Monday, 26 August 2013

Eight facts most people don’t know about the physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women

Contrary to popular opinion abortion hurts women. is an evidence-based Elliot Institute campaign to raise awareness about unwanted abortions, post-abortion issues and maternal deaths and to provide help, hope and healing.

The US-based Elliot Institute  publishes research and educational materials and works as an advocate for women and men seeking post-abortion healing.

The following figures, referenced below from an Elliott Institute publication, are eight evidence-based facts about the consequences of abortion for women’ health.  I have, where possible linked the references to the original sources.

1. 31% of women having abortions report suffering physical health complications (1)

2. 10% of women having abortions suffer immediate, potentially life-threatening complications (2, 3, 4)

3. Women have a 65% higher risk of clinical depression following abortion vs. childbirth (5)

4. 65% of women suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after abortion (1)

5. Women's death rates from various causes after abortion are 3.5 times higher than after giving birth  (6, 7)

6. Many women describe their experience as ‘a nightmare’, which can hardly equated with ‘choice’. 60% of women surveyed after abortion responded that: ’Part of me died’ (1)

7. Suicide rates among women who have abortions are six times higher than those who give birth (7, 8)

8. Abortion increases a woman's risk of future miscarriages by 60% (9)


3. Grimes and Cates, "Abortion: Methods and Complications", in Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813.

Note: Studies 6, 7 and 8 looked at death rates for an average for up to one year after the end of the pregnancy. Another study found that looked at suicide rates for up to eight years found that, compared to women who gave birth, women who had abortions had a 62% higher risk of death from all causes and a 2.5 times higher suicide rate. Source: DC Reardon et. al., “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, Aug. 2002.


  1. Good post. I read somewhere recently that having two or more abortions significantly increases the risk of premature birth in subsequent pregnancies that are intended to be carried through to term - it's tragic that a consequence of "choice" is that it can lead to not a woman being able to have a healthy pregnancy when she wants to have a baby, with all the complications and severe effects a premature birth can bring.

    1. Yes that's true. Two or more abortions increase the risk for a future ‘preterm’ birth by 93% - see earlier blog at

  2. This article was so inspiring - going to turn it into a poster and flyer, with best regards, from Robert

    1. I think the Elliot Institute has already done that. But you might want to be careful who/where you hand it out (to). The Elliot Institute is regarded as anti-choice propaganda in some circles.

  3. Peter, I lead the political party 'Justice for men & boys (and the women who love them)' and - while not being a 'religious party' - we have pro-life and pro-family proposals in our public consultation document (link below). I've just put a link to this post on our blog, would you mind if we were to add a link to it in that document too?

    Mike Buchanan

  4. Let's get the father's perspective on this topic and what he experiences. Often he, who is supposedly an equal parent, has NO choice. He is bound for 18 years (18 versus 9 months) by HER choice or the mother has an abortion against his will when he wants to keep it, or doesn't have a right to his own offspring that the mother chooses to give up for adoption.
    Alan Millard

  5. After following the links


    Women who had an abortion between the first and second follow-up interviews were almost twice as likely to have symptoms of MD (Major Depression) as women who did not become pregnant. Giving birth was associated with a statistically comparable increase in the likelihood of having the symptoms of MD.

    Women who have an abortion are not at higher risk of MD than those who give birth.

    The increased risk of suicide after an induced abortion indicates either common risk factors for both or harmful effects of induced abortion on mental health.

    "common risk factors for both" means that it's possible that women more likely to commit suicide are also more likely to have an abortion, not the other way round as you labelled it here.

    5. This is the most interesting one. You claim in point 7 that suicide after abortion is 600% higher than birth ... yet looking at all causes of mortality you are only 350% more likely to die if you have an abortion. This must mean that women who give birth have to be 250% more likely to die ways other than suicide. Could I get some more detail on these other ways?

  6. I have a friend who was depressed for years after giving up a child for adoption, and she’s not the only one.There are many effects of abortion


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