Doctors For Life is a pro-life organisation with a goal to protect the most vulnerable and dependent individuals in our society, the unborn human being.
Life Begins at Fertilisation
The Carnegie stages of human embryonic development, the gold standard for embryology, show that life begins at fertilisation. Gametes, commonly referred to as sperm and ova, contain 23 chromosomes each. The moment the sperm and egg unite they form a single cell human-being containing 46 chromosomes. These chromosomes, made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), contain the complete codes needed to enable an unique individual to grow. Life begins as a single cell and as growth continues physical features and characteristics mature. At a single point in time a human-being can be classified into one of the following stages of life: embryo → foetus → neonate → baby → toddler → child → teenager → adult → middle age → elderly.
The most vulnerable and fragile stages of human existence are the embryo and foetus. The unborn human is completely dependent on its mother. Naturally those who are most vulnerable and dependent require the greatest protection and care from any form of harm. Any effort to stop the natural growth of a human-being after fertilisation is the ending of a unique life.
Complications of Abortion
For the purposes of this position statement “abortion” refers to the elective termination of a pregnancy by any means. In general, abortions are conducted either through chemical (medication) or surgical means. These methods are not without risks. Possible complications to the mother in the period immediately following an abortion include, infection, haemorrhage, ruptured ectopic pregnancies, uterine perforation, and death.1,2 Long term complications can include pre-term birth in subsequent pregnancies, infertility, breast cancer, and increased mortality.3-6 Mental health complications may occur at any time after an abortion and are commonly referred to as post abortion syndrome. Characteristics include feelings of guilt, remorse, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.7 Post abortion syndrome may occur at any time following an abortion. For some it occurs immediately while for others it may develop after years.
Abortion Pill Reversal
Chemical abortion is a two-stage process which involves taking two different types of pills. Women who have ingested mifepristone, the pill used for stage one of a chemical abortion, and who regret the decision to abort, can opt for abortion pill reversal. This involves the ingestion of high dose progesterone which reverses the effects of mifepristone. Studies have shown abortion pill reversal is successful in up to 68% of cases with no significant increase in the rate of birth defects.8
- Harris LH, Grossman D. Complications of Unsafe and Self-Managed Abortion. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(11):1029-1040. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1908412
- Zane S, Creanga AA, Berg CJ, et al. Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States: 1998-2010. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(2):258-265. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000000945
- Thorp JM, Hartmann KE, Shadigan E. Long-term physical and psychological health consequences of induced abortion: a review of the evidence. Linacre Q. 2005;72(1):44-69. doi:10.1080/20508549.2005.11877742
- Studnicki, J. et al. (2020) ‘Pregnancy Outcome Patterns of Medicaid-Eligible Women, 1999-2014: A National Prospective Longitudinal Study’, Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology. doi: 10.1177/2333392820941348.
- Coleman, P., Reardon, D. and Calhoun, B., 2012. Reproductive history patterns and long-term mortality rates: a Danish, population-based record linkage study. The European Journal of Public Health, 23(4), pp.569-574.
- Brind, J., Condly, S. J., Lanfranchi, A., & Rooney, B. (2018). Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on south asian women. Issues in Law & Medicine, 33(1), 32–54.
- Reardon, D. (2018). The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE Open Medicine, 6, PMCID: PMC6207970.
- Delgado G, Condly SJ, Davenport M, et al. A case series detailing the successful reversal of the effects of mifepristone using progesterone. Issues Law Med. 2018;33(1):21-31.