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What is Abortion?

What is abortion?

Abortion is a way to end pregnancy. Sometimes, an embryo or fetus stops developing and the body expels it. This is called spontaneous abortion or "miscarriage."

A woman can also choose to end a pregnancy. This is called induced abortion. There are two ways it can be done ¡X surgical and medical.

Who chooses abortion?

The chances are high that a woman will have more than one unplanned pregnancy in the course of her lifetime. Nearly half of all women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old (NAF, p.26).

About five million women in the U.S. become pregnant every year. Half of those pregnancies are unintended. And 1.2 million end in abortion. The most common reasons a woman chooses abortion are

- She is not ready to become a parent.

- She cannot afford a baby.

- She doesn't want to be a single parent.

- She doesn't want anyone to know she has had sex or is pregnant.

- She is too young or too immature to have a child.

- She has all the children she wants.

- Her husband, partner, or parent wants her to have an abortion.

- She or the fetus has a health problem.

- She was a victim of rape or incest.

Can anyone help me decide if abortion is right for me?

Most women look to their husbands, partners, families, health care providers, clergy or someone else they trust for support as they make their decision. Specially trained counselors at women's health clinics can talk to you in private. You may bring someone with you. You will discuss your options ¡X adoption, parenting, and abortion. Your counselor will try to make sure that no one is pressuring you to have an abortion.

Does my partner or a parent need to know?

Many women go to the clinic with their partners. However, you don't have to tell your partner. Either way, the clinic ensures complete privacy. If there are complications during the procedure, however, parents may be notified.

More than half of the teenagers who choose abortion talk about it with at least one parent. But telling a parent is only required in states with mandatory parental involvement laws. Such laws force a woman under 18 to tell a parent or get permission before having an abortion. In most of these states, if she cannot talk with her parents ¡X or chooses not to ¡X she can appear before...

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