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All about Abortion

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 14 Feb 2018 | 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.

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[Add a Comment]
mxg_x - Your Question:
Hi me and my boyfriend had sex and I forgot to take my pill that day, he pulled out but I got affraid and took the morning after pill the next day. I’m at my period stage now and it’s late? I got that that is normal when taking emergency contraception so I’m still waiting. I will take a pregnancy test but I’m just afraid. I’m 17 so if I am pregnant will I be able to get an abortion without parental consent? Would I be denied?

Our Response:
If you have been taking your daily contraception pill regularly and you have taken the morning after pill also, then it is highly unlikely you will be pregnant. Taking the morning after pill can interfere with the usual date your period is due.
TeenIssues - 15-Feb-18 @ 11:54 AM
Hi me and my boyfriend had sex and I forgot to take my pill that day, he pulled out but I got affraid and took the morning after pill the next day. I’m at my period stage now and it’s late? I got that that is normal when taking emergency contraception so I’m still waiting. I will take a pregnancy test but I’m just afraid. I’m 17 so if I am pregnant will I be able to get an abortion without parental consent? Would I be denied?
mxg_x - 14-Feb-18 @ 4:55 PM
Smelly welly- Your Question:
Me and my boyfriend are both 17, I’ve had 2 tests and 1 came back positive and one came back negative, we do not wish to go through with the pregnancy and we wish to have a abortion, will I need parents permission and will I get denied ?

Our Response:
It sounds as though you need to have a proper pregnancy test. I suggest you to visit your GP. You would not have to gain your parent's permission and it is unlikely your GP will deny you treatment.
TeenIssues - 5-Feb-18 @ 11:48 AM
Me and my boyfriend are both 17, I’ve had 2 tests and 1 came back positive and one came back negative, we do not wish to go through with the pregnancy and we wish to have a abortion, will I need parents permission and will I get denied ?
Smelly welly - 4-Feb-18 @ 9:08 PM
I would like to tell you all young girls that there are many teen boys who just want sex. Even tho you might be nearly starting your relationship find a guy that respects you and one that truly is a gentlemen. Not one who has bad intentions and is just after lust not love. Why get pregnant and later find out he doesn't care. Just some advice hope this helps
teen_girls - 1-Feb-18 @ 4:59 AM
I took a test and it said positive, where do I go to get an abortion and will it be on my medical history as I don’t want my family finding out.
124p - 28-Jan-18 @ 9:40 AM
Hholly45 - Your Question:
Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex as well as that I’m not on the pill I just used the withdraw method. I am very worried that there may be a chance that I’m pregnant 1. I’m only 14 and 2. because there is no way I can know without having to go and buy a pregnancy test as my periods aren’t regular they just come whenever. I don’t know where to go or what to do. My question is could I do the early medical abourtion ( up to nine weeks ) without my parents knowing and at the age of 14 ? Please

Our Response:
You would have to wait to see whether you come on your next period, please see link here , which will tell you more. The link here tells you about confidentiality regarding your parents.
TeenIssues - 23-Jan-18 @ 2:55 PM
1234boom - Your Question:
So ok my boyfriend and I had sec and it was g he pulled out yano but then he fingered me and I'm afraid there was fun on his hand and I am pregnant and it was during my fertile period I am scared someone help I am 15

Our Response:
You would have to wait to see whether you come on your next period, please see link here , which will tell you more.
TeenIssues - 23-Jan-18 @ 2:26 PM
Ams - Your Question:
So me and my boyfriend had sex on Friday without an condom and he came in me. I havnt had the morning after pill since and it’s sunday. Can I be pregnant if so I’m only 16 and I do not want my parents to know what should I do

Our Response:
If you are not taking the contraceptive pill, there is a chance you could become pregnant if your boyfriend ejaculated inside you. You would have to wait to see if you come on your period. If you do not, you will need to take a pregnancy test.
TeenIssues - 23-Jan-18 @ 9:48 AM
So ok my boyfriend and I had sec and it was g he pulled out yano but then he fingered me and I'm afraid there was fun on his hand and I am pregnant and it was during my fertile period I am scared someone help I am 15
1234boom - 22-Jan-18 @ 9:31 PM
So me and my boyfriend had sex on Fridaywithout an condom and he came in me. I havnt had the morning after pill since and it’s sunday . Can I be pregnant if so I’m only 16 and I do not want my parents to know what should I do
Ams - 22-Jan-18 @ 5:14 PM
Me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex as well as that I’m not on the pill I just used the withdraw method. I am very worried that there may be a chance that I’m pregnant 1. I’m only 14 and 2. because there is no way I can know without having to go and buy a pregnancy test as my periods aren’t regular they just come whenever. I don’t know where to go or what to do. My question is could I do the early medical abourtion ( up to nine weeks ) without my parents knowing and at the age of 14 ? Please
Hholly45 - 20-Jan-18 @ 8:32 AM
Limon02 - Your Question:
I’m 15, and on the pill. But me and my boyfriend had sex multiple times in the week after my period. Sex with no condom. Therefore I took a morning after pill, the next day. But I had sex that morning only two hours later I took the morning after pill after he came in me. This was nearly 2 weeks ago. I feel more tired than ever, my mood swings are mental, I have itchy nipples, I just feel heavier also. Is it possible I’m pregant? And if I am could someone give me guidance on to where I should go to get an abortion pill without parents finding out. Thank you x

Our Response:
You would really need to see your GP. However, if you are on the pill, and taking your pill to the recommended instructions, you should not be pregnant and you should not have to take the morning after pill either.
TeenIssues - 18-Jan-18 @ 2:24 PM
I’m 15, and on the pill. But me and my boyfriend had sex multiple times in the week after my period. Sex with no condom. Therefore I took a morning after pill, the next day. But I had sex that morning only two hours later I took the morning after pill after he came in me. This was nearly 2 weeks ago. I feel more tired than ever, my mood swings are mental, I have itchy nipples, I just feel heavier also. Is it possible I’m pregant? And if I am could someone give me guidance on to where I should go to get an abortion pill without parents finding out. Thank you x
Limon02 - 16-Jan-18 @ 9:50 PM
Samara - Your Question:
As in I haven’t got it yet now I’m worried I told my mom but my dad doesn’t even know I have a boyfriend and he’d kill me they live in different countries I live with my mom and if I had to get an abortion would my dad have to know

Our Response:
If you live in the UK, and 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 - 5-Jan-18 @ 12:46 PM
@TCA - you'll be given an abortion pill and it will be confidential, no one need every know and you can get back to your life, same as before.
Indiex - 4-Jan-18 @ 2:46 PM
Ems - Your Question:
Me and my boyfriend had sex just under three weeks ago without a condom, it was two days after my period ended, I had taken the combined pill the night before and I had been on the pill the month before. I’m coming to the end of this pill cycle and panicking that the pill didn’t work because I have very strict christian parents who would disown me if they found out I had sex and had to get an abortion especially due to the fact I’m only 15. Is it likely I could be pregnant and if I am can I get an abortion without my parents consent? Thanks.

Our Response:
If you have been taking the pill due to the instructions, then you should be fine.
TeenIssues - 4-Jan-18 @ 2:09 PM
Abbie34 - Your Question:
Me and my boyfriend had sex on sunday night, we used a condom but later found out it had ripped. We went to a clinic first thing the next day and got the morning after pill but im still terrified because I’m in the fertile window of my cycle so im scared the pill didn’t work. I can’t tell my mum, she’ll freak because I’m only 15 but if it comes to having an abortion I read that I need an adult to take me home afterwards? I don’t have any other relatives as they all live elsewhere and I’m terrified

Our Response:
If you have been prescribed the morning after pill, there should be nothing to worry about. It is highly unlikley you will be pregnant.
TeenIssues - 4-Jan-18 @ 9:17 AM
I messed up with my POP, but I took it 48 hours before I had unprotected sex, which I was told was the guidelines for it to begin working. Since then, I’ve gone the whole of December without my period. I’m on the third week since it’s happened, and I do feel slight nausea, but haven’t been sick. I’ve had a lot of wind, but I’m terrified my mum cannot know and I can’t have a baby as I’m about to go into dance training this year. My mum would tell my dad and I’m afraid that my dad would get very angry and possible violent to my current boyfriend. What do I do? I’m going to go to BROOK centre to take a pregnancy test and to get a prescription of my pill. But if I am pregnant I’ll need a confidential, immediate abortion. 16 next month, please help!
TCA - 4-Jan-18 @ 6:55 AM
Me and my boyfriend had sex just under three weeks ago without a condom, it was two days after my period ended, I had taken the combined pill the night before and I had been on the pill the month before. I’m coming to the end of this pill cycle and panicking that the pill didn’t work because I have very strict christian parents who would disown me if they found out I had sex and had to get an abortion especially due to the fact I’m only 15. Is it likely I could be pregnant and if I am can I get an abortion without my parents consent? Thanks.
Ems - 4-Jan-18 @ 4:34 AM
Me and my boyfriend had sex on sunday night, we used a condom but later found out it had ripped. We went to a clinic first thing the next day and got the morning after pill but im still terrified because I’m in the fertile window of my cycle so im scared the pill didn’t work. I can’t tell my mum, she’ll freak because I’m only 15 but if it comes to having an abortion i read that i need an adult to take me home afterwards? I don’t have any other relatives as they all live elsewhere and I’m terrified
Abbie34 - 3-Jan-18 @ 1:20 AM
As in I haven’t got it yetnow I’m worried I told my mom but my dad doesn’t even know I have a boyfriend and he’d kill me they live in different countries I live with my mom and if I had to get an abortion would my dad have to know
Samara - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:51 AM
Okay I’m 12 nearly 13 my boyfriend who is also 12 we r virgins he slightly went in me after I made him cum and it’s the 2nd of January 2018 I’m due at the beginning
Samara - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:49 AM
I need help I'm not sure if I'm pregnant and I'm afraid that I am and I can't tell my mom she'll freak out I'm only 15 it's been 4 weeks since and I can't remember having a period
Aga.m - 27-Dec-17 @ 1:42 PM
Me and my boyfriend had sex earlier today and now I'm worried that I might be on my period because I'm not sure whether or not I was on my period last month, when I look through our messages it says I was on my period October 4th and not since which worries me because I'm only 15 and I'd have to get rid of the pregnancy if I'm pregnant, could I have an abortion with my parents not knowing. Please help
Dontknow - 26-Dec-17 @ 11:32 PM
Hello, me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex, there was no cum(he pulled out) but there could have been precum, I have just started my period and it's very light, and a light brown colour ? I'm very worried as I need to know wether or not to act (im only 16)
Hshshss - 25-Dec-17 @ 11:27 AM
I had unprotected sex on my period and he came in me and I’ve also missed my period feel sick in the morning and have bad cramps I’ve not had a pregnancy test but I honestly think I am and I am very worried as my parents cannot find out , I was 16 this month
Izzy - 24-Dec-17 @ 9:25 AM
hi i had unprocted sex two days ago but he pulled out before he came but there was pre cum in me, I'm also ovulating at the moment, what are my chances of being pregnant / what can I do to prevent it
Ella112 - 23-Dec-17 @ 9:54 PM
Kmichelle - Your Question:
I had sex. On Saturday with a condom but later that day we didn't use protection. I was due on my period Sunday however I still haven't came on yet. I'm started to get worried. I keep getting cramps. And period pains just no period yet. I'm 14 and I don't know what to do. As I don't want to go to the clinc. Because I don't want my mum to know about this.

Our Response:
Much depends upon when you ovulate. If you ovulate late (i.e just before the equivalent date of the last time you had your period) there is a possibility you could conceive. However, if your periods are usually very regular and never late, then you may be lucky. This is why we should never take chances by not using contraception. If you do not come on your period, then in the next week or so (when you definitely know you are late), you may wish to take a pregnancy test. The clinic will not tell your mum - your visit will be treated as confidential.
TeenIssues - 21-Dec-17 @ 3:08 PM
I had sex. On Saturday with a condom but later that day we didn't use protection. I was due on my period Sunday however I still haven't came on yet. I'm started to get worried. I keep getting cramps. And period pains just no period yet. I'm 14 and I don't know what to do. As I don't want to go to the clinc. Because I don't want my mum to know about this.
Kmichelle - 19-Dec-17 @ 7:36 PM
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