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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abortion Likely to Harm, Not Help, Romanian Teen Who Became Pregnant Through Rape


A Romanian girl who was given an abortion after becoming pregnant through rape is likely to have been harmed, rather than helped, by the abortion.


The case made international headlines when it was reported that the family of an 11-year-old Romanian girl was petitioning the government to allow her to have an abortion. The girl was apparently past the cut-off limit for abortion in Romania, which allows abortions up to 14 weeks.


The girl was said to have been raped by a 19-year-old uncle who has since disappeared. Although pro-life and church organizations offered support for the girl and her unborn child, government officials eventually decided to allow the abortion. However, arrangements were made for an abortion in Great Britain and  has reported that the abortion took place at a hospital in London.


The BBC said Marie Stopes International, an international abortion advocacy group, was involved in arranging the abortion. ""With the girl's well-being a paramount concern, and immediate access to the service a priority, Marie Stopes International was able to make alternative arrangements for her," the BBC quoted the organization as stating.


However, evidence suggests that, in addition to causing the death of her unborn child, abortion is likely to harm, not help, this girl and others like her. One of the only surveys ever done of women who became pregnant through sexual assault found that:


    * Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted a pregnancy conceived in sexual assault reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.

    * Most women who had abortions said that abortion only increased the trauma they were experiencing.

    * In many cases, the victim faced strong pressure or demands to abort and in some cases, especially those involving teenage girls, was even forced to have the abortion by others.

    * None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.


Further, studies of women who had unintended first pregnancies found that women who aborted were more likely than those who carried to term to have subsequent depression, anxiety and substance abuse.4 Other research found that teens who abort an unintended pregnancy are more likely to experience negative mental health outcomes than are teens who carry the unintended pregnancy to term.


The best available evidence, therefore, contradicts the claim that women who carry an unintended pregnancy to term will suffer as much or more than women who abort. Aborting women are more negatively affected. On the other hand, not a single study has shown that abortion is beneficial to women.


Finally, studies that examine risk factors for psychological problems after abortion have found that adolescents, women with a history of sexual assault or abuse, and those who have a second- or third-trimester abortion are all more likely to have difficulty coping after abortion. Teens are six times more likely to commit suicide after abortion than are adult women who abort, and more likely to have other emotional and physical complications.


One woman, who was impregnated by her stepfather at the age of 12 and forced to have an abortion, wrote in the book Victims and Victors:


"Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to 'be in my best interest' just has not been. Problems are not ended by abortion, but only made worse.' 


Source: Elliot Institute

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.