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New research published this last month continues to add to the evidence documenting the physical risks of abortion on women.
First, a study published in Finland found that women who underwent chemical abortions were 4 times more likely to suffer physical complications compared to women who underwent surgical abortions. 20 percent of women suffered complications after chemical abortions compared to 5.6 percent of women who had surgical abortions.
The most common complications were hemorrhage (which occurred among 15.6 percent of women having chemical abortions compared to 2.1 percent of women having surgical abortions) and incomplete abortion (6.7 percent compared with 1.2 percent).
The use of abortion drugs such as RU-486 is rising in the U.S. and the findings about complications are also a concern because abortion drugs can easily be used for population control in developing countries (including countries where abortion is illegal) where good medical follow-up may not be available. (To read more about the link between RU-486 and population control, click here and here.)
At least six U.S. women have died after taking RU-486 and hundreds of adverse reactions to the drugs have been reported to the FDA.
A second new study of women in China found that those who had abortions had a 17 percent overall increased risk of breast cancer. The study follows on the heels of a review published by Turkish researchers that found a 66 percent overall increased risk of breast cancer among women with a history of abortion.
According to the Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer, one of the strengths of the Chinese study is the absence of "reporting bias" in which women fail to report having a previous abortion. They say that reporting bias is less likely in surveys of Chinese women because abortion doesn't carry the stigma that it does in many other countries.
The Coalition's president, Karen Malec, pointed out that such studies "are relevant considering the debate over government-funded abortion" in the healthcare bills being debated in Congress. "Government funded abortion means more dead American women from breast cancer," she stated.
Earlier this year, an expert on China's "one-child policy" testified before a Congressional hearing that most abortions in China are forced as a result of government policies. Approximately 13 million abortions are carried out in China each year. Most families in China are limited to one child except for in some rural areas or among certain ethnic populations where they might be allowed a second child if the first is a girl. If a woman gets pregnant without a birth permit, crippling fines, imprisonment, destruction of homes and property, harassment of her family and even violence are used to compel an abortion. Stories of women being physical dragged or forced to undergo abortions are common.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder of the group Women's Rights Without Frontiers, testified at a hearing in August that "The one child policy causes more violence toward women and girls than any other policy on the face of the earth." Other experts also testified about the massive human rights abuses taking place in China and urged Congress and President Obama to press China on this issue. Tragically, forced abortions, while illegal in the U.S., also take place here as well, with many documented cases of women being attacked or killed for refusing to have abortions.
Learn more: To learn more about the physical risks of abortion, download and share the Physical Risks Fact Sheet.
Caitlin Bruce says that A. Alberto Hodari, owner of the WomanCare abortion business in Detroit, ignored her statements that she had changed her mind about the abortion and that Hodari had a staff member hold her down while he forcibly carried out the abortion. Bruce said that she screamed, "Stop; stop, I don't want to do this," but that the staff member covered her mouth as the abortion took place.
The abortion took place in April 2008, but criminal charges were never filed because Bruce didn't know the law, her attorney says. Two pro-life groups are now asking for criminal charges to be filed against Hodari and Bruce has filed a civil complaint against him.
According to one of the groups, Operation Rescue, Hodari was involved in at least one other forced abortion. Jennifer McCoy, founder of VoicesForWomen.org, told Operation Rescue that she was taken by her mother to one of Hodari's abortion businesses after becoming pregnant at age 16 by a much older teacher. Not only did the clinic fail to report the statutory rape, McCoy says, but Hodari performed an abortion without her knowledge or consent after she was told she needed an exam.
McCoy said she told Hodari she was only there for an exam and that he told her, "If you change your mind, then we can do whatever else you decide to do." He then performed an abortion on her and later said her mother had signed the consent forms, a claim McCoy says she doubts. An attempt on her part to take Hodari to court was dismissed since she was a minor.
"If he can do this to me, he can do this to others," she said in an interview with Operation Rescue.
Hodari has a troubled history involving the deaths of women from botched abortions at clinics owned by him and is on probation for dumping fetal remains, bio-hazard waste and patients' medical records in the dumpsters behind his clinics. VoicesforWomen.org documents numerous lawsuits filed against him.
One death involved a 15-year-old girl who was taken to the clinic by her 26-year-old boyfriend and Hodari was fined $10,000 in June for the death of a woman after an abortion performed by one of his employees. Hodari has also faced criticism for telling medical students during a speech that he seldom washed his hands while performing abortions and he believes abortionists "have a license to lie" to women. The Michigan Attorney General's Office says Bruce's case is under review.
To learn more about the risks of coercion and abortion faced by women and girls, visit www.TheUnChoice.com.
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