Teens report more severe pain during the abortion procedure vs. adult women. One study of pain during 1st trimester abortions found severe acute pain comparable to childbirth or cancer. Pain scores were significantly higher for teens.
- Teens are up to twice as likely to experience dangerous cervical lacerations during abortion compared to older women, probably because they have smaller cervixes which are more difficult to dilate or grasp with instruments.
- Teens are at higher risk for post-abortion infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and endometritis because their bodies are more susceptible to infection and they are less likely than older women to follow instructions for medical care. These infections increase their risk of infertility, hysterectomy, ectopic pregnancy, and other serious complications.
- An early full-term birth reduces breast cancer risk by as much as 1/3, while abortion of a first pregnancy carries a 30- to 50% increased risk of breast cancer. More than 90% of those who abort at 17 or younger have not had a previous full-term pregnancy, compared to 78% of patients age 18-19 and 49% of abortion patients overall.
- Teens are more likely to abort because of pressure from their parents or partner.
- Teens are more likely to report being misinformed in pre-abortion counseling.
- Teens are more likely to have riskier late-term abortions. According to the CDC, approximately 30% of abortions among teens take place at 13 weeks gestation or greater, compared to only 12% among women in general. Late-term abortions are associated with more severe psychological complications, a higher risk of serious physical complications, and trouble in later pregnancies for mother and baby.
Emotional Pain, Trauma and Self-Destructive Outcomes
- Teens who abort are twice as likely as their peers to abuse alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine.
- Teens have greater difficulty coping after abortion, leading to problems such as suicide, psychological problems, substance abuse, and difficulty in relationships.
- Teens who report “being particularly fond of children” do not do as well psychologically after an abortion.
- Teenagers who have abortions often have problems regarding sexuality and parenting later in life.
- The abortion procedure itself is considered by many teenagers to be stressful and associated with feelings of guilt, depression, and a sense of isolation.
- Teens are more likely to report severe nightmares and to score higher on scales measuring antisocial traits, paranoia, drug abuse, and psychotic delusions than are older abortion patients.
- Teens who abort are likely to become pregnant again within the next few years. Among pregnant teens, those who had had an abortion were at least 4 times more likely to abort.