Physical And Psychological Effects Of Abortion
Studies of the long-term risks of induced abortion, such as difficulties with future pregnancies, show that these risks are minimal. A properly done early abortion may even result in a lower risk of certain obstetrical problems with later pregnancies (Hern 1982; Hogue, Cates, and Tietze 1982). An uncomplicated early abortion should have no effect on future health or childbearing. If the abortion permits postponement of the first term pregnancy to after adolescence, the usual risks associated with a first term pregnancy are actually reduced. Psychological studies consistently show that women who are basically healthy can adjust to any outcome of pregnancy, whether it is term birth, induced abortion, or spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) (Adler et al. 1990). It is highly desirable, however, to have strong emotional support not only from friends and family but also from a sympathetic physician and a lay abortion counselor who will be with the woman during her abortion experience.
Denial of abortion can have serious adverse consequences for the children who result from the pregnancies their mothers had wanted to terminate. A long-term study in Czechoslovakia of the offspring of women who were denied abortions showed a range of adjustment and developmental difficulties in these children (David et al. 1988).