Despite Research, Planned Parenthood Doc Says Abortion Has No Complications
by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Planned Parenthood medial director told a San Francisco Court, during the partial-birth abortion ban trial, that there are not adverse long-term consequences for having an abortion. The comment contradicts exhaustive research and personal testimonies from women who say they still suffer physical and emotional damage from their abortions.
At the trial, attorneys for Planned Parenthood questioned Maureen Paul, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, a local affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion business.
Paul told the court that "there is no evidence" of long-term adverse effects from an abortion.
But, according to the Elliot Institute, a plethora of long-term medical problems can result from abortions.
Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of an abortion. The risk of sterility is even greater for women who are infected with a venereal disease at the time of the abortion.
Cervical damage is another leading cause of long term complications following abortion.
During a pregnancy, the cervix is normally rigid and closed, but, in order to perform an abortion, the cervix must be stretched open considerably. During the forced dilation, the cervix muscles can be torn and occasionally ripped off the uterine wall.
In fact, according to one hospital study, 12.5% of first trimester abortions required stitching for cervical lacerations while another study of women in Hawaii found that cervical lacerations occurred on 22 percent of the women who had abortions.
Such cervical problems frequently lead to a permanent weakening of the cervix. This weakening may result in an "incompetent cervix" which, unable to carry the weight of a later "wanted" pregnancy, opens prematurely, resulting in miscarriage or premature birth, the Elliot Institute notes.
An Australian medical journal found that 75% of the women who were forcibly dilated for an abortion had problems with cervical incompetence.
On the psychological side, women who have abortions often don’t began to suffer the emotional damage — or deal with it — until years later.
In 2002, the British Medical Journal reported that women who abort a first pregnancy are at greater risk of subsequent long term clinical depression compared to women who carry an unintended first pregnancy to term.
For example, an average of eight years after their abortions, married women were 138 percent more likely to be at high risk of clinical depression.
David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, said the study’s findings are consistent with other recent research that has shown a four to six fold increased risk of suicide and substance abuse associated with prior abortion.
Meanwhile, Karen Bodle of Pennsylvania understands the long-term consequences of abortion.
At age 18, she learned she was pregnant from her first sexual encounter.
"I was a junior in college and was told that dropping out of college to have a child would ruin my life and future career. The only ‘choice’ discussed was abortion. I was ashamed to be pregnant and unmarried, so I thought that abortion would solve my problem," Karen said.
For years, she had trouble in relationships because of her abortion. The abortion experience left Karen depressed and confused.
"There is a disconnect in every woman’s heart and mind when she consents to abortion. Although she tries to forget the abortion and suppress the memories, eventually she will face the reality that her own child was mutilated by abortion. My denial lasted 21 years. I wept uncontrollably from the depths of my soul for three days when I finally faced the truth," Karen added.
Under cross-examination by Justice Department attorney Mark Quinlivan, Paul acknowledged that she is not board certified in maternal fetal medicine, an OBGYN specialty.
She also admitted that the partial-birth abortion procedure has never been subject to any peer-reviewed study showing it to be safer than childbirth.
At one point, Paul refused to acknowledge that, by performing an abortion, she is ending the life of an unborn child.
"I know what my purpose is," Paul explained. "That my purpose in bringing … the fetal trunk out past the navel is to empty the uterus in the safest way possible. Yet [the ban] implies that I have this other purpose, which is to kill the fetus."