Should I get an Abortion?

Should I get an abortion?

Approximately six million pregnancies occur every year in the United States, and over half of those are unintended, but more than one million, or approximately 1 out of every 5, are terminated through an abortion (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2006). According to these statistics many women have considered or received an abortion in their lifetime, and yet this medical procedure has caused endless controversy in the public domain.  Never has their been such a spot light on a private medical procedure, but because abortion ends a woman’s pregnancy, many groups, religious or not, have spoken out against the practice.

For most women, choosing how to react to an unplanned pregnancy is an emotionally draining experience, whether she receives an abortion or not.  Worries of being an unfit mother or leaving work to take care of a new life are common issues that women must face when deciding which course to take with their pregnancy. Most often women look to their family, religion, or partner for support and advice when weighing the options she has.  Receiving input from friends and family can help a woman feel at ease with her decision, but they must understand that ultimately it is the woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy, keep the baby, or opt for adoption after the baby is born.  Always keep in mind that what may have worked for one of your friends/family members may not be your best option.

If a woman is not ready to care for another person, does not have the resources, has a health problem, or her family does not want her to have the child, then the woman may choose to have an abortion. Most abortions take place in the first trimester of a pregnancy where the procedure is faster, safer, and easier for a doctor to perform.  Usually a series of pills is taken under the guidance of a doctor and the woman returns to her normal routine within a day or two.  Surgical abortions are still considered a safe medical procedure, but may take a few days to recover from.  Late term abortions are now considered illegal under federal law, but were performed on women past their 14th week of pregnancy.

If you decide to have an abortion, the National Abortion Federation has brochures to inform you about the process. "Having an Abortion? Your Guide to Good Care," "The Truth about Abortion," and "Arriving at the Clinic" are all available through With an abortion comes the right to safe, high quality, caring, and complete medical information and assistance. If you are having problems finding a reputable clinic, call one of the toll free numbers recommended in the Important Numbers and Links section.

Below are some of the main reasons why a woman may voluntarily terminate her pregnancy. Whether or not they are "valid" reasons to obtain an abortion is subject to individual opinions and feelings.

  • My parents will kill me if they know I am pregnant.

  • I cannot take maternity leave from my job.

  • I am too young and cannot afford to have a baby.

  • I don't want anyone to know I have had sex.

  • My partner will leave me.

  • I am not ready to be a mother.

  • My husband/boyfriend does not feel ready to be a father.

  • I was raped.

  • I don't want to be a single parent.

For important phone numbers and resources, click here.