Why a woman should tell her OB-GYN she has had an abortion

By Dave Andrusko

As they say, nothing is ever really lost in cyberspace. I recently received an email from a reader who ran across a post I’d written some time ago. The reader was stunned that something this sensible about abortion had appeared on CNN.

Its title was “5 secrets you shouldn’t keep from your GYN.” The reasons why a woman should not hide her abortion from their Ob-Gyn were laid out clearly and objectively.

Elizabeth Cohen, described as a CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, began with a series of horror stories revolving around the unwillingness of women to tell their OB-GYN certain sensitive (or, seemingly, not so sensitive) information.

Cohen does a good job of discussing subject areas you might not necessarily think of—or would assume women would routinely reveal—before getting to #4: “Whether you’ve had an abortion.” (The “Rankin” in the following quote is Dr. Lissa Rankin, a gynecologist in Mill Valley, California.)

“’People who’ve had abortions sometimes worry about saying so if they know their doctor is pro-life, or if they don’t know where their doctor stands on the issue,’ Rankin says. “While it’s understandable to have that worry, it’s medically important to tell your doctor if you’ve had abortions.”

Why it matters: If you’re infertile, it’s important for your doctor to know about past abortions for two reasons. One, it indicates that at least in one point in your life, you were fertile and “the plumbing works,” Rankin says.

Secondly, the infertility might be caused by infection or scar tissue that resulted from the abortion.

Also, multiple abortions could put you at a higher risk for miscarriage or premature birth, Rankin notes.

Finally, if you’re about to have surgery on your cervix or uterus, your doctor needs to know about prior abortions, as scar tissue might make the surgery more difficult.

Wow! How many times have experts—and by no means necessarily pro-life—tried to get these truths across?! Abortion is an unnatural assault on a woman’s reproductive system. There can be, and are, a host of possible complications.

They include what Cohen talked about but many others as well, including a substantially elevated risk of a premature delivery. This “seriously threatens the lives and health of newborn children,” writes Paul Stark. “The risk of premature delivery increases with each additional abortion.” In addition, abortion is “also associated with an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and placenta previa.”

Side note. With the rise of chemical abortions and “advice” to obtain chemical abortifacients over the Internet to “self-abort,” the chances of an incomplete abortion are greatly elevated. Proponents of DIY (“Do It Yourself”) abortions often counsel women that if they must go to a real physician after a “failed” abortion attempt, to lie, or at least avoid telling him or her what had transpired.

This is awful counsel.