Immediate Risks of Abortion…Be Good to Yourself…Get the facts.

Some side effects may occur with induced abortion. Common symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain and cramping
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Complications may occur in as many as 1 out of every 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of every 50 later term abortions. Such complications may include:

Risks Associated with RU-486; Abortion Pill (Mifeprex/Mifepristone)

Heavy Bleeding

Some vaginal bleeding after abortion is normal. However, if the cervix is torn or the uterus is punctured, there is a risk of severe bleeding known as hemorrhaging. When this happens, surgery or a blood transfusion may be required.


A bacterial infection may occur and lead to persistent fever over several days and extended hospitalization. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Cases of serious bacterial infection, including very rare cases of fatal septic shock, have been reported.”(10) Mifeprex users have died as a result of total body infection. A health advisory was issued in 2005 to ward users of the risk.(11,12)

Incomplete or Failed Abortion

Some fetal parts may have remained in the uterus after the abortion. Bleeding and infection may occur. RU486 fails in 8% of uses up to 49 days, 17% at 50-56 days and 23% at 57-63 days gestation. (13 & 14) A surgical abortion is usually done to complete a failed medical abortion.(15)

Undiagnosed Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancy(6)

Typical medical or surgical abortions will not work in the case where an ectopic pregnancy lodges outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, there can be a risk of the tube bursting, internal hemorrhage and death in some cases.(16)

Continuation of Pregnancy(7)

While some abortion procedures fail and pregnancy continues, some women change their mind after beginning a chemical, medication abortion. In those situations, it is imperative to seek the help of an obstetrician immediately. In some instances, there has been success in reversing an RU-486 abortion.

Risk of Fetal Malformations

In cases where chemical abortions fail and pregnancy continues, research associates the use of misoprostol during the first trimester with certain types of birth defects.(17)

Risks Associated with Methotrexate:

  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Low White Blood Cell Count
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Distress
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased Resistance to Infection
  • Anemia

In some cases:

  • Bone Marrow Suppression
  • Intestinal Toxicity
  • Liver Toxicity
  • Cancer
  • Fatal Skin Reactions

Additional Abortion Risks to Consider:

Allergic Reactions to Drugs

Complications from general anesthesia used during abortion surgery may result in convulsions, heart complications and death in extreme cases.(18)

Damage to Internal Organs

The cervix and/or uterus may be cut, torn or punctured by abortion instruments. This may cause excessive bleeding requiring surgical repair. Curettes and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining. The risk of these kinds of complications increases with the length of the pregnancy. If complications occur, major surgery may be required, including removal of the uterus (known as a hysterectomy). If the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage may occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.(19)

RH Sensitization

Every pregnant woman should receive blood type testing to learn if her blood type is “RH Positive” or “RH Negative”. Pregnant women who are Rh negative should receive Rhogam, an injection given to prevent the formation of antibodies that may harm the baby. If an Rh negative woman does not receive Rhogam with each pregnancy, she may develop antibodies which can cause serious complications with her next pregnancy. Rhogam is needed for Rh negative women who undergo abortion. (20)


In extreme cases, complications from abortion (excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus and adverse reactions to anesthesia) may lead to death. (21) The risk of death immediately following an induced abortion performed at or below 8 weeks is extremely low (approximately 1 in a million)but increases with length of pregnancy. From 8 weeks to 16-20 weeks, the risk of death increases 30 times, and from 8 weeks to 21 weeks and over, it increases 10 times (1 in 11,000).(22)

Long Term Risks of Abortion:

Determining fully the risks associated with abortion is difficult due to the many factors that shield or prevent accurate statistics. Disruptive factors include incomplete reporting of abortion complications, patients withholding information about their abortion to healthcare providers when complications arise and also the scientific bias surrounding abortion.

Consider the following as you make your decision:

Preterm Birth

Women who undergo one or more induced abortions carry a significantly increased risk of delivering future, wanted pregnancies prematurely. (23, 24, 25, 26, 27)Premature delivery is associated with higher rates of children with cerebral palsy, as well as all other complications (respiratory, bowel, brain and eye problems). (28, 29)

Breast Cancer

Medical experts continue to debate the association between abortion and breast cancer. Research has shown the following:

  • Carrying a pregnancy to full term gives a measure of protection against breast cancer, especially a woman’s first pregnancy.(30) Terminating a pregnancy result in loss of that protection.
  • The hormones of pregnancy cause breast tissue to grow rapidly in the first 3 months, but it is not until after 32 weeks of pregnancy that breasts are relatively more cancer resistant due to the maturation that occurs. (31, 32)
  • A number of reliable studies have concluded that there is an association between abortion and later development of breast cancer. (33, 34)

Psychological Impact / Emotional Impact

Following abortion, many women experience initial relief. The perceived crisis is over and life returns to normal. For many women, however, the crisis isn’t over. Months and even years later, significant problems develop. There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decreased in long-term emotional and physical health. (35, 36)

In line with the best available evidence, women should be informed that abortion significantly increases risk for:

Women who have experienced abortion may develop the following:

  • Guilt
  • Grief
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty bonding with a partner or children
  • Eating disorders

The bottom line is that the scientific evidence indicates that abortion is more likely to be associated with negative psychological outcomes when compared to miscarriage or carrying and unintended pregnancy to term. (43, 45)

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, we may be able to help women work through these feelings. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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Impact on Relationships

Many couples choose abortion believing it will preserve their relationship. Research on this topic reveals just the opposite. Couples who choose induced abortion are at increased risk for relationship problems. (53)
Women experiencing lack of support and pressure to abort from their partners were more likely to choose abortion. (54)

Spiritual Implications

At Southside Pregnancy Center, we realize people have different understandings of God.  We offer a biblical perspective.  Whatever your present beliefs may be, having an abortion may affect more than just your body or your mind – consider the spiritual impact that a pregnancy decision may have on you, both now and in the future. You may want to explore this by asking yourself a few basic questions:

  • What does God think about my situation?
  • How does God see my unborn child?
  • What do my religious beliefs / God / the Bible have to say about unplanned pregnancy / abortion / parenting / adoption?

These are just a few questions that might be important to you. Take time to consider your faith and its relevance in your pregnancy decision.

At Southside Pregnancy Center, we recognize the WHOLE person…body, mind and spirit. We can help you explore your spiritual thoughts / questions / and concerns regarding your pregnancy.

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Evergreen Park, IL 60805

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