Abortion was created to aid in certain situations in which a woman could not or did not want to give birth to a child and to care for the child. Abortion is a method in which the baby, still in the mother’s womb, or the living embryo/fetus is killed. Abortions will be performed for many reasons if it is an unwanted pregnancy for social and/or financial reasons or if there are medical circumstances with the child and/or the mother. A woman may be unable to carry the child or there may be congenital defects and the child would not be able to live afterbirth. The child may have genetic irregularities, such as down syndrome. The parents may feel that they would be incapable of caring for the child and often the parents may feel that to have their child would have negative consequences to their lives. However, often, what are not taken into consideration are the negative effects after abortion, psychological and physical. Ultimately, the results may actually be worse than the problems, which were to be solved to begin with.
Many may feel abortion causing psychological problems is a myth, but the research supporting it is there. From the time of just after the abortion to years later, there is severe psychological trauma can and does occur. Women may have the second thought of whether or not their decision was right or not. These feelings may lead to more serious grief responses as well as depression. In some cases, it may lead to serious psychological disorders such as major depressive order and post-traumatic-stress disorder. In post-abortion syndrome the symptoms would include depression, guilt, anger, and social and sexual dysfunction. Another combination of feelings women experience after an abortion are shame and anger. The shame comes from the looking back at the experience they have just been through. The anger comes from knowing they were responsible for their shame.
Studies by pro-choice researchers also conclude that women often have difficulty coping in life after an abortion. Sometimes, women have abortions and then carry such guilt with them that when they do want to become pregnant, they are not capable to because of the psychological stress associated with guilt.
The physical effects after an abortion may happen soon after the abortion or may come years later. Intense bleeding is one of the most probable side effects, which usually occurs directly after the abortion procedure. Infection can set in within twenty-four hours of the abortion and can cause severe illness. Cervical laceration can occur at the time of abortion and may contribute to bleeding after the abortion. Severe hemorrhage can happen at the time or directly after the abortion. Seizures are another risk that can occur at the time of the abortion or soon after. Some of the long-term effects directly attributed to abortion are reduced fertility, which can happen years later, and an increase in breast cancer risk. Uncontrollable blood clotting can occur at the time of abortion and women have died related to this side effect. Abortion can cause tubal pathology, which may lead to ectopic pregnancies and severe complications afterwards. If an abortion is not handled correctly and the attempt to fix the mistake fails, a hysterectomy may be performed in which the woman’s uterus is taken out completely.
If the psychological and physical side effects of abortion were taken into consideration and discussed more openly within educational institutions and through the media, women may become more informed of the potential risks they are taking. This would lead to an increase in the knowledge women have when making decisions related to an unwanted pregnancy. The overall effects of this might be a decrease in the number of abortions, but surely, it would be an increase in informed decision making.