing arm and a missing leg”.

The woman has since recovered from her injuries.


Abortion is never “safe” for the baby in the womb. And the safety of the mother is questionable as many women suffer terribly afterwards – physically and mentally, as we have shown in some of the points above.

First of all abortion hurts, as it is a direct interference with the woman’s body as well as interference with Nature. Immediately after an abortion, many women report a feeling of relief, and that is all the abortionists want you to hear beforehand. But you won’t hear of the guilt and depression that frequently follows.

Abortion clinics and referral centres advertise in their literature that having an abortion is a practically painless, safe and easy procedure, carried out by a professional team who really care about women’s needs.

That is the claim. The reality differs dramatically as evidence of increasing malpractice legal cases grow steadily, confirming the belief that abortionists and their staff hold no value on life, be it the unborn child or the mother.

Horrifically, we are recently hearing verified stories of the dead-baby industry in England.

There is no safety in an abortion, and no peace of mind.

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