The Elliot Institute News
From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research
Vol. 7, No. 11 -- July 14, 2008
UnChoice Campaign: TheUnChoice.com
IN THIS ISSUE:
Abortion Likely to Harm, Not Help, Romanian Teen Who Became Pregnant Through Rape
A Romanian girl who was given an abortion after becoming pregnant through rape is likely to have been harmed, rather than helped, by the abortion.
The case made international headlines when it was reported that the family of an 11-year-old Romanian girl was petitioning the government to allow her to have an abortion. The girl was apparently past the cut-off limit for abortion in Romania, which allows abortions up to 14 weeks.
The girl was said to have been raped by a 19-year-old uncle who has since disappeared. Although pro-life and church organizations offered support for the girl and her unborn child, government officials eventually decided to allow the abortion. However, arrangements were made for an abortion in Great Britain and LifeSiteNews.com has reported that the abortion took place at a hospital in London.
The BBC said Marie Stopes International, an international abortion advocacy group, was involved in arranging the abortion. ""With the girl's well-being a paramount concern, and immediate access to the service a priority, Marie Stopes International was able to make alternative arrangements for her," the BBC quoted the organization as stating.
However, evidence suggests that, in addition to causing the death of her unborn child, abortion is likely to harm, not help, this girl and others like her. One of the only surveys ever done of women who became pregnant through sexual assault found that:
Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted a pregnancy conceived in sexual assault reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.
Most women who had abortions said that abortion only increased the trauma they were experiencing.
In many cases, the victim faced strong pressure or demands to abort and in some cases, especially those involving teenage girls, was even forced to have the abortion by others.
None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.1
Further, studies of women who had unintended first pregnancies found that women who aborted were more likely than those who carried to term to have subsequent depression,2 anxiety3 and substance abuse.4 Other research found that teens who abort an unintended pregnancy are more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes than are teens who carry the unintended pregnancy to term.5
The best available evidence, therefore, contradicts the claim that women who carry an unintended pregnancy to term will suffer as much or more than women who abort. Aborting women are more negatively affected. On the other hand, not a single study has shown that abortion is beneficial to women.
Finally, studies that examine risk factors for psychological problems after abortion have found that adolescents, women with a history of sexual assault or abuse, and those who have a second- or third-trimester abortion are all more likely to have difficulty coping after abortion. Teens are six times more likely to commit suicide after abortion than are adult women who abort, and more likely to have other emotional and physical complications.
One woman, who was impregnated by her stepfather at the age of 12 and forced to have an abortion, wrote in the book Victims and Victors:
"Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to 'be in my best interest' just has not been. Problems are not ended by abortion, but only made worse.'
Download our free fact sheets: Teens Abortion Risks and The Hard Cases: New Facts, New Answers.
1. Reardon, Makimaa & Sobie, Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2000) 19-22.
2. Reardon and Cougle, “Depression and Unintended Pregnancy in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth: A Cohort Study,” British Medical Journal 324:151-2, 2002.
3. J.R. Cougle, et. al., “Generalized Anxiety Following Unintended Pregnancies Resolved Through Childbirth and Abortion: A Cohort Study of the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth,” Journal of Anxiety Disorders 19:137-142 (2005).
4. D.C. Reardon, et. al., “Substance use associated with unintended pregnancy outcomes in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth,” American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 26(1):369-383, (2004).
5. PK Coleman, “Resolution of Unwanted Pregnancy During Adolescence Through Abortion Versus Childbirth: Individual and Family Predictors and Psychological Consequences,” Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2006).
Man Sentenced in Sexual Assault Case;
Girl Found Locked in His Home
Had an Abortion
A Connecticut man will serve 25 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old runaway girl whom police found locked in a room in his home.
Adam Gault, 41, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 50 years in prison, suspended after 25 years and with 20 years probation. Last year, police went to Gault's house to look for DNA evidence connecting him to the girl's disappearance and found her locked in a room whose door was hidden behind a dresser.
News reports said that the girl had run away and that Gault brainwashed her into remaining with him. Two other women who were living in the home were also sentenced for keeping the girl captive.
The girl told police she had an abortion at Planned Parenthood in West Hartford about a month before she was found but would not name the baby's father. However, subsequent DNA testing showed that Gault was the father, police said.
According to the National Right to Life web site, Connecticut does not require parents to be notified before a minor girl has an abortion.
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