Abortion is one of those topics in sex and relationships education that people can have very strong views and opinions about. However it is important not to confuse opinions and values with facts. People are entitled to their views, but not their own facts.
Abortions are legal in mainland UK. Two doctors have to agree that the person’s physical or mental health would be at greater risk if they continued with pregnancy. To start this process you can go to your own doctor or to a sexual health service where you can be sure of someone who will help you with unbiased information and support.
In Northern Ireland they are not legal, so many people travel to mainland UK to get one.
They are safe, particularly when they are performed early (as the vast majority of abortions are). There are risks, as with any medical procedure, of complication, but serious complications are rare. Whilst having an abortion isn’t the easiest thing in the world, they don’t cause psychological problems. How people feel after an abortion depends on their situation, but many people look back on them as regrettable but necessary.
They are very common. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime.
As with any sexual or reproductive health treatment you can have an abortion if you are under 16 without anyone else knowing (though the medical staff will encourage you to talk to a parent/carer or other trusted adult).
All this info is from Education For Choice which is a great charity which teaches people about abortion. This video below was made by their Youth Advisory Group, so this is a video made by young people for young people. (Read more about this here).
You can also get the facts about abortion from their Flickr slideshow here
If you want to chat to someone about your pregnancy choices – abortion, fostering, adoption, or parenting – you should go to a service that offers impartial advice. Find out more about that at my services page.
© Justin Hancock, 2019