Learn more about your options
What is Abortion?
Abortion is a surgical or medical procedure that puts an end to a pregnancy. It is performed by a licensed physician or surgeon. The reasons for abortion can include.
- not wanting to be pregnant (elective)
- the pregnancy endangers the woman's health
- indicators of serious abnormalities in the fetus (birth defects, etc.).
In addition to the moral, ethical, religious
, and personal debates about abortion, there are very definite legal and medical considerations:
- Elective abortion is not legal everywhere;
- Parental consent is required for minors in many jurisdictions;
- Abortion may not be medically recommended for some women, even early in the pregnancy;
- Abortion and the aftermath can result in a subsequent inability to carry a pregnancy to term;
- Abortion can result in secondary infertility;
- Abortion is generally undertaken during the very beginnings of a pregnancy, while many women are still unsure if they're pregnant, undecided about their directions, or in denial about the pregnancy;
- Abortion can result in the woman's death.
The actual procedures used in early stage abortion include:
- suction - a device that operates like a vacuum is used to extract the fetus, placenta, and other tissue;
- dilation and curretage - the fetus, placenta, and other tissue are cut and scraped out;
- dilation and extraction - the fetus is pulled out (in pieces) with forceps and the placenta and other tissue are removed.
If you are considering abortion, please consult with a medical professional and a pregnancy options counselor. The medical aftermath of abortion can include severe pain, hemorrhage (bleeding), shock or coma, and even death. Emotional reactions can include severe depression and thoughts of suicide, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and a dependency on drugs and/or alcohol.
If you are feeling frightened, confused or overwhelmed, there are 24-hour telephone hotlines and phone numbers of contact information for crisis pregnancy in your state.