On September 28, abortion advocates marked what they call “International Safe Abortion Day.” But they were celebrating something that doesn’t exist and can never exist. Safe abortion is a myth.

Safe Abortion Day was first celebrated in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1990s, but in 2011, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights declared September 28th as an international day of celebration. In Mexico, “celebrating” looks an awful lot like protesting and setting police officers on fire because abortion is not fully legal in the country. Abortion is an act of violence that fuels even more violence.

Abortion is a violent act of killing

Abortion can never be safe because for at least one of the human beings involved, abortion results in death.

In the first-trimester, preborn children are killed in one of two ways: chemical abortion (the abortion pill) or a surgical abortion. The abortion pill kills a preborn child in a two-step process. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the natural hormone progesterone which stabilizes the lining of the uterus. The child is starved of blood and nutrients until she dies. The second drug, misoprostol, causes contractions and the mother delivers a dead baby. Since the baby is usually delivered at home, her final resting place is often the toilet bowl and ultimately the sewer or septic system.

During a first trimester surgical abortion, the abortionist dilates the cervix and then uses a suction catheter to powerfully suction the baby out with a force up to 20 times that of a household vacuum. These babies are living, moving human beings who may be capable of feeling pain to a higher degree than human adults do. What is left of her shredded body parts must be pieced back together by abortion facility workers to ensure that everything has been removed and accounted for.

During the second trimester, a D&E abortion is the most common way to abort a baby. The abortionist dilates the cervix and then uses a Sopher clamp to pull the baby apart limb from torso. Once he has pulled out arms and legs, he crushes the head and pulls out the remaining pieces of the child. These children are capable of feeling pain, and by 21 weeks, they are also capable of surviving outside of the womb.

A third-trimester induction abortion involves piercing the child’s brain or heart with a needle and injecting digoxin into the child to stop her beating heart. The mother then delivers a dead child who is dumped into medical waste bins.

A D&X abortion, commonly referred to as partial-birth abortion, is illegal at the federal level, but evidence shows it is likely still being committed. In this abortion method, the living child is delivered in the breech position until the base of her skull is visible. Then the abortionist punctures a hole in the base of her head and suctions out her brain, killing her moments before she exits the birth canal. Nurse Brenda Pratt-Shafer witnessed the procedure committed by abortionist Martin Haskell. She said:

[H]e went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and brought them into the birth canal. Then he delivered the body and arms, all the way up to the neck.

At this point, only the baby’s head was still inside. The baby’s body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. All the while his little head was still stuck inside. Then Dr. Haskell took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head. Then he stuck a high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out. I almost threw up as I watched him do these things.

partial-birth abortion

Partial-birth abortion.

Nothing about abortion is safe or humane for the preborn human being who is the direct target of this violence.

READ: They lost their family members to legal abortion. They know it isn’t as ‘safe’ as they were told.

Abortion harms women

Each type of abortion can cause physical harm to women, regardless of how experienced the abortionist is. Even well-known, longtime abortionists have caused such horrendous injuries to women that ER medical personnel were left traumatized. However, there is no way to know the total number of women injured by abortion, because only about half of all states are required to report abortion-related complications. Here’s what we do know.

The abortion pill, though touted as completely safe by the abortion industry, has been found to be four times more dangerous than first-trimester surgical abortion. It carries the risk of minor complications including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. It also carries the risk of severe complications including heavy bleeding, hemorrhaging, and maternal death. Women can (and have) died from infections and/or undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies after taking the abortion pill. In addition, the abortion pill has a high failure rate, which means if the abortion was incomplete, the woman will be expected to undergo a surgical abortion as well.

The physical risks of surgical abortion include uterine perforation, incomplete abortion (in which pieces of the dismembered baby are left inside the uterus), punctured organs, hemorrhaging, cervical laceration, life-threatening infection, the need for hysterectomy, and maternal death.

Beyond the physical harm caused to women, more women will suffer from the emotional and mental trauma of abortion. Abortion trauma is common and includes an increased risk of depression, anxiety, drug use, alcohol use, and suicide. Even women who chose abortion after rape suffer the effects. One woman who took the abortion pill after becoming pregnant from rape wrote:

There are no words that can explain this depressing, and anxiety feeling I feel. Deep inside it kills me everyday [sic] knowing what I did was very stupid. I don’t think I could ever forgive myself. Not only does it haunt me but it’s very traumatizing knowing I did it. Having this happen not only did it affect my feelings, but it affected my life in so many ways…. I do regret what I did. If I could only go back to the day I would have never done it.

According to one study, women who aborted their “unwanted” babies “had a 94% higher risk of subsequent suicidal thoughts than women without a history of abortion. They were also 270% more likely to report subsequent alcohol abuse or dependence.”

Abortion can cause harm to other children

Though the abortion industry claims abortion allows women to be better mothers to the children they have or will have, this claim is not supported by evidence. Some women experiencing post-abortion trauma have noticed that it negatively affected their ability to bond with and parent their born children. In some extreme cases, women have abused or killed their born children because of the grief and guilt they felt over their abortions.

Renee Nicely had a “psychotic episode” the day after her abortion, and beat her three-year-old son to death. She told the court psychiatrist that she “knew that abortion was wrong” and felt she “should be punished for the abortion.”

Siblings who learn about their mother’s abortions are sometimes left with a sense of survivor’s guilt, struggling with the idea that they were allowed to be born but their siblings weren’t.

Abortion is harmful not just to preborn children or mothers, but also to the fathers who suffer from the trauma of abortion and their siblings who may bear the brunt of their parents’ grief. Abortion is not safe and can never be safe. It is a myth fed to society by the abortion industry, which will stop at nothing to turn a profit.

On September 28, abortion advocates marked what they call “International Safe Abortion Day.” But they were celebrating something that doesn’t exist and can never exist. Safe abortion is a myth.

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