I am a 19year old girl in grade 11.I just found out I’m pregnant and I’m terrified of what my mother will do.When I told my boyfriend I was pregnant he said this baby will mess things up for us and my future education.My boyfriend hasn’t been returning my calls and I really feel alone.I don’t want to lose him.
My mother has raised me up herself since she and my dad split when I was a kid.She has sacrificed so much for me and I really don’t want to burden her further.I’m really scared of her finding out.Abortion seems the only way out for me.But will I be able to have children in future if I have an abortion now?
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.I would encourage you to seek counselling from an older woman you can trust.However,the ultimate decision on whether you choose to have an abortion or not is yours and you will have to live with the consequences of whatever decision you make for the rest of your life.
I will outline the risks and complications involved in having an abortion so you can make an informed decision.
Most commonly, abortion involves elective surgery. As with all forms of surgery, there are risks associated with the procedure. For abortion, these risks increase dramatically the later in the pregnancy the procedure is performed. Possible physical risks of abortion are listed below.
Immediate health risks
Laceration of the cervix – About 1 out of 20 women suffer this during an abortion. This causes you to have nearly a 50/50 chance of miscarrying in your next pregnancy if it is not treated properly during that pregnancy. A high incidence of cervical damage from the abortion procedure has raised the incidence of miscarriage 30-40% in women who have had abortions.
Uterine perforation – About 2% of all abortion patients may suffer perforation of their uterus, yet most of these injuries will remain undiagnosed and untreated unless laparoscopic visualization is performed.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – 23% of patients who have a chlamydia infection at the time of the abortion will develop PID within 4 weeks. About 20 to 27% of patients seeking abortion have a chlamydia infection. Approximately 5% of patients who are not infected by chlamydia develop PID within 4 weeks after a first trimester abortion.
Endometritis (Infection) – Occurrence of genital tract infection following elective abortion is up to 5% for first trimester abortions and up to 18% in midtrimester. Endometritis is a post-abortion risk for all women, but especially for teenagers, who are 2.5 times more likely than women 20-29 to acquire endometritis following abortion.
Risks to future pregnancies
Pre-term delivery – Women who had one, two, or more previous induced abortions are, respectively, 1.89, 2.66, or 2.03 times more likely to have a subsequent pre-term delivery, compared to women who carry to term.
Placenta previa – Abortion increases the risk of placenta previa in later pregnancies (a life threatening condition for both the mother and her baby) by seven to fifteen fold. Abnormal development of the placenta due to uterine damage increases the risk of fetal malformation, perinatal death, and excessive bleeding during labor.
Ectopic pregnancy – Abortion is significantly related to an increased risk of subsequent ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies, in turn, are life threatening and may result in reduced fertility.
Long-term health risks
Breast Cancer – The risk of breast cancer almost doubles after one abortion, and rises even further with two or more abortions.
Cervical, ovarian, and liver cancer – Women with one abortion face a 2.3 relative risk of cervical cancer, compared to non-aborted women, and women with two or more abortions face a 4.92 relative risk. Similar elevated risks of ovarian and liver cancer have also been linked to single and multiple abortions.
The Psychological effects of Abortion
There is only one positive emotion reported: relief. This emotion is understandable, especially in light of the fact that the majority of aborting women report feeling under intense pressure to “get it over with.”
Temporary feelings of relief are frequently followed by a period psychiatrists identify as emotional “paralysis,” or post-abortion “numbness. Like shell-shocked soldiers, these aborted women are unable to express or even feel their own emotions. Their focus is primarily on having survived the ordeal, and they are at least temporarily out of touch with their feelings.
Some of the psychological effects after an abortion in women in your age group are include
– obsession with need to become pregnant again in order to “make up” for the lost pregnancy.(Unfortunately, many women who succeed at obtaining their “wanted” replacement pregnancies discover that the same problems which pressured them into having their first abortion still exist, and so they end up feeling “forced” into yet another abortion.)
A survey of post-abortive women found that:
28% attempted suicide
31% experienced suicidal feelings
60% commented that the decision to abort made their lives worse
94% regretted the decision to abort
(Survey of Reaction to Abortion,” The Post Abortion Review, Fall 1994, pp. 6-8)
Over 50% of women experienced one or more of the following feelings after they had abortions: depression, guilt, regret, nervousness, insomnia.
30%- 50% of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.
Some data indicates that on average there is a 5-10 year period of denial during which a woman who was traumatized by her abortion will repress her feelings. During this time, the woman may go to great lengths to avoid people, situations, or events which she associates with her abortion and she may even become vocally defensive of abortion in order to convince others, and herself, that she made the right choice and is satisfied with the outcome. In reality, these women who are subsequently identified as having been severely traumatized, have failed to reach a true state of “closure” with regard to their experiences.
Repressed feelings of any sort can result in psychological and behavioral difficulties which exhibit themselves in other areas of one’s life.
Some women who would otherwise appear to have been satisfied with their abortion experience, are reported to enter into emotional crisis decades later with the onset of menopause or after their youngest child leaves home.