Medical Impact

Abortion is a medicall procedure. Like all such procedures, abortion has certain associated risks.

Abortion can result in:

  • Damaged cervix and/or uterus - The cervix and/or uterus may be cut, torn or punctured by abortion instruments, which may cause excessive bleeding. Permanent scarring of the uterine lining may also occur. Perforation of the uterus creates the risk of damage to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder. 1, 2, 3
  • Infection - Scarring of the pelvic organs can be caused by infection developed from the insertion of medical instruments into the uterus or from an incomplete abortion (failure to completely remove all fetal parts during an abortion). 1, 3, 4
  • RH Sensitization - Every pregnant woman should receive blood type testing to learn if her blood type is "RH negative" or "RH positive". An injection of Rhogam should be given to those who are RH negative to prevent antibodies that may harm the baby. This injection should be given with each pregnancy to prevent the mother from developing antibodies that can cause serious complications with subsequent pregnancies. 5
  • Anesthesia complications - General anesthesia used during abortion surgery may cause complications for certain individuals, including convulsions, heart complications and death, in extreme cases. 1
  • Pre-term birth - Women who undergo one of more induced abortions carry a significantly increased risk of delivering prematurely in the future. 6
  • Breast cancer - While medical experts debate the association between abortion and breast cancer, a number of reliable studies have concluded that there is a link between abortion and later development of breast cancer. 7 8

1. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia:Mosby-Elsevier;2007
2. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion.ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet; November 2008
3. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dilatation & Curettage. Patient Education Pamphlet; December 2005
4. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Patient Education Pamphlet; December 2005
5. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Management of alloimmunization during pregnancy. Practice Bulletin No.75; August 2006
6. J Am Phys Surg. 2003;8(2):46-9
7. J Am Phys Surg. Winter 2005;10(4)
8. J Am Phys Surg. 2007:12(3)