Pro-choice advocates often state that legal abortion is safe and painless. Looking at the procedure itself and the time it takes to be completed, this statement is fairly accurate. Like all medical procedures, abortion has its risks, but for the woman abortion usually has few short-term effects. Abortion is not a painless procedure, as women experience varying degrees of cramping as a result. However, it is true that abortion is relatively safe and painless for the woman—never, of course, for her child—in the immediate time in which it is taking place. However, pro-choice advocates have shown telling reluctance in their willingness to research long-term risks.
Abortion has become such a politicized issue that any information regarding adverse long-term affects of abortion has been decried by pro-choice advocates as pro-life propaganda. This unsettling truth was uncovered by pro-choice director Punam Kumar Gill, who released a documentary in 2016, aptly named HUSH. She describes her surprise at the general unwillingness of mainstream researchers to acknowledge obvious links between abortion and breast cancer, pre-term birth, and psychological trauma. She spoke to Dr. David Grimes, a well-respected OBGYN and abortionist, and when asked if there were any long-term effects of abortion he stated firmly: “What we now know is that there are no long-term consequences from abortion either reproductive or otherwise, and that includes psychological effects as well.” This information was repeated to Gill at an abortion clinic, where she was told that the link between abortion and breast cancer specifically was a myth. This is echoed on the Planned Parenthood website, where the answer to the question: “Does abortion have long-term side effects?”, definitively declares: “Having an abortion doesn’t increase your risk for breast cancer or affect your fertility. It doesn’t cause problems for future pregnancies like birth defects, premature birth or low birth weight, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or infant death.”
However, many studies from around the world do find a statistically significant link between abortion and all of the complications Planned Parenthood listed. If this is the case, where is the research? The pro-choice movement has done an excellent job in concealing information and crucifying anyone who dares to try contradict them. Any pro-life researcher or physician to present studies is dismissed as an anti-abortion zealot. This cover-up frustrates many who are simply trying to help people, such as Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a breast surgeon interviewed by Gill. With tears in her eyes, Dr. Lanfranchi relayed that while she had initially been relieved that studies had been put forward linking abortion with breast cancer, she was consistently disappointed: “Over the years I realized that, no, it didn’t matter how many studies there were. That information was not going to get out.”
Dr. Lanfranchi was upset because women are dying due, not to a lack of information, but because the information is not accurately presented to them. Multiple studies have been produced, showing that the hormone oestradiol, which is released during the first trimester, triggers “an explosive growth of breast tissue, [during] a period when breast cells are most likely to be affected by carcinogens.” When the pregnancy is unnaturally ended, this immature breast tissue leaves many more places for cancer to grow.
Researchers have accurately predicted a country’s breast cancer rate based on their abortion rate. In China, where up until recently the one-child policy was rigorously enforced through abortion, breast cancer rates are sky-rocketing. When Gill looked into why the medical establishment stated so conclusively that there are no long-term effects from abortion, she discovered that the decision was based on a single conference that took place in 2003. This conference was put on by the National Health Organization’s cancer division. The decision that abortion and breast cancer were not linked was made by a handful of researchers, after hearing a single 20-minute presentation by cancer researcher Dr. Leslie Bernstein. Ever since then, the medical establishment has declared the case closed.
The same sort of cover-up is applied to other health risks, such as subsequent pre-term birth. During a surgical abortion, a woman’s cervix is forced open with metal rods called dilators, or, in later abortions, with laminaria. This action can weaken the cervix to the point where the cervix is not able to support a subsequent full-term pregnancy. Again, the medical establishment refuses to look into a possible link between abortion and the spike in premature births happening in the Western World.
It is not only frustrating that important medical information surrounding abortion is concealed, it is dangerous. Pro-choice advocates are so set on making sure that abortion remains 100% legal for any reason or for no reason at all, that they refuse to acknowledge that it is an unnatural procedure that has significant risk. It is long past time that the long-term effects of abortion are properly examined, and that the pro-choice myth of no consequences whatsoever be abandoned.
Previously in this series: Restricting abortion results in higher maternal mortality
Hush: A Liberating Conversation About Abortion and Women’s Health, directed by Punam Kumar Gill (Mighty Motion Pictures, 2016), DVD.
Planned Parenthood, “How safe is an in-clinic abortion?” plannedparenthood.org, 2017, https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/in-clinic-abortion-procedures/how-safe-is-an-in-clinic-abortion.
Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy & Ian Gentles, Women’s Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence Second Edition (Toronto: The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research), 18.