Before you decide to have an abortion or advise someone else to have one, get the facts straight. There are alternatives that may be safer and healthier -- both physically and emotionally -- for both you and your child.

No doubt an unwanted pregnancy can cause intense stress and hardship in a variety of ways, but, as you’ll read in this booklet, the medical evidence is clear -- the physical and psychological consequences of abortion can be far worse. Nine short months of pregnancy is a relatively small cost to pay in light of a lifetime of potential physical and mental health problems.

Think about it.

Informed Choice

Are you thinking about having an abortion or do you know someone who is? Perhaps that’s why you picked up this booklet or maybe you’re simply curious. Whatever the reason, you’ll find the information that follows straightforward and factual regarding the medical aspects of induced abortion.

When people talk about abortion, one is likely to hear a great deal about the social, moral, and even religious reasons for having or not having an abortion, but little about the basic medical details.

In fact, many women make the decision to have an abortion without ever discussing either the medical procedures or the health considerations with anyone.

Perhaps no other procedure is performed with this degree of patient ignorance.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

American citizens have a right to be informed about things that might affect their health. There is no reason why any woman should go through surgery of any kind, especially induced abortion, or take powerful drugs that induce abortion, and not even be informed about potentially serious side effects.

Inside this booklet, you’ll find factual, yet easy to understand information about induced abortion taken from the latest medical texts and journals. That should help you have a better idea of the risks involved. Before making a decision that could change your life forever, it only makes sense to get all the information you can on the procedure and its potential effects on you and the child you carry.

"As American citizens, we have a right to be informed about things that might affect our health..."

Defining "Abortion"

The term "abortion" actually refers to any premature expulsion of a human fetus, whether naturally spontaneous, as in a miscarriage, or artificially induced, as in a surgical or chemical abortion. Today, the most common usage of the term "abortion" applies to artificially induced abortion, which is the subject of this pamphlet.

In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion in all 50 states during all nine months of pregnancy, for any reason, medical, social, or otherwise.[1]

The vast majority of all abortions performed today are done for social, not medical reasons -- because a woman doesn’t feel ready for a baby at the time, because her partner wants her to have an abortion, etc. Approximately 93% of all induced abortions are done for elective, non-medical reasons such as these.[2]

Abortion ends a pregnancy by destroying and removing the developing child. That baby’s heart has already begun to beat by the time the mother misses her period and begins to wonder if she might be pregnant (about 31 days after the mother’s last menstrual period or LMP). [3] Surgical abortions are usually not performed before seven weeks, or 49 days LMP. [4] By that time, the baby has identifiable arms and legs (day 45)[5] and displays measurable brain waves (about 40 days).[6] During the seventh through the tenth weeks, when the majority of abortions are performed,[7] fingers and genitals appear and the child’s face is recognizably human. [8]

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