Home > Sex Issues > All about Abortion

All about Abortion

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 20 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
All About Abortion

Abortion is a contentious issue, and often the emotions that surround it obscure the facts. Today, abortion is a safe way to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but not everyone understands the details. Finding out the answers to frequently asked questions about abortion will help you make an informed decision whenever you need to.

What is an Abortion?

An abortion is a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy. There are several types of abortions, and the method used depends upon the length of the pregnancy. These methods include:

  • Early medical abortion (up to nine weeks). This method involves taking two tablets, one two days after the other, and together they will induce cramping that will result in the uterus breaking down and the embryo being flushed out. This may also be called medical abortion or using the abortion pill.
  • Vacuum aspiration abortion (five to fifteen weeks). This method involves a tube being inserted into the vagina and using suction to remove the embryo from the uterus. This is sometimes also called the suction method.
  • Dilation and evacuation (fifteen to nineteen weeks). This method involves stretching the cervix open with forceps and using suction to remove the embryo from the uterus. This may also be called D&E and be considered the suction method.
  • Late Abortion (twenty to twenty four weeks). At this stage there are two options. 1 - surgical two stage abortion, which is carried out over two days or 2- medically induced abortion, both options require an overnight stay in hospital. More information about late abortion can be found on the NHS website www.nhs.uk

Are All Abortions Legal in the UK?

Abortion is legal in England, Scotland and Wales up until the 24th week of a pregnancy. The methods described above are all legal as long as two doctors agree that to continue the pregnancy would harm the woman's physical or mental health, or that of her children. Abortion is not legal at all in Northern Ireland.

Are Abortions Carried Out in Hospital?

Abortions are not always carried out in hospital. During early medical abortions the tablets are administered at a hospital or clinic, but most women return home afterwards. Vacuum aspirations and D&Es may also take place in a hospital or specialised and approved clinic as a day procedure, however if they involve local or general anaesthetic the stay may be longer or overnight.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

An abortion can be free on the NHS if a doctor refers a woman and the woman attends a consultation at a clinic. There is usually a two to four week waiting list for abortions on the NHS, so women must act quickly. Women may also choose to use a private clinic where fees may be anything from £450 up to £1770 (the price depending on how many weeks pregnant you are and the type of procedure you require). These clinics usually offer payment plans to clients who need them.

Are there Laws about Teenagers Having Abortions?

Young women under the age of 16 may seek abortion information without parental consent. A young woman under the age of 16 may also have an abortion without parental consent if her doctors determine that she meets the Fraser Guidelines:

  • She understands the medical professional's advice.
  • She can not be persuaded to inform her parents.
  • She is competent to give consent to the treatment.
  • It is in her best interest not to inform her parents.

Can Doctors Refuse to Refer a Woman for an Abortion?

Yes. A doctor may refuse to refer a woman for an abortion if (s)he believes that abortion is wrong in all circumstances. According to the law, however, these doctors must make their views known in their clinic literature and they must make alternative health care arrangements for their patients who request it.

Is Having an Abortion a Risk to a Woman's Health?

Your doctors will give you further information about the risks associated with having an abortion, but for the most part they are minimal. The later an abortion occurs in a pregnancy the greater the chances of a complication, but only rarely do women experience:

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Damage to the cervix or womb.
  • Post-abortion infection that brings with it fever, discharge, bleeding or abdominal pain.

Abortions are safe, legal medical procedures in England, Scotland and Wales, though simply because they are legal does not mean they should be treated lightly. If you are considering having an abortion, seek confidential medical advice from your GP or local clinic, and they will refer you as needed.

No matter how you feel about your pregnancy, remember that health professionals will help you decide what is best for you.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Cloud - Your Question:
Hi, I had sex like a week ago. We had used a condom and he came on my stomach but then we were nearly doing the second round and well he was in me for 2 seconds without a condom. What are the chances of me getting pregnant? If I got pregnant would I have to tell my parents if I wanted an abortion? I’m 16.

Our Response:
If you're 13 to 16, you have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult and the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won't tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you fully understand the information and decisions involved, please see link here. You don't say if you were using contraception. If you weren't, there is always a risk of becoming pregnant if you take a risk by not protecting yourself. You would have to see whether you come on your next period in order to know for sure.
TeenIssues - 21-Nov-17 @ 12:21 PM
Njones - Your Question:
Hi. I’m 17 I have been on my period for 2 weeks and I had sex on the last of my period and it’s been 2 weeks since I had sex and now I’m bleeding again. Could this be a sign of pregnancy or a miscarriage.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, we cannot advise without knowing whether you are taking contraception, or whether it is just an irregular period, which does and can happen. If your periods are often irregular and frequent, you may wish to see your GP if it keeps occuring.
TeenIssues - 21-Nov-17 @ 10:49 AM
Hi. I’m 17 I have been on my period for 2 weeks and I had sex on the last of my period and it’s been 2 weeks since I had sex and now I’m bleeding again. Could this be a sign of pregnancy or a miscarriage.
Njones - 20-Nov-17 @ 3:09 PM
Beth - Your Question:
Hi, I am 15 years old and I have had unprotected sex about a week ago. I think I’m pregnant. I can’t not tell my parents. If I go for an abortion will the doctors tell my parents ?

Our Response:
If you're 13 to 16, you have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult and the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won't tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you fully understand the information and decisions involved, please see NHS link here .
TeenIssues - 20-Nov-17 @ 2:26 PM
Ericaa - Your Question:
Hi there, Iam 16 and on the pill and I normally take it at the samr time everyday but I had unprotected sex and when I went to take the pill that night I had realized I had forgotten to take one the day and he cummed in me, does that mean I could pregnant or because its the first time I've missed pill am I still protected?

Our Response:
Missing the pill at any time can reduce the protective elements of this form of contraception. You may get away with missing your pill once within your cycle, but the more you miss taking it, the greater the risk.
TeenIssues - 20-Nov-17 @ 10:29 AM
Hi, I am 15 years old and I have had unprotected sex about a week ago.I think I’m pregnant. I can’t not tell my parents.If I go for an abortion will the doctors tell my parents ?
Beth - 19-Nov-17 @ 5:48 PM
Hi there, Iam 16 and on the pill and I normally take it at the samr time everyday but I had unprotected sex and when I went to take the pill that night I had realized i had forgotten to take one the day and he cummed in me, does that mean I could pregnant or because its the first time I've missed pill am I still protected?
Ericaa - 19-Nov-17 @ 9:09 AM
Hi, I had sex like a week ago. We had used a condom and he came on my stomach but then we were nearly doing the second round and well he was in me for 2 seconds without a condom. What are the chances of me getting pregnant? If I got pregnant would I have to tell my parents if I wanted an abortion? I’m 16.
Cloud - 17-Nov-17 @ 5:56 PM
Scared - Your Question:
I'm 14 and late on my period. I want to find out for sure and get a medical abortion if I really am pregnant but I want to keep it secret from my parents. How do I do this?

Our Response:
Any woman who has an abortion, whatever age she is, has a right for that information to remain confidential, please see link here .
TeenIssues - 17-Nov-17 @ 2:22 PM
I'm 14 and late on my period. I want to find out for sure and get a medical abortion if I really am pregnantbut I want to keep it secret from my parents. How do I do this?
Scared - 14-Nov-17 @ 9:14 PM
Laura - Your Question:
Im 15 and had sex with my boyfriend for the second time, it was with a condom which im sure didnt split and he didnt cum inside anyway but about 2 weeks after I got the tinyest bit of blood when I went to the toilet and now my period is late, im stressing alot so dont know if thats why its late. please help

Our Response:
Sometimes periods can be late for varying reasons, but it doesn't mean you are pregnant. If you have used contraception properly, the chances of you being pregnant are considerably lessened. If you miss your period next month, or if you begin feeling symptoms of pregnancy, please see NHS link here, then you may wish to take a test.
TeenIssues - 14-Nov-17 @ 10:28 AM
m 15 and had sex with my boyfriend for the second time, it was with a condom which im sure didnt split and he didnt cum inside anyway but about 2 weeks after i got the tinyest bit of blood when i went to the toilet and now my period is late, im stressing alot so dont know if thats why its late i realy dont want to be pregannt .. please help
Lil - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:49 PM
Im 15 and had sex with my boyfriend for the second time, it was with a condom which im sure didnt split and he didnt cum inside anyway but about 2 weeks after i got the tinyest bit of blood when i went to the toilet and now my period is late, im stressing alot so dont know if thats why its late .. please help
Laura - 13-Nov-17 @ 4:54 PM
Stella - Your Question:
Hello, I had sex for the first time with my boyfriend after a good week of me period and he did not cum inside of me a week and so later me and him had sex again and it feels like my period hasn't come what shall I do

Our Response:
If you are not using contraception, then you may wish to do a pregnancy test, as there is a chance you might be pregnant. If you find you are pregnant please see link here .
TeenIssues - 10-Nov-17 @ 3:15 PM
Hello, I had sex for the first time with my boyfriend after a good week of me period and he did not cum inside of me a week and so later me and him had sex again and it feels like my period hasn't come what shall I do
Stella - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:24 PM
Lucyyy - Your Question:
Hi I’m 15. I’m on the pill however me and my boyfriend have unprotected sex. A couple of weeks ago he came inside of me and now I’m leading up to my period. However the day before I finished taking my pill I’d been getting some brown discharge. I’ve now stopped taking my pill for the week but I seem to have been getting some blood but it seems to early. I don’t know whether it’s implantation blood or whether it’s period blood, but either way I’m really nervous. I hope I am not pregnant, however if I was to be pregnant and wanted an abortion and take the tablet, how effective would it be? And what are the chances of my family not being told, If the doctors believed I was mature to understand the process?

Our Response:
If you are on the pill, and you are taking it properly you are protected. Taken properly as to the instructions on the leaflet, oral contraception is 91 percent to 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Therefore, it is highly unlikely you are pregnant.
TeenIssues - 10-Nov-17 @ 10:21 AM
Hi I’m 15. I’m on the pill however me and my boyfriend have unprotected sex. A couple of weeks ago he came inside of me and now I’m leading up to my period. However the day before I finished taking my pill I’d been getting some brown discharge. I’ve now stopped taking my pill for the week but I seem to have been getting some blood but it seems to early. I don’t know whether it’s implantation blood or whether it’s period blood, but either way I’m really nervous. I hope I am not pregnant, however if I was to be pregnant and wanted an abortion and take the tablet, how effective would it be? And what are the chances of my family not being told, If the doctors believed I was mature to understand the process?
Lucyyy - 9-Nov-17 @ 4:59 PM
Lola- Your Question:
I'm 15 and and me and my boyfriend which is a few years older than me we have been having sex multiple times and I think iv missed my last period and he thinks I'm pregnant we didn't always use protection what should I do

Our Response:
You firstly need to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether you are or not pregnant. If you are, you would be advised to visit your GP for advice. You can see more via the FPA here which may help you further.
TeenIssues - 7-Nov-17 @ 3:58 PM
I'm 15 and and me and my boyfriend which is a few years older than me we have been having sex multiple times and I think iv missed my last period and he thinks I'm pregnant we didn't always use protection what should I do
Lola - 7-Nov-17 @ 2:38 AM
SAB - Your Question:
Hi, I’m 15 and I had sex about a week ago with my boyfriend. I haven’t taken a test yet but I think I might be pregnant. My boyfriend is over the age of 18 and he knows that I am worried that I might be. He doesn’t want to have a child but I wouldn’t abort. Because he is over the age of 18 and I am under the legal age, could he take me to court and force me to have an abortion?

Our Response:
Your boyfriend can not force you to have an abortion if you do not wish to have one.
TeenIssues - 6-Nov-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hol - Your Question:
I had sex with my boyfriend a month and a few days ago with no protection and his cum went inside me. I have missed my period and my skin had gone very bad. Does this mean I'm pregnant? I am scared to do a test as I don't want my mum knowing

Our Response:
We cannot speculate whether you are pregnant are not. But if your boyfriend ejaculated inside you and you have missed your period, there is a chance you could be and therefore it is advisable to test yourself. If you're 13 to 16, you have the same rights to confidentiality as an adult and the doctor, nurse or pharmacist won't tell your parents, or anyone else, as long as they believe that you fully understand the information and decisions involved, please see link here.
TeenIssues - 6-Nov-17 @ 11:48 AM
I had sex with my boyfriend a month and a few days ago with no protection and his cum went inside me. I have missed my period and my skin had gone very bad. Does this mean I'm pregnant? I am scared to do a test as I don't want my mum knowing
Hol - 5-Nov-17 @ 4:57 PM
Hi, I’m 15 and I had sex about a week ago with my boyfriend. I haven’t taken a test yet but I think I might be pregnant. My boyfriend is over the age of 18 and he knows that I am worried that I might be. He doesn’t want to have a child but I wouldn’t abort. Because he is over the age of 18 and I am under the legal age, could he take me to court and force me to have an abortion?
SAB - 4-Nov-17 @ 9:13 PM
Jazsheppard - Your Question:
I have been having sex with my boyfriend about 8 times a week on the Pill. And because he’s ejaculated in me every time, and I’m two days late on my period I’m scared I’m pregnant. This started 3 weeks ago what shall I do??

Our Response:
If you are taking the pill and taking it properly to the instructions, then it is unlikley you are pregnant.
TeenIssues - 30-Oct-17 @ 1:40 PM
I have been having sex with my boyfriend about 8 times a week on the Pill. And because he’s ejaculated in me every time, and I’m two days late on my period I’m scared I’m pregnant. This started 3 weeks ago what shall I do??
Jazsheppard - 28-Oct-17 @ 8:25 PM
My and my boyfriend did anal and I’m scared I’m pregnant. I just wanna know the chances of me being actually pregnant please.
Sherri - 26-Oct-17 @ 12:06 AM
Alice - Your Question:
I had sexual intercorse but it never fully went in it was just the tip and the guy didn’t cum at all and it weren’t for long but I’ve been tired and lost my appetite , could I be pregnant

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely you will be pregnant, if there was not full intercourse. However, sometimes you may think the other person has pushed the tip in, but it can go further than thought. You also only have the other person's word that they did not ejaculate. If you are not pregnant this time, please use contraception in the future. You will have to wait to see if you come on your next period. If you don't and you are late, then a pregnancy test will be needed.
TeenIssues - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:53 PM
kod - Your Question:
It was my first Time and I was on my period but we did not use a condom so I don't know if I could be pregnant how many day do you want to take a pregnancy test

Our Response:
If you were on your period, you have a less likely chance of falling pregnant. You would have to wait to see whether you come on your next period. If you don't, then you should take a test. If you are thinking of having sex regularly and you do not wish to fall pregnant, then you should use contraception in the future.
TeenIssues - 16-Oct-17 @ 12:22 PM
It was my first Time and I was on my period but we did not use a condom so I don't know if I could be pregnant how many day do you want to take a pregnancy test
kod - 15-Oct-17 @ 10:04 AM
I had sexual intercorse but it never fully went in it was just the tip and the guy didn’t cum at all and it weren’t for long but I’ve been tired and lost my appetite , could I be pregnant
Alice - 15-Oct-17 @ 6:34 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Cloud - Your Question:Hi, I had sex like a week ago. We had used a condom and he came on my stomach but then we were nearly doing the second…
    21 November 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Njones - Your Question:Hi. I’m 17 I have been on my period for 2 weeks and I had sex on the last of my period and it’s been 2 weeks since I had…
    21 November 2017
  • Njones
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi. I’m 17 I have been on my period for 2 weeks and I had sex on the last of my period and it’s been 2 weeks since I had sex and now I’m…
    20 November 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Beth - Your Question:Hi, I am 15 years old and I have had unprotected sex about a week ago. I think I’m pregnant. I can’t not tell my parents.…
    20 November 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Ericaa - Your Question:Hi there, Iam 16 and on the pill and I normally take it at the samr time everyday but I had unprotected sex and when I…
    20 November 2017
  • Beth
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi, I am 15 years old and I have had unprotected sex about a week ago. I think I’m pregnant. I can’t not tell my parents. If I go for an…
    19 November 2017
  • Ericaa
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi there, Iam 16 and on the pill and I normally take it at the samr time everyday but I had unprotected sex and when I went to take the pill…
    19 November 2017
  • Mohsen Karimi
    Re: Beauty Tips for Boys
    I actually do more of them and i learned me new many things and i like att have a good hygiens and your site is very usfull . I liked.
    18 November 2017
  • Cloud
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hi, I had sex like a week ago. We had used a condom and he came on my stomach but then we were nearly doing the second round and well he was in…
    17 November 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Scared - Your Question:I'm 14 and late on my period. I want to find out for sure and get a medical abortion if I really am pregnant but I want…
    17 November 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.