Abortion: A Choice Against Women
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life
November 04, 1999
Abortion is often presented as an issue of "women's rights". It is seen as something desirable for women, and as a benefit to which they should have as much access as possible. In fact, to be "pro-life" is seen by some as being "against women's rights".
If you sometimes feel this way, examine the facts presented here. You will see that, in fact, abortion harms women, ignores their rights, and exploits and degrades them. Anyone concerned about women will do well to know these facts.
Surveys of women who have had abortions, (see, for example, David Reardon's book, Aborted Women, Silent No More), show that abortion is not a question of giving a woman a "choice." It is, tragically, a situation of women feeling they have NO CHOICE, feeling that nobody cares enough about them and their child to give them any alternative besides going to the abortionist. The woman feels rejected, confused, afraid, alone, unable to handle the pregnancy- - and behold, in the midst of all this, she is told by society, "We will eliminate your problem by eliminating your child. Go get an abortion. It's a safe, easy, and legal solution."
The fact is that though abortion is legal, it is NOT safe and easy, nor respectful of the woman.
Carol Everett used to run an abortion clinic. She is now pro-life, and she tells how women are not given the full truth about the abortion procedure. When they ask "Will it be painful?" they are told "No", even though serious pain is involved. When they ask, "Is it a baby?" they are told "No". Many women have found out only AFTER their abortion that their baby already had arms, legs, and sucked its thumb, before they aborted it. The clinic workers are told not to volunteer any other information if they are not asked. Why can't we respect women enough to tell them the whole truth?
Women are not told of the many harmful physical and psychological effects of abortion. It is NOT safe. There are, for example, fifteen psychological risk factors that need to be investigated before this procedure. They usually aren't. Women who have abortions are twice as likely to have a miscarriage if they get pregnant again. One of the reasons for this is "cervical incompetence". During an abortion the cervical muscle is hastily stretched open, and hence can be rendered too weak to stay closed for another pregnancy. Another complication is ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening situation in which, due to scar tissue in the womb from the scraping of the abortion, a fertilized ovum is blocked from entering the uterus and so begins growing in the fallopian tube and eventually ruptures it. Since abortion was legalized, ectopic pregnancies have risen 300%. Many other physical complications can arise, as the chart below shows. It has also been proven that complications and deaths of women from abortions are UNDER-REPORTED, and recorded under different causes than abortion.
Psychological effects are also very real. Women suffer from PAS (Post-Abortion Syndrome). They experience "impacted grief"; that is, grief which festers within then like pus because they and others deny that a real death has occurred. Because of this denial, mourning cannot properly occur, yet the pain of loss is still there. Many have flashbacks to the abortion experience, nightmares about the baby, and even pain on the anniversary of the due date. One woman testified that she still suffers from her abortion of 50 years ago! Nobody concerned about women can responsibly dismiss these facts.
Effects of Abortion
(Prepared by WEBA. Women Exploited by Abortion, as a warning to other women to avoid the risks of abortion surgery)
Physical Effects Psychological Effects
-Miscarriages -Suicidal impulses
-Ectopic pregnancies -Mourning/Withdrawal
-Bleeding and infections -Loss of confidence
-Shock and comas -Low self-esteem
-Perforated uterus -Preoccupation with death
-Fever/Cold sweat -Despair/Helplessness
-Intense pain -Desire to remember birth date
-Loss of body organs -Intense interest in babies
-Crying/Sighing -Thwarted maternal instincts
-Insomnia -Hatred for persons connected with abortion
-Loss of appetite -Desire to end relationship with partner
-Exhaustion -Loss of sexual interest/Frigidity
-Weight loss -Inability to forgive self
-Decreased work capacity -Seizures and tremors
-Vomiting -Feeling of being exploited
-Gastro-intestinal disturbances -Horror of child abuse
What kind of concern for women is shown when we put more stress on killing the child than helping the woman to bear her child? The abortion mentality looks on pregnancy as a disease. It does not take women seriously in their unique privilege and power of bearing new life! Some say that the pro-life movement is run by men trying to control women. But did you ever realize that the abortion industry is run primarily by men, who make a lot of money by performing this degrading operation on women? Abortion does not take sex seriously, either. Instead, it makes it easier for men to exploit women sexually. As Rosemary Bottcher, a Feminist for Life, has written, "Abortion reduces women to the status of sex machines which can be 'repaired' if necessary. Abortion helps ease his (the man's) anxiety about sex and relieves him of the last vestige of responsibility. At last sex is really free!"
Many women are coming to realize these facts, and have formed the National Women's Coalition for Life (703-960-4519). Let's stop fooling ourselves that abortion is a woman's "right". The pro-life movement offers women over 3,000 centers throughout the country where they can find compassion, assistance, and real alternatives and life-giving choices. The abortion movement offers them no choice except a wounded body, a scarred mind, and a dead baby. The choice is obvious.