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INFORMATION ON ABORTION FOR EVERY WOMAN

Abortion becomes absolutely necessary and inevitable due to various circumstances and this site explains about abortion from different (say: health, biological, psychological and social) perspectives  without any bias.

 

ABORTION METHODS
 

Surgical Abortions

(click on small photos for larger image)

There are many methods of abortion. The procedure used depends largely upon the stage of pregnancy and the size of the unborn child. Dr. J.C. Willke, in his book, Abortion Questions and Answers (Hayes Publishing Co. Inc, Cincinnati, 1985), has divided the methods of abortion into three main categories: those that invade the uterus and kill the child by instruments which enter the uterus through the cervix; those that kill the preborn child by administration of drugs and then induce labour and the delivery of a dead baby; and, those that invade the uterus by abdominal surgery.

Dilation of the uterus is required in cervical methods of abortion. The usual method of dilation is to insert a series of instruments of increasing size into the cervix. A set of dilators, metallic curved instruments, are used to open the cervix sufficiently to accommodate the instruments of abortion. In contrast with a normal birth, where the dilation occurs slowly over a period of many hours, the forceful stretching by the abortionist to open the cervix takes a matter of seconds. This premature and unnatural stretching of the cervix can result in permanent physical injury to the mother.

Laminaria (dehydrated material, usually seaweed) is sometimes used to reduce damage to the cervix. Inserted into the cervix the day before the scheduled abortion, it absorbs water and swells, gradually pushing open the cervix in the process.


 

Eight-week pre-born baby

At eight to nine weeks the eyelids have begun forming and hair appears. By the ninth and tenth weeks the preborn child sucks her thumb, turns somersaults, jumps, can squint to close out light, frown, swallow, and move her tongue.

At this early stage of development, suction abortions are performed using a smaller tube, requiring little dilation of the cervix. This is called "menstrual extraction." However, if all the fetal remains are not removed, infection results, requiring full dilation of the cervix and a scraping out of the womb.

 

Suction Aspirationclick for larger image

This is the most common method of abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. General or local anaesthesia is given to the mother and her cervix is quickly dilated. A suction curette (hollow tube with a knife-edged tip) is inserted into the womb. This instrument is then connected to a vacuum machine by a transparent tube. The vacuum suction, 29 times more powerful than a household vacuum cleaner, tears the fetus and placenta into small pieces which are sucked through the tube into a bottle and discarded.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

This method is similar to the suction method with the added insertion of a hook shaped knife (curette) which cuts the baby into pieces. The pieces are scraped out through the cervix and discarded [Note: This abortion method should not be confused with a therapeutic D&C done for reasons other than pregancy.]


Twelve-week pre-born baby

By the end of the third month all arteries are present, including the coronary vessels of the heart. Blood is circulating through these vessels to all body parts.

The heart beat ranges during this fetal period from 110 to 160 beats per minute. All blood cells are produced by the liver and spleen, a job soon taken over by the bone marrow. White blood cells, important for immunity, are formed in the lymph nodes and thymus.

Vocal chords are complete, and the child can and does sometimes cry (silently). The brain is fully formed, and the child can feel pain. The fetus may even suck his thumb. The eyelids now cover the eyes, and will remain shut until the seventh month to protect the delicate optical nerve fibers.
 

 

 

14 weeks - Muscles lenghten and become organized. The mother will soon start feeling the first flutters of the baby kicking and moving inside.

15 weeks - The fetus has an adult's taste buds and may be able to savor the mother's meals.

16 weeks - Five and a half inches tall and only six ounces in weight, eyebrows, eyelashes and fine hair appear. The child can grasp with his hands, kick, or even somersault.

 

Eighteen week pre-born baby

The fetus is now about 5 inches long. The child blinks, grasps, and moves her mouth. Hair grows on the head and body.

20 weeks - The child can hear and recognize mother's voice. Though still small and fragile, the baby is growing rapidly and could possibly survive if born at this stage. Fingernails and fingerprints appear. Sex organs are visible. Using an ultrasound device, the doctor can tell if the child is a girl or a boy. The one on the left is a baby girl.

 

 

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

This method is used up to 18 weeks' gestation. Instead of the loop-shaped knife used in D&C abortions, a pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp part of the fetus. The teeth of the forceps twist and tear the bones of the unborn child. This process is repeated until the fetus is totally dismembered and removed. Usually the spine must be snapped and the skull crushed in order to remove them.

Salt Poisoning (Saline Injection): click for larger image

Used after 16 weeks (four months) when enough fluid has accumulated. A long needle injects a strong salt solution through the mother's abdomen into the baby's sac. The baby swallows this fluid and is poisoned by it. It also acts as a corrosive, burning off the outer layer of skin. It normally takes somewhat over an hour for the baby to die from this. Within 24 hours, labor will usually set in and the mother will give birth to a dead or dying baby. (There have been many cases of these babies being born alive. They are usually left unattended to die. However, a few have survived and later been adopted.)

 

Six month pre-born baby

Seen here at six months, the unborn child is covered with a fine, downy hair called lanugo. Its tender skin is protected by a waxy substance called vernix. Some of this substance may still be on the child's skin at birth at which time it will be quickly absorbed. The child practices breathing by inhaling amnionic fluid into developing lungs.


 

Prostaglandin Chemical Abortion: click for larger image

This form of abortion uses chemicals developed by the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Co. which cause the uterus to contract intensely, pushing out the developing baby. The contractions are more violent than normal, natural contractions, so the unborn baby is frequently killed by them -- some have even been decapitated. Many, however, have also been born alive.

 

Hysterotomy or Caesarean Section:

Used mainly in the last three months of pregnancy, the womb is entered by surgery through the wall of the abdomen. The technique is similar to a Caesarean delivery, except that the umbilical cord is usually cut while the baby is still in the womb, thus cutting off his oxygen supply and causing him to suffocate. Sometimes the baby is removed alive and simply left in a corner to die of neglect or exposure.

 

30 weeks - For several months, the umbilical cord has been the baby's lifeline to the mother. Nourishment is transferred from the mother's blood, through the placenta, and into the umbilical cord to the fetus. If the mother ingests any toxic substances, such as drugs or alcohol, the baby receives these as well.

32 weeks - The fetus sleeps 90-95% of the day, and sometimes experiences REM sleep, an indication of dreaming.

 

Five steps to a partial birth abortion:click for larger image

1) Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's legs with forceps.

2) The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.

3) The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head

 

4) The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the skull.

click for larger image

5) The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

 

40 weeks - The baby, now approximately seven and a half pounds, is ready for life outside its mother's womb. At birth the placenta will detach from the side of the uterus and the umbilical cord will cease working as the child takes his first breaths of air. The child's breathing will trigger changes in the structure of the heart and bypass arteries which will force all blood to now travel through the lungs.

Chemical Abortions

Chemical abortion can be caused by certain drugs, administered in varying ways, which act upon the hormones of the mother to create a situation in which a newly-formed human being, known as a zygote or embryo at this stage, cannot survive. Most of these chemicals are used in combination, one drug to ensure that the embryo is killed, and a second to induce contractions so that the dead embryo is expelled from the uterus of the mother.

The drugs employed to cause these abortions may be referred to as causing pharmaceutical abortions, particularly in promotional literature.

Because Hoescht, the parent company of Roussel-Uclaf, the first manufacturer of RU 486, is a major producer of agricultural chemicals, administration of abortion pills has become known as inducing "chemical abortion," and RU 486 and other chemical abortifacients are often considered "human pesticides".

Life begins at fertilization, not implantation

(Note: This is a critical point to understand - see article - "When do human beings begin: Scientific Myths and Scientific Facts" - Diane Irving, M.A., Ph. D, International Journal, Sociology and Social Policy 19:3/4 Pgs. 22-36)
Click on life begins title above for complete article or go to www.physiciansforlife.ca/whendoes.html.

There is much scientific proof that a unique human being is created after fertilization of the egg by the sperm. This human being already has a complete and unique genetic make-up. Although it doesn't resemble us at this point, the new life looks exactly like a human being should look at this stage in his or her development. We all started out this way.

5Day 1 - 14 - Fertilization: the sperm and egg join in the fallopian tube to form a unique human being. Twenty-three chromosomes of the father and twenty-three chromosomes of the mother combine, which pre-determine all of a person's physical characteristics. The picture on the left is a fertilized egg, only thirty hours after conception. Magnified here, it is actually no larger than the head of a pin. Still rapidly dividing, the developing embryo moves down from the fallopian tube and towards the uterus.

3 weeks - Once in the uterus, the developing embyo searches for a place to implant, where it actually burrows beneath the surface of the uterus. The yolk sac, produces blood cells during the early weeks of life. The unborn child is only one-sixth of an inch long, but is rapidly developing. The backbone, spinal column, and nervous system are forming. The kidneys, liver, and intestines are taking shape.

Chemical Abortion - The prevention of implantation

PREVEN - known as either the "morning-after pill" or the "emergency contraceptive kit," but more appropriately described as "post-coital interception." The Preven pill makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable to a living, human embryo. The embryo is unable to implant and gain nourishment, so it dies.

Here is an excerpt from The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, by Moore and Persaud (P. 532):

Side effects: risk of developing blood clots and blockage of blood vessels - which may lead to heart attacks, strokes. Studies have indicated that the risk of both benign and malignant liver tumors may be increased by Preven use. Smoking and the use of Preven greatly increase the chance of developing possibly fatal heart disease.

The following quote from the Preven website www.preven.com/press/PR6.html affirms both, that Preven the morning after pill stops the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus and that RU486 induces abortion. Preven, at the beginning stage of the baby's development, prevents implanation in the uterus, and RU486 causes the baby to detach from the mother's uterus.

Click on Side effects for verification of the fatal side effects. Every page on the Preven website lists the fatal side effects. Perhaps your pharmacist might be able to provide you with documented information regarding these procedures.

Chemical Abortion in the First Trimester

RU 486

While many people focus solely on RU 486 (mifepristone), the so-called " French abortion pill," the RU 486 technique actually uses two powerful synthetic hormones with the generic names of mifepristone and misoprostol (or other chemicals called prostaglandins) to chemically induce abortions in women five to nine weeks pregnant.

The RU 486 procedure requires at least three trips to the abortion facility. In the first visit, the woman is given a physical exam, and if she has no obvious contra-indications ("health conditions" such as smoking, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., that could make the drug deadly to her), she takes the RU 486 pills. RU 486 blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone vital to maintaining the rich nutrient lining of the uterus. The developing baby is disrupted from his or her habitat and starves as the nutrient lining disintegrates.

At a second visit 36 to 48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins, usually misoprostol, which initiates uterine contractions and usually causes the embryonic baby to be expelled from the uterus. Most women abort during the 4-hour waiting period at the clinic, but about 30% abort later at home, work, etc., as many as 5 days later. A third visit about 2 weeks later determines whether the abortion has occurred or a surgical abortion is necessary to complete the procedure (5 to 10% of all cases).

There are several serious well documented side effects associated with RU 486/prostaglandin abortions, including prolonged and severe bleeding (up to 44 days), nausea, vomiting, pain, and even death. At least one woman in France died while others there suffered life-threatening heart attacks from the technique. In U.S. trials conducted in 1995, one woman is known to have nearly died after losing half her blood and requiring emergency surgery.

Long term effects of the drug have not yet been sufficiently studied, but there are reasons to believe that RU 486 could affect not only a woman’s current pregnancy, but her future pregnancies as well, potentially inducing miscarriages or causing severe malformations in later children. (Raymond, Klein, and Dumble, Misconceptions, cited in note 20 , pp. 71-79).

For additional details or references on the RU 486 information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website by clicking on the RU 486 title above or ask your pharmacist.

Methotrexate

The procedure with methotrexate is similar to the one using RU 486, though administered by an intramuscular injection instead of a pill and acts by a different mechanism.

5 Originally developed to attack fast growing cancer cells by neutralizing the B vitamin folic acid necessary for cell division, methotrexate attacks the fast growing cells of the baby, and the trophoblast, the tissue surrounding the embryo that eventually gives rise to the placenta (pictured left). The trophoblast not only functions as the "life support system" for the developing child, drawing oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood supply and disposing of carbon dioxide and waste products, but also produces the hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone which signals the corpus luteum to continue the production of progesterone necessary to prevent breakdown of the uterine lining and loss of the pregnancy. Methotrexate initiaties the disintengration of that sustaining, protective, and nourishing environment. Deprived of the food, oxygen, and fluids he or she needs to survive, the baby dies.

Three to seven days later (depending on the protocol used), a suppository of misoprostol (the same prostaglandin used with RU 486) is inserted into a woman’s vagina to trigger uterine contractions and expulsion of the tiny body of the child from the woman’s uterus. Sometimes this occurs within the next few hours, but often a second dose of the prostaglandin is required, making the time lapse between the initial administration of methotrexate and the actual completion of the abortion as long as several weeks. A woman may bleed for weeks (42 days in one study ), even heavily, and may abort anywhere -- at home, on the bus, at work, etc. Those found to be still pregnant in later visits (at least 1 in 25) are given surgical abortions.

Even doctors who support abortion are reluctant to prescribe methotrexate for abortion because of its high toxicity and unpredictable side effects. Those side effects commonly include nausea, pain, diarrhea, as well as less visible but more serious effects such as bone marrow depression, severe anemia, liver damage and methotrexate-induced lung disease.

The manufacturer warns in the package insert that "deaths have been reported with the use of methotrexate," and recommends that its use be limited to "physicians whose knowledge and experience includes the use of antimetabolite therapy." Though researchers performing methotrexate abortions have dismissed such concerns because of the low dosage used, other doctors in the abortion trade have disagreed, and the package insert clearly warns that "toxic effects may be related in frequency and severity to dose or frequency of administration, but have been seen at all doses" (emphasis added).

For additional details or references on the Methotrexate information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website by clicking on the Methotrexate title above or ask your pharmacist.



Also check out: Surgical Abortions  Abortifacient Contraceptives

Chemical Abortions

Chemical abortion can be caused by certain drugs, administered in varying ways, which act upon the hormones of the mother to create a situation in which a newly-formed human being, known as a zygote or embryo at this stage, cannot survive. Most of these chemicals are used in combination, one drug to ensure that the embryo is killed, and a second to induce contractions so that the dead embryo is expelled from the uterus of the mother.

The drugs employed to cause these abortions may be referred to as causing pharmaceutical abortions, particularly in promotional literature.

Because Hoescht, the parent company of Roussel-Uclaf, the first manufacturer of RU 486, is a major producer of agricultural chemicals, administration of abortion pills has become known as inducing "chemical abortion," and RU 486 and other chemical abortifacients are often considered "human pesticides".

Life begins at fertilization, not implantation

(Note: This is a critical point to understand - see article - "When do human beings begin: Scientific Myths and Scientific Facts" - Diane Irving, M.A., Ph. D, International Journal, Sociology and Social Policy 19:3/4 Pgs. 22-36)
Click on life begins title above for complete article or go to www.physiciansforlife.ca/whendoes.html.

There is much scientific proof that a unique human being is created after fertilization of the egg by the sperm. This human being already has a complete and unique genetic make-up. Although it doesn't resemble us at this point, the new life looks exactly like a human being should look at this stage in his or her development. We all started out this way.

5Day 1 - 14 - Fertilization: the sperm and egg join in the fallopian tube to form a unique human being. Twenty-three chromosomes of the father and twenty-three chromosomes of the mother combine, which pre-determine all of a person's physical characteristics. The picture on the left is a fertilized egg, only thirty hours after conception. Magnified here, it is actually no larger than the head of a pin. Still rapidly dividing, the developing embryo moves down from the fallopian tube and towards the uterus.

3 weeks - Once in the uterus, the developing embyo searches for a place to implant, where it actually burrows beneath the surface of the uterus. The yolk sac, produces blood cells during the early weeks of life. The unborn child is only one-sixth of an inch long, but is rapidly developing. The backbone, spinal column, and nervous system are forming. The kidneys, liver, and intestines are taking shape.

Chemical Abortion - The prevention of implantation

PREVEN - known as either the "morning-after pill" or the "emergency contraceptive kit," but more appropriately described as "post-coital interception." The Preven pill makes the lining of the uterus inhospitable to a living, human embryo. The embryo is unable to implant and gain nourishment, so it dies.

Here is an excerpt from The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, by Moore and Persaud (P. 532):

    Postcoital [after intercourse] birth control pills... Ovarian hormones (estrogen) taken in large doses within 72 hours after sexual intercourse usually prevent implantation of the blastocyst [embryo]... These hormones prevent implantation, not fertilization. Consequently, they should not be called contraceptive pills [italics added]. Conception occurs but the blastocyst does not implant. It would be more appropriate to call them "contraimplantation pills." Because the term abortion refers to a premature stoppage of a pregnancy, the term abortion could be applied to such an early termination of pregnancy.

Side effects: risk of developing blood clots and blockage of blood vessels - which may lead to heart attacks, strokes. Studies have indicated that the risk of both benign and malignant liver tumors may be increased by Preven use. Smoking and the use of Preven greatly increase the chance of developing possibly fatal heart disease.

The following quote from the Preven website www.preven.com/press/PR6.html affirms both, that Preven the morning after pill stops the fertilized egg from implanting into the uterus and that RU486 induces abortion. Preven, at the beginning stage of the baby's development, prevents implanation in the uterus, and RU486 causes the baby to detach from the mother's uterus.

    "The ingredients of Preven are nothing new: Medical experts have used the basic recipe for emergency contraception since at least the mid 1970s. Emergency contraception pills, or ECPs, are simply high doses of the hormones found in regular birth-control pills, taken in two steps within 72 hours of sex. In contrast to "morning after" pills such as RU-486, which induce abortion by causing a fertilized egg to detach from a woman's uterus, ECPs actually prevent pregnancy. " Most people have no idea that's possible, because when Mom or Dad took us behind the barn, they usually left us with a misunderstanding of the basic facts of life," says Dr. Anita Nelson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UCLA. "It actually takes a few days for an egg to get fertilized and lock itself onto a uterus. And ECPs (emergency contraceptive pills) work to stop ovulation from taking place, stop the sperm from coming down the tube, or stop a fertilized egg from becoming implanted." (emphasis added)

Click on Side effects for verification of the fatal side effects. Every page on the Preven website lists the fatal side effects. Perhaps your pharmacist might be able to provide you with documented information regarding these procedures.

Chemical Abortion in the First Trimester

RU 486

While many people focus solely on RU 486 (mifepristone), the so-called " French abortion pill," the RU 486 technique actually uses two powerful synthetic hormones with the generic names of mifepristone and misoprostol (or other chemicals called prostaglandins) to chemically induce abortions in women five to nine weeks pregnant.

The RU 486 procedure requires at least three trips to the abortion facility. In the first visit, the woman is given a physical exam, and if she has no obvious contra-indications ("health conditions" such as smoking, asthma, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., that could make the drug deadly to her), she takes the RU 486 pills. RU 486 blocks the action of progesterone, the natural hormone vital to maintaining the rich nutrient lining of the uterus. The developing baby is disrupted from his or her habitat and starves as the nutrient lining disintegrates.

At a second visit 36 to 48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins, usually misoprostol, which initiates uterine contractions and usually causes the embryonic baby to be expelled from the uterus. Most women abort during the 4-hour waiting period at the clinic, but about 30% abort later at home, work, etc., as many as 5 days later. A third visit about 2 weeks later determines whether the abortion has occurred or a surgical abortion is necessary to complete the procedure (5 to 10% of all cases).

There are several serious well documented side effects associated with RU 486/prostaglandin abortions, including prolonged and severe bleeding (up to 44 days), nausea, vomiting, pain, and even death. At least one woman in France died while others there suffered life-threatening heart attacks from the technique. In U.S. trials conducted in 1995, one woman is known to have nearly died after losing half her blood and requiring emergency surgery.

Long term effects of the drug have not yet been sufficiently studied, but there are reasons to believe that RU 486 could affect not only a woman’s current pregnancy, but her future pregnancies as well, potentially inducing miscarriages or causing severe malformations in later children. (Raymond, Klein, and Dumble, Misconceptions, cited in note 20 , pp. 71-79).

For additional details or references on the RU 486 information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website by clicking on the RU 486 title above or ask your pharmacist.

Methotrexate

The procedure with methotrexate is similar to the one using RU 486, though administered by an intramuscular injection instead of a pill and acts by a different mechanism.

5 Originally developed to attack fast growing cancer cells by neutralizing the B vitamin folic acid necessary for cell division, methotrexate attacks the fast growing cells of the baby, and the trophoblast, the tissue surrounding the embryo that eventually gives rise to the placenta (pictured left). The trophoblast not only functions as the "life support system" for the developing child, drawing oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood supply and disposing of carbon dioxide and waste products, but also produces the hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone which signals the corpus luteum to continue the production of progesterone necessary to prevent breakdown of the uterine lining and loss of the pregnancy. Methotrexate initiaties the disintengration of that sustaining, protective, and nourishing environment. Deprived of the food, oxygen, and fluids he or she needs to survive, the baby dies.

Three to seven days later (depending on the protocol used), a suppository of misoprostol (the same prostaglandin used with RU 486) is inserted into a woman’s vagina to trigger uterine contractions and expulsion of the tiny body of the child from the woman’s uterus. Sometimes this occurs within the next few hours, but often a second dose of the prostaglandin is required, making the time lapse between the initial administration of methotrexate and the actual completion of the abortion as long as several weeks. A woman may bleed for weeks (42 days in one study ), even heavily, and may abort anywhere -- at home, on the bus, at work, etc. Those found to be still pregnant in later visits (at least 1 in 25) are given surgical abortions.

Even doctors who support abortion are reluctant to prescribe methotrexate for abortion because of its high toxicity and unpredictable side effects. Those side effects commonly include nausea, pain, diarrhea, as well as less visible but more serious effects such as bone marrow depression, severe anemia, liver damage and methotrexate-induced lung disease.

The manufacturer warns in the package insert that "deaths have been reported with the use of methotrexate," and recommends that its use be limited to "physicians whose knowledge and experience includes the use of antimetabolite therapy." Though researchers performing methotrexate abortions have dismissed such concerns because of the low dosage used, other doctors in the abortion trade have disagreed, and the package insert clearly warns that "toxic effects may be related in frequency and severity to dose or frequency of administration, but have been seen at all doses" (emphasis added).

For additional details or references on the Methotrexate information provided here, please access the National Right to Life website by clicking on the Methotrexate title above or ask your pharmacist.

Abortifacient contraceptives

Birth control pills are routinely described as "contraceptives", that is, things that prevent conception, the beginning of a new human life. But in fact birth control pills sometimes act as "abortifacients", things that cause abortion.

Birth control pills act in three basic ways: (This information can be obtained from any standard reference work, such as the Physician's Desk Reference.)

  1. They suppress ovulation, that is, they prevent the woman's body from releasing an egg.
  2. They thicken the woman's cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
  3. They alter the lining of the uterus so that the zygote (fertilized egg, the first stage in the life of a human being) cannot implant. The developing baby receives his oxygen and nutrition through the uterus, so if the zygote-baby cannot implant, he starves to death. This is, therefore, an abortion.

There are basically three types of birth control pills:

  • high-dose, progestin and estrogen;
  • low-dose, about half as much progestin and estrogen; and
  • mini-pill, small amount of progestin, no estrogen.

The early high-dose birth control pills acted primarily by suppressing ovulation. Studies found that these pills succeeded in preventing ovulation somewhere between 90 and 98% of the time. However, high-estrogen pills are no longer available in Canada or the United States . They were removed from the market because of various dangerous side effects.

The newer low-dose pills are less effective at preventing ovulation and therefore rely more on the remaining two functions. As an egg is microscopic, it can be difficult to tell in any given case whether an egg really has been released. But Dutch gynecologist Dr Nine Van der Vange made an extensive study of women using these pills. She found proof that an egg had been released in 4% of the cases, and found follicle growth typical of what one finds in early pregnancy in at least 52% of cases.

The workings of the mini-pill are not fully understood, but it appears to allow ovulation at least 40% of the time, according to Emory University's Contraceptive Technology. Ovulation expert Dr. John Billings estimates that between 2 and 10 per cent of a woman's cycles are still ovulatory even when she is taking the Pill. That means there is a chance she can still conceive a child; but because of the Pill's effect on the lining of the womb, the child will not be able to implant, and will be expelled from the mother's body. Although this might seem to be a small percentage risk, over time the likelihood is great. Moreover, there really is no such thing as a "negligible" risk of aborting a baby. In this case, any risk is too great.

The Intra-Uterine Device

 

    (I.U.D)

    The I.U.D. is a specially shaped piece of plastic or metal that must be inserted into the uterus by a doctor. Although it is not known for sure how it works, it is believed that an I.U.D. changes the lining of the uterus to prevent the fertilized egg from being implanted [emphasis added]. It may also slow the sperm down enough to prevent it from reaching the uterus.

For additional details on the Intra-uterine device click on the title above or go to www.campuslife.utoronto.ca/services/sec/iud.html or ask your pharmacist.

Contraceptive abortions

Some people have moral objections to contraception in principle. But that is not the issue here. Even those who see no moral distinction between preventing pregnancy through contraception and avoiding pregnancy through abstinence, must still object to any birth control method that relies, even a small percentage of the time, on destroying a life that has already begun.

It has been said that birth control pills usually act by contraception, that any abortions that result should be accepted as an unfortunate accident. This is a little like saying that it's alright to fire a gun randomly in the dark, as you usually won't hit anybody, and in the few cases when you do, it should be accepted as an unfortunate accident.

For additional details on Contraceptive abortions click on the title above or go to www.ohiolife.org/aborters/facient.html or ask your pharmacist

 


1) Click here for  photographs of aborted babies, most killed in the second and third trimesters. Click the thumbnails to view them full-size. 

2) Click here to understand the biological and psychological effects on the woman after abortion.

3) For details on Partial Abortion Click here

4) (a) Click here for statistical information on Abortion especially in U.S.A

     (b) Click here for statistics on Abortion with a wide coverage of different countries and historical information.

5) History of Abortion in favour of anti-abortion culture


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How Are Abortions Done?

9312ha_aAbortion is legal in this country until the day of birth! Many people do not know this. If you tell them, they refuse to believe it. Yet, the fact remains that a woman can legally abort her baby at any time during her pregnancy. The only thing that changes is the method and the cost.

Since abortion was legalized in 1973, approximately 1,500,000 babies have been aborted each year. One out of six women in this country have had abortions. Many times, they were not told about the procedure or the risks involved. They were most likely not informed about the development of the unborn baby inside of them.

Abortion is called a “choice”. If this is true, women should know what they are choosing!

The following is a description of the various types of abortions that are performed in this country.


RU-486

RU-486 is a drug that produces an abortion. It is taken after the mother misses her period. It can be used up to the second month of pregnancy. It works by blocking progesterone, a crucial hormone during pregnancy. Without progesterone, the uterine lining does not provide food, fluid and oxygen to the tiny developing baby. The baby cannot survive. A second drug is then given that stimulates the uterus to contract and the baby is expelled.

Women who abort with the drug RU-486 experience nausea, severe cramping, vomiting and bleeding. But the resulting emotional distress may have even more impact. Rather than being “over with” in a few minutes (as in a surgical abortion) this abortion could last for over a week. Then, when the woman finally does abort, she will expel a tiny dead human being - her baby.


Suction-Aspiration

In this method, the cervical muscle ring must be paralyzed and stretched open. The abortionist then inserts a hollow plastic tube with a knife-like edge into the uterus. The suction tears the baby’s body into pieces. The placenta is cut from the uterine wall and everything is sucked into a bottle.


Dilation and Curettage (D and C)

This is similar to a suction procedure except a curette, a loop-shaped steel knife is inserted into the uterus. The baby and placenta are cut into pieces and scraped out into a basin. Bleeding is usually very heavy with this method.


Dilation and Evacuation (D and E)

This type of abortion is done after the third month of pregnancy. The cervix must be dilated before the abortion. Usually Laminaria sticks are inserted into the cervix. These are made of sterilized seaweed that is compressed into thin sticks. When inserted, they absorb moisture and expand, thus enlarging the cervix. A pliers-like instrument is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The abortionist then seizes a leg, arm or other part of the baby and, with a twisting motion, tears it from the body. This continues until only the head remains. Finally the skull is crushed and pulled out. The nurse must then reassemble the body parts to be sure that all of them were removed.

 

Prostaglandin Abortion

Prostaglandin is a hormone that induces labor. The baby usually dies from the9312ha_c trauma of the delivery. However, if the baby is old enough, it will be born alive. This is called a “complication.” To prevent this, some abortionists use ultrasound to guide them as they inject a “feticide” (a drug that kills the fetus) into the unborn baby’s heart. They then administer prostaglandin and a dead baby is delivered. This type of abortion is used in mid and late term pregnancies.


Dilation and Extraction (D and X)

9312ha_dThis abortion is also used on mid and late term babies, from 4 to 9 months gestation. Ultrasound is used to identify how the unborn baby is facing in the womb. The abortionist inserts forceps through the cervical canal into the uterus and grasps one of the baby’s legs, positioning the baby feet first, face down (breech position). The child’s body is then pulled out of the birth canal except for the head which is too large to pass through the cervix. The baby is alive, and probably kicking and flailing his legs and arms. The abortionist hooks his fingers over the baby’s shoulders, holding the woman’s cervix away from the baby’s neck. He then jams blunt tipped surgical scissors into the base of the skull and spreads the tips apart to enlarge the wound. A suction catheter is inserted into the baby’s skull and the brain is sucked out. The skull collapses and the baby’s head passes easily through the cervix.

Abortion is called a “choice”. What is really chosen is the killing of a human being. The methods differ but the results are the same - a dead baby. Even abortion supporters admit this. Dr. Malcom Watts, writing a pro-abortion piece for the California Medical Association said: “...it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous until death.” The real question is not about “choice.” It is whether we have the right to kill over 4,000 human beings a day, for any reason.

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What is unsafe abortion?

Unsafe abortion is abortion that is unhygienic, is carried out by untrained practictioners, uses inappropriate methods, or is where healthcare systems cannot provide adequate care.

Unsafe abortion exists in areas where abortion is illegal (as in many African, Middle Eastern, Asian and South American countries) and in countries in which abortion is legal, but there is not adequate provision of services (for example India).

 

Backstreet abortion

Many illegal abortions are carried out using primitive surgical methods: injecting poisonous solutions into the womb or inserting objects intended to dislodge the fetus. These kinds of abortions are referred to as backstreet abortions because they are often carried out by someone with no training, in an unhygienic environment, in conditions of great secrecy.

 

Self-induced abortion

Methods of self-induced abortion include the taking of abortificients – herbal remedies or poisons intended to induce a miscarriage. Some of these methods are harmless, but also ineffectual. Others work more effectively, but can be extremely dangerous to the woman.

Some people resort to inflicting physical abuse (falling down stairs, blows to belly, jumping from heights) when they cannot find any other way in which to end an unwanted pregnancy. This is extremely risky for the woman and is often not effective in ending the pregnancy.

 

Unsafe abortion around the world

Every year, approximately 50 million unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. 55,000 abortions a day, over 20 million a year, are unsafe.

The World Health Organisation estimates that unsafe abortions cause the deaths of at least 200 women each day, over 70,000 women each year, yet it is ‘one of the most easily preventable and treatable causes of maternal mortality.’ (WHO Safe Motherhood Conference, 1998.)

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo stated that, ‘In circumstances in which abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe. In all cases, women should have access to quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion.’

 

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Moral and Ethical Issues

(or frequently asked questions which have no answers)

Most of this website is full of facts: questions which have definite answers and information that is accurate and up to date. This section of the site is different because it explores moral questions. Although people often believe that their personal view is right and the opposite view wrong, moral questions often do not have a simple or provable answer. Moral questions often lead to more questions.

Many people have strong views on the morality of abortion. These views may have been formed after a great deal of thought about abortion, or could simply be ideas picked up from friends, family, or media. Some people’s views on abortion are closely linked to their religious or political beliefs and for others connect more to their personal experiences or even just gut feelings.

People’s views on abortion are not necessarily set in stone for life. Like our opinions on many things, we can change our minds as a result of specific incidents, or just adapt with age and experience.

 

A spectrum of belief

People’s views on abortion range from those who believe that abortion is always wrong under any circumstances to those who believe that a woman should always be allowed an abortion for any reason and at any point in pregnancy. Most people’s beliefs fall somewhere between these two ends of the spectrum.

Some of the issues here are things people consider when deciding what they think about abortion.

 

Women’s rights or fetal rights?

Some people believe that the moment of fertilisation marks the beginning of sacred life and that from that moment the zygote/embryo/fetus has an absolute right to life. These people may believe that abortion is always wrong.

Some people believe that a balance must be struck between the rights of the fetus and the rights of the woman and that the rights of the fetus increase as it develops in the womb. These people may believe that abortion is acceptable in some circumstances, for some reasons and/or at some stages of pregnancy

Others believe that a woman should have an absolute right to decide whether or not to continue with her pregnancy. As it is her body and life that will be affected by pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, no-one else should have the power to force her to continue with an unwanted pregnancy. Some of these people do not ‘like’ the idea of abortion and would not choose it themselves, but do believe that women should have the right to choose safe, legal abortion.

What do you think?

 

Isn’t adoption the moral solution?

For some women adoption is a good solution to an unwanted pregnancy. It may be a positive decision to bring a baby into the world, confident that it will be well looked after by adoptive parents; it may be the only morally acceptable option for her; or her pregnancy might have progressed too far to be able to access an abortion. 

Most people believe that women should not be coerced or pressured to continue with a pregnancy and have their baby adopted, but that adoption should be positively presented as one of her possible options.

However, some people say that adoption is the only acceptable solution to an unwanted pregnancy and that abortion should not be an option.

What do you think?

 

When does life begin?

Some religions and cultures teach that life begins at fertilisation – the moment that sperm meets egg - and that the fertilised egg is a sacred life, with as many rights as a baby, child or adult. 

Medical science tells us that a proportion of fertilised eggs do not become implanted in the woman’s womb and that a large proportion of those that do (estimates suggest around 25%) are lost naturally to miscarriage. So some people do not believe that fertilisation is a good point at which to mark the beginning of a sacred life.

Other people see the zygote/embryo/fetus as a developing life with rights increasing as pregnancy develops.

Other people believe that the end of pregnancy and birth of a baby marks its transition to personhood and is the point at which it attains rights.

What do you think?

 

When does a fetus become a person?

This question is important because we do not give human rights (such as the right to life) to all living things (plants, animals etc) but only to people. The earliest zygote contains the entire DNA code of the person that could develop from it, and some argue that its potential to become a person is enough to give it the rights of a fully developed person.

Others argue that a person is more than just the sum of its biological parts, and believe that a living person has characteristics that a fetus doesn’t.  These may include the ability to think and reason or the capacity to respond, to build relationships and to communicate.

Some believe that it is the ability of the fetus to exist independently of the mother that defines it as a person. They consider the fetus to have the right to life at the point where it is ‘viable’, meaning it can survive outside of the woman’s womb.

What do you think?

 

Is abortion murder?

Some people categorise abortion as murder at even the earliest stages of pregnancy. 

Others see this as an emotive term designed to stigmatise both the women who have abortions and doctors who provide abortions.

In the UK abortion is not legally categorised as murder. When specific criteria are met it is a legal medical procedure.

What do you think?

 

What about gender abortions?

Sometimes a genetic condition is carried only by the male or female gene so, after identifying the gender of the fetus, parents-to-be might opt for abortion in order to avoid passing on a genetic condition. Some people believe this is an acceptable reason to have an abortion.

Most gender abortions take place because there is a cultural preference for having a baby of a specific gender. In many parts of the world, for example, boy babies are more desirable than girl babies. This is normally a symptom of serious cultural and economic inequality between men and women in those communities. It might relate to the difference in men’s and women’s access to education, their earning power and status as well as traditions around marriage and dowries which mean that the parents and families of girl children are disadvantaged.

A common reaction people have to gender abortions is that they are very wrong. However, people also recognise that the pressure on a woman to have an abortion because of the gender of the fetus can be enormous. Some unwanted girls are killed after birth, abandoned or seriously mistreated and their mothers punished for their failure to produce boys. Under these circumstances many will not condemn women for having gender abortions.

What do you think?

 

Is women’s sexuality the real problem?

Although discussion of abortion in the 21st Century is largely focused on the issue of fetal rights, there are plenty of people whose objections to abortion are based on a much more traditional concern - the ‘problem’ of women’s sexuality. Often those who condemn abortion on the grounds of the right to life of the fetus also believe that the use of contraception is wrong.

For some, anxiety about and disapproval of women’s sexuality lies at the root of anti-abortion ideas. For them anything that facilitates fornication (sex without the intention or consequence of pregnancy) is morally wrong because the sole purpose of sex is to reproduce. These people believe that contraception and abortion allow women a way to be sexually active without having children, and therefore must be wrong.

What do you think?

 

Motherhood – the natural way?

Anxiety about abortion and women’s sexuality is often connected to the idea that a woman’s natural role and destiny is motherhood and that anything disturbing the progression between sex and motherhood is bound to cause a woman psychological problems or mental illness.

This idea was expressed by an American, Doctor Gouldstone, who, in 1958 said  ‘Woman’s main role on earth is to conceive, deliver and raise children…When this function is interfered with, we see all sorts of emotional disorders.’

Nearly fifty years later this view of women is still evident in some discussion of abortion. Some people believe that any woman seeking abortion must be unnatural or mentally disturbed or that any woman who has an abortion will become mentally disturbed.

These days many people choose to have small families or not to become parents at all. They do not feel that they are unnatural or disturbed, but are simply people making informed personal choices.

What do you think?

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VIABILITY ISSUE

What is viability?

Viability means the capacity of a fetus to survive outside the woman’s womb. Many people feel that viability is a morally significant point in pregnancy.

Viability is a contentious term, because there is no universally agreed definition of the term. These are some of the possible interpretations of the term:

 

Viability in the UK

In 1990 the time limit for most abortions was reduced from 28 to 24 weeks in order to take account of the increasing ability of medical staff to keep premature babies alive.

At 24 weeks many newborn babies in the UK will survive – some in good health, some with developmental problems, some with the need for long-term support and treatment. Some babies have been kept alive earlier even than this.

The skill of medics and the development of new technology are likely to increase the survival rate of babies born prematurely. However, the physiology of the developing fetus means that it is unlikely that the lower age limit for survival will fall much further.

 

Viability around the world

The likelihood of keeping a premature baby alive varies enormously depending on the healthcare services available in the region, country or continent. A very premature baby in a rural area within the developing world is unlikely to survive.

Therefore viability in one place means something quite different from viability in another.

 

Argument for the moral significance of viability

Many people consider that viability is the moment at which abortion becomes unacceptable. Up to the point of viability the survival of the fetus is inextricably linked to the woman and many people believe that as long as it is entirely dependent on the woman’s body it cannot be said to be a person with independent rights.

After viability a fetus might survive inside or outside of the woman’s body so it is less likely to be perceived as a part or an extension of the woman’s body and more likely to be seen as a separate entity with separate rights.

 

Argument against the moral significance of viability

Many other arguments for and against the right of a woman to choose abortion do not rely on the issue of viability. For those who believe that the most important issue is the sanctity of life, and that all life is scared from the moment of conception, the ongoing development of the fetus or its viability are not relevant.

For those who believe that a decision about abortion should be based on the circumstances a woman is in and her ability to care for and love a baby, the issue of viability is not relevant.

For those whose primary concern is the right of the woman to make a decision concerning her body and her life, viability might not be relevant.

The most morally problematic aspect of using viability as an absolute moral marker is that if the fetus is considered to have increased rights at viability, most fetuses in the developing world gain those rights long after most fetuses in the developed world. Taken to its logical conclusion, a fetus of 24 weeks in the developing world might have no moral or legal rights; whereas a fetus in the developed world would have a legal or moral right to life.

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International Positions on Abortion

Overview

Around 75% of the world’s population live in countries where abortion is legal. That leaves around 25% of the world’s population living in countries where it is difficult or impossible to access safe legal abortion.

 

Where abortion is legal

Where abortion is legal the law varies widely.

Some abortion laws are based on a medical model (such as UK abortion law). These laws define abortion as a solution to a medical problem i.e. abortion may be allowed in order to prevent the risk of physical or psychological damage to a pregnant woman.

Other laws (such as US law) defines the decision to have an abortion as a matter of rights. i.e. a woman has the right to make a private decision for herself about something that will affect her, without the interference of government.

Other elements of abortion law that vary widely are:

In addition to the variations in law, many practical issues affect the ease or difficulty a woman might have accessing a safe, legal abortion:

 

Where abortion is illegal

Millions of abortions take place each year in countries where abortion is illegal. The main difference for women living in countries in which abortion is illegal compared to those where it is legal is that abortion is harder to access and likely to be unsafe.

Wealthy women living in urban areas might be able to access a safe abortion from a qualified doctor if they can afford to pay for it.

 

What happens when abortion is illegal?

Many women in countries where abortion is illegal resort to extremely dangerous methods to end their pregnancies.

So many women suffer serious injury from unsafe abortion that many countries where abortion is illegal actually provide special medical help for women who have had dangerous abortions (Kenya is an example of this).

Other countries accept that abortion is a problem that will not disappear but for political, religious or cultural reasons the governments of these countries are not prepared to legalise abortion.

In some countries a form of safe, early abortions are provided by community nurses and midwives under the label of ‘menstrual regulation’ (for example, Bangladesh uses this system of healthcare to reduce the number of women dying and injured as a result of unsafe abortion).

Each year around 70,000 women die as a result of illegal, unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortion is the cause of 15% of all deaths from maternal mortality (death caused by pregnancy or childbirth). Because abortion can be extremely safe when it is provided by trained professionals in an appropriate environment, it is considered to be the most easily preventable cause of maternal mortality.
 
Many health services in countries where abortion is illegal are campaigning to change the law to allow women to access safe, legal abortions and/or to ensure that help is available for those women who are injured from unsafe procedures. Some of these agencies face obstacles from abroad as well as from their own governments.

For more information

For more information on different abortion laws around the world see Childbirth by Choice trust leaflet ‘Abortion in law, history and religion’. www.cbctrust.com/homepage.html

For statistics and more information on different abortion practices see Alan Guttmacher Institute ‘Sharing Responsibility: Women, Society and Abortion Worldwide (1999, special report)’ available at www.agi-usa.com.

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How does abortion affect women?

Overview

Legal abortion is a relatively safe procedure, particularly when performed early in pregnancy and by experienced doctors. There are in fact less risks associated with early abortion than with continuing a pregnancy and child birth. 

However, no clinical procedures are completely free from risk; the information below summarises some of the principle risks. More serious complications are rare. If a woman has particular concerns, though, she should talk these through with her doctor.

Complications

Does abortion cause psychological problems?

Several studies have shown that having an abortion does not lead to psychological problems. Although women may regret having to have an abortion the vast majority find that they have no emotional problems after it.

A small number - about 3% - have long-term feelings of guilt and some of these feel that the abortion was a mistake. But for these women the unwanted pregnancy was usually one of many problems in their lives, and these problems continued after the abortion. There is some evidence that for most of these women not having the abortion would not have improved their situation or might have made it worse.

Many women feel relieved once it is over and, looking back, view the decision to end the pregnancy as regrettable but necessary.

Click here to understand the biological and psychological effects on the woman after abortion.

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CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ARTICLES ON ABORTION FROM MEDICAL POINT OF VIEW FOR LAYMEN/WOMEN

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HOME PAGE OF Consortium offering first and second trimester abortions and tubal ligation in clinics and outpatient ambulatory surgical centers in several US locations. Includes information about clinics and procedures.
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