Catholic Insight Online Newsletter - Fr. Alphonse de Valk
This insightful piece arrived in my inbox this morning. It comes from Catholic Insight, a thoughtful publication spearheaded by Fr. Alphonse de Valk. There continues to be a lot of misinformation about abortion and its effects on the mothers, and the obvious effect on the baby. But, there are those in the pro-life movement who are prepared to put their mouth and their money together and speak out about the evil of abortion.
There are human lives involved here, folks. This is not about inconveniences. This is about human beings. God loves each and every one of them.
Newsletter No. 5
June 4, 2010
Abortion has suddenly become a hot topic in the Canadian press, not because there is a serious political debate about it, but because certain parties think abortion should be promoted by the G-8 powers meeting in Canada this coming June.
Please remind your friends and acquaintances that abortion has grave physical and mental consequences for those involved, not to mention the deaths of the babies.
The Toronto Star continues its harassment of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. On Saturday, May 22, it published an article entitled, “No new abortion law planned, PM insists.” On Tuesday morning, May 25, it followed up with, “Tories ignore abortion advice” and “Oda won’t comment on CIDA notes.”
In an earlier article, Catholic Insight drew attention to the Star’s recent pre-occupation with abortion (“Anti-life Left panics over pro-life activism” website, May 17; printed edition, June, pp. 9-11). The Star sees abortion as a necessary ingredient for the G-8 maternity welfare policy. Prime Minister Harper does not. He wants to help poor women and their babies with food, milk, water and medical assistance that will aid them to survive the births of their babies and have those babies live, too. The Star wants the overseas advisors in Africa and Asia to advise parents to kill their babies in what it constantly refers to as “safe abortions.”
Canadian Press discovered in January of this year that “briefing papers” from CIDA (the Canadian International Development Agency for International Co-operation) had suggested that “safe abortion services could save numerous lives” (deadly for babies, of course, but presumably “safe” for their mothers). Needless to say, the “experts” of CIDA drew figures out of a hat, such as that “500,000 women die annually during pregnancy.”
Feminists have been doing this for the last five decades. They and pro-abortion journalists like Star columnist James Travers (“Access to safe abortions is an essential of any effective international strategy,” May 24) do not know what they are talking about.
Polling firms like Ipsos Reid suffer from the same problem. They poll people who know nothing about the subject. For most people, abortion is an abstraction. It means nothing. When these firms “poll” Canadians, they present abortion stripped of all reality (no family; no father, brothers and sisters; no mental or physical consequences to the mother; no financial costs to society). Hence to the question: should abortion be permitted? 46 per cent of Canadians easily say, “The government should leave things as they are” (National Post, Saturday, May 22, 2010).
We, however, should raise questions about these “safe” abortions. Are they really safe?
First, go to the statistics on the subject provided by Toronto’s de Veber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research: “The physical and mental consequences of abortion on women’s health.” The original is available from the Institute, 103 Jane Street, Toronto, Website: www.deveber.org. Telephone (416) 256-0555.
It was also reprinted in Catholic Insight, October 2008, pp. 19 and 20 and is on the web at: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+physical+and+mental+consequences+of+abortion+on+women%27s+health-a0187426337.
The following is a summary of the main points, with the technical data about sources omitted.
Within 12 months of the abortion or live delivery, Scandinavian women who aborted experienced a suicide rate of 34.9 per 1,000, compared to a suicide rate of 5.9 per 1,000 for women who delivered their babies. This is a suicide rate nearly six times greater.
A similar study in Wales discovered that women who aborted experienced a suicide rate 3.25 times greater.
Another study in the U.S. found a suicide rate 2.6 times greater.
A study sponsored by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario found that after three months, aborted women had a hospitalization rate of 5.2 per thousand for psychiatric problems, compared to a rate of 1.1 per thousand for the control group.
Recently (November 2006), a rigorously neutral study from New Zealand uncovered a strong correlation between induced abortion and subsequent mental health problems. Whether it is major depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, alcohol dependence, illicit drug dependence or mean number of mental health problems, those who ended their pregnancies by abortion suffered much higher rates of disorder than those who were never pregnant and those who were pregnant but did not abort.
The average is 33 weeks’ gestation among women with previous first-trimester abortions and there is a 267 per cent increased risk of premature delivery among women with previous second-trimester abortions.
Two large multi-centre, case-control studies were conducted in Europe. Both studies revealed that previous induced abortion was associated with increased risk for every preterm delivery.
Prematurity in turn is associated with an enormous increase in the risk of cerebral palsy and other health problems.
Lower fertility after abortion
Women who undergo abortions experience 6 per cent lower fertility than women who do not.
Abortion and STDs
Women with a history of induced abortion were found to be 3.15 times more likely than women without a history of induced abortion to be seropositive for the organism causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chlamydia is a major cause of post-abortion PID.
Abortion and breast cancer
Out of 37 studies up to the year 2003 on the link between induced abortion and subsequent breast cancer, 23 of them showed a 30 per cent increased risk of breast cancer among women who experienced induced abortion.
Since 2003, five studies have been published showing no link between abortion and breast cancer. However, these studies are either underpowered or use a control group with the same risk characteristics as the women who have had induced abortion.
The National Cancer Institute denies any link between induced abortion and breast cancer. However, the Institute has itself sponsored two major studies that discovered a 50 and 137 per cent greater risk respectively of breast cancer among women who aborted their pregnancies.
A study conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario shows that after induced abortion, there is a four-time increase in medical admissions and a five-time increase in surgical admissions to hospital.
For a comprehensive examination of these issues, based on over 500 studies, see Elizabeth Ring Cassidy and Ian Gentles, Women's Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence (Toronto: The de Veber Institute for Bioethics, 2nd edition, 2003.) Some of the material above will appear in the forthcoming third edition of the book.
Another source of detailed information can be found at www.abortionfacts.com/effects/effects.asp. It contains a list of various effects on women’s health. One of them, for example, discusses a factual look at the number of maternal deaths that have been reported and the real numbers.