Abortion myths
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Abortion: myths busted

Abortion is a topic people feel very strongly about, either in favour of or against it. And with all the myths there are, it's good to know which ones are wrong before making up your mind about abortions.

Myth 1: Abortion causes infertility

Having an abortion (or several, for that matter), won't affect your ability to have a healthy pregnancy later on.

However, just like with every other medical procedure, there are risks. If you end up having complications, your fertility could be affected in the future. Keep in mind though that there is less than 0.05 percent risk for complications with first trimester medical abortions- they are extremely safe.

Myth 2: All women who abort face emotional problems

Not necessarily. Women who have thought about their decisions well usually feel relieved and don't have regrets. Other women however may feel sad, guilty or grieving. The later on in the pregnancy you have the abortion, the more likely you are to have feelings of grief.

Myth 3: Only young, irresponsible women have abortions

No, not at all. First of all, keep in mind that no birth control method is 100 percent effective.

If you take a look at numbers from the US, for example, you will see that one in two pregnancies is unintended. And that more than 60 percent of the women who end up having an abortion already have a child. Three in four women say that a child might interfere with her responsibilities for other people.

Myth 4: Many women use abortion as a form of birth control

No, they don't. More than half of the women seeking abortion had used birth control during the month they got pregnant. But unfortunately, sometime birth control methods fail.

Myth 5: The foetus will feel pain during the abortion

Scientists think that a foetus can't feel pain until the last trimester of pregnancy. It seems that the feotus' nervous system isn't developed enough earlier during pregnancy to feel pain, so it's very unlikely that it will feel anything.

Myth 6: Human life begins at conception

This is not really a myth – it's up to you to decide, because there is no real agreement on when life begins. Some people indeed think it begins at conception. Others think it begins when a baby is born. What you think depends mainly on your on beliefs, and your religious and cultural upbringing.

Fact is though, a foetus is only viable between 24 and 28 weeks after conception. Only then does it have a chance to survive outside of the uterus. This is usually far beyond the time frame in which abortion is allowed.

Myth 7: There are easy ways to abort at home

No, no, no. Whatever you have heard, from castor oil, to boiling hot baths to super-high doses of vitamin C – they don't work. Worst case: they are harmful to your health, so please don't even try any of them. The only way to have an abortion is either medically or surgically and you should be discussing all your options with a medical professional beforehand.

Myth 8: Women will stop having abortions if they are illegal

Not true. But, if abortions are made illegal, women will have to take much higher health risks by having to get black-market abortions. These back-street abortions put women's lives at risk, as there is no medical supervision present.

This article was first published on June 13, 2014. 

Do you know of any other myths related to abortion? Share your thoughts by commenting below or joining the discussion on Facebook

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