Induced Abortion: Women have a Right to Know

With its position statement, Induced Abortion: Risks That May Impact Adolescents, Young Adults, and Their Children, the American College of Pediatricians (The College) urges women who are contemplating an abortion to become aware of the many risks associated with the procedure. The statement presents the results of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on induced abortion. In addition to the harsh reality that abortion intentionally ends the life of an unborn child, extensive medical and sociological data demonstrate it also poses significant health risks for the pregnant woman and her future children.

For example, women who undergo induced abortions have higher mortality rates for several years thereafter, higher suicide rates, more substance abuse and some association of greater mental illness. A preponderance of evidence indicates an increased risk of breast cancer, especially for adolescents. Risks from induced abortion are not only limited to the woman, but also extend to her future children. Prior abortion markedly increases the risk of future very premature births, which may result in death or disability of the baby.

College Board member, Patty June, MD, states, “Pregnant teens need to know the whole truth about abortion, not only concerning the living unborn child within them, but also the personal health risks associated with aborting that life.”

The College also offers this statement as a resource to physicians, the lay public, educators and policymakers who may be involved in the care and education of adolescents and young women, and in the position to warn them that abortion carries significant risks that should not be ignored.