At Stony Brook Women’s Health, we encounter many women who are unsure about whether or not they should have an abortion. This reaction is perfectly natural. Deciding to receive an abortion is a large decision, and there are a lot of factors at play. We consider it our responsibility to educate our community about abortions. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the most common abortion myths.
Abortion Myth #1
Abortion Leads to Infertility
With modern advancements in the abortion procedure, the chance for complications has decreased significantly. Many anti-abortion organizations rely on the argument that women who receive abortions cannot become pregnant in the future. However, there is no scientific basis to this argument. The abortion procedure removes the fetus, without altering the reproductive organs. It does not impact fertility, or the woman’s ability to ovulate. Only unsafe abortion procedures without licensed medical professionals may cause infertility.
In fact, even without a period, it’s possible for women to become pregnant only a week after the abortion.
Abortion Myth #2
Abortions Cause Mental Health Issues
Like any major life decision, women who opt to have an abortion may suffer from mental health issues. However, these mental health issues are temporary, not permanent. Relying on a support system can aid women considering abortion in overcoming these feelings of grief. Several studies have delved into the idea that mental trauma long after an abortion is rare, and may be compounded from other pressures.
Abortion Myth #3
Only Certain Types of Women Have Abortions
There are many reasons for a woman to choose to have an abortion. The potential for bodily injuries, lack of sufficient resources, and being mentally unprepared to raise a child are all common. But women of all ages have abortions. The procedure is common for teenagers, women in their thirties, and mothers with children. Opting to receive an abortion is not subscribing to a particular code or lifestyle – it’s simply making the right choice for yourself.
Abortion Myth #4
All Women Regret Abortions
While women are generally not “happy” about the procedure after the fact, they do not regret it, either. According to academic research from the University of California San Francisco, and published in PLOS One, 95% of women who receive an abortion procedure do not regret it.
After the procedure, most women define their emotional state as “relieved”.
Abortion Myth #5
Abortion Providers are Just Trying to Make a Profit
On the contrary, medical offices providing abortions are trying to help women make the best decision for them. Professionals in the medical industry are primarily concerned with offering patients the best care possible. Long Island abortion providers accept insurance policies, meaning that their operations are funded primarily through insurance agencies. While copayments are sometimes inevitable, the goal of our gynecological office is to help women, not to price gouge.
Abortion Myth #6
Abortion is Not the Woman’s Choice
In New York, there are no circumstances under which the decision to have an abortion does not fall entirely to the woman in question.
For teenagers, there is no parental consent or approval system in place. Teenage girls who want to have an abortion can simply come to our Long Island office receive one. This is not the case in other states, where parental consent (sometimes from both parents) is a must.
The case is no different for other women. Even with external pressures from family, friends, or coworkers, we encourage women to make their own choices. And, while discussing the decision with a significant other is important, it is the woman’s feelings that matter most.
Abortion Myth #7
Abortions are Dangerous
Compared to other medical procedures, abortions are very safe. According to Planned Parenthood, 3 in 10 American women have an abortion procedure before reaching the age of 45. While complications are possible, most Long Island abortion procedures will not pose serious health risks. Additionally, the idea that abortions increase the chance of cancer is also a myth.
The same safety statistics hold true for medical abortions.
With a routine follow-up procedure, you can mitigate most side effects.
Abortion Myth #8
Abortions are Extremely Painful
Surgical abortions and medical abortions can both present some minor discomfort, but are not painful.
During a Long Island surgical abortion, there are noa actual incisions or cutting. After issuing a general anesthetic, the surgeon dilates the cervix. Then, he will use a suction cup to remove the fetus. This procedure lasts less than five minutes.
After the procedure, many patients experience mild pain, spotting or cramping. But, following guidelines set by the abortion provider should help limit these symptoms.
The medical abortion pill has recently gained popularity. The patient receives the first medical abortion pill, which halts the growth of the fetus, in the office. Then, she goes home. The next day, she will take the second pill, which will expel the pregnancy. Afterwards, the patient comes back into the office to confirm the effectiveness.
Once this process is completed, bleeding, cramping and nausea are common side effects.
In essence, the procedure itself is not painful, though discomfort should be expected.
Abortion Myth #9
Abortions are Impossible After the First Trimester
With the political controversy surrounding abortion laws constantly in the media, abortion laws can be quite confusing. However, it is very possible to receive an abortion in New York after the first trimester.
The first trimester time regulation applies only to the medical abortion pill. This regulation is in place to ensure that the pill is entirely reliable. So, after 12 weeks, the surgical abortion is the only option.
Surgical abortions, however, are legal up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period. In other words, surgical abortions are possible until the end of the second trimester.