I was 15 years old when abortion became legal in the U.S. During the next decade, my peers were the majority of young women who were using the newly legal procedure to terminate their unplanned pregnancies. I didn’t meet a lot of these women until we were older, and although each person’s story is unique, their stories have extensive similarities. And their stories, for me, have become the epitome of the real war on women – an industry that makes millions off of their crisis.
I realize not all women who have abortions regret it to the degree I have witnessed, but it is a reality that many of them do. To fully understand the impact of abortion on a woman’s life, a general look at the procedure of an abortion must be reviewed. I give the reader an alert. This is not an easy or pleasant discussion to have, but it is necessary in understanding the realities of Roe v. Wade. It is uncomfortable to even write these words, but the realities must be addressed.
During the first 3 months of pregnancy, the most common type of abortion is a suction-aspiration, and covers 80% of all abortions. It is commonly referred to as vacuum abortion – a hollow plastic tube is used to dismember the baby, which is then suctioned out of the uterus and into a bottle. The suction used for this type of abortion is ten to 30 times more powerful than a home vacuum cleaner. During the 2nd and 3rd months, the baby is too large for the above referenced procedure, and instead a dilation and curettage (D&C) method is required. A surgical knife is inserted into the womb and is used to cut the baby apart. The baby is then scraped out through the cervix. Without general anesthesia, both of these procedures are extremely painful.
For pregnancies during 4 to 8 months of development, there are several different methods: dilation and evacuation, saline abortion, prostaglandin abortions, hysterectomy and partial birth abortion.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks. The most common immediate and short-term risks include infection, perforation of the uterus, failure to extract all “products of conception,” embolisms, bleeding and even death. In a study done by actual abortionists, out of 1,182 suction abortions, 9.5% of patients required blood transfusions, 4.2% had cervical lacerations, 1.2% had uterine perforations and 27% developed infections. The promise of “safe and legal abortions” has failed.
Complications from an abortion may surface as much as 10-15 years later. Ectopic pregnancies increased 300% in the first ten years after abortion was legalized, 500% among women who aborted their first pregnancy. Infections that lead to scarring in the uterus can eventually result in sterility and cervical incompetence. Tearing or stretching of the cervix opening can result in miscarriages or premature births. Studies are varied as to whether or not there is an increased risk of breast cancer after having an abortion during the early stages of pregnancy.
For years, women were not told the truth about the development of the unborn child or the potential risk they faced through the procedure. Many people who support the right of a woman to choose abortion have good intentions but are unaware of the risk these women will face. For others, they are well aware of the risks, but encourage it anyway because of the profit to be made.
Abortion is big money. The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), the research arm of Planned Parenthood, estimates that there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the U.S. in 2005, at an average cost of $413 for 1st trimester procedures (with roughly half of those terminated pregnancies being female, does that qualify as war on women?). Later trimester abortions average $3000, so the abortion industry brought in roughly $831 million for that year. Many of those who defend abortion the most vehemently are the very same ones making huge profits from its continued availability. You cannot escape this inherent conflict of interest. A former abortion clinic owner was on track to making close to one million per year before becoming an avid pro-life supporter. It is hard for any organization (i.e. Planned Parenthood) to argue that they are committed to reducing the number of abortions when their balance sheet relies so heavily on the income from these procedures.
Abortion has always been and continues to this day to be a controversial and complicated issue. Many voices continue to sound off either championing or demonizing a position. I personally believe that life begins at conception and is therefore entitled to protection. But even if you disagree with me, you might consider giving a greater weight to those who have suffered from the procedure rather than those who profit from it.