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Aftermath of Abortion
October 2003

Q. Sixteen weeks ago a 14-year-old family member chose to abort twins at 17 weeks. Seven weeks later she was pregnant again, which means that she is 9 weeks pregnant now. Medically, how much trouble could she or the baby be in if she wants to carry this baby or have another abortion?

A. Abortion done by highly trained medical professionals in a regulated medical facility is considered quite safe. The complication rate is around 3%, but fewer than 1% have complications considered serious.

These serious consequences include excess bleeding, blood clots, infection, and perforation of the uterus. There is debate over whether abortion increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy or even breast cancer later in life, but the majority of experts in this field do not think these risks are proven.

Beyond the medical issues are all of the decisions involved regarding choices of sexual behavior and pregnancy, most 14-year-olds are not prepared to make decisions that will affect them for a lifetime. I would hope that the parents, perhaps with the assistance of a trained counselor, would spend the time and effort to explore these issues with the girl.



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