Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy. It is a medical procedure to stop a pregnancy. This way of ending a pregnancy (by the abortion procedure) is different to the medical event of ‘spontaneous abortion’ which is a naturally occurring miscarriage and does not involve an abortion medical procedure.
There are two kinds of abortion available to women in Australia – surgical and medical abortion.
Some of the differences are:
|Can occur in the privacy of the patient’s own home
||Day hospital admission
|Can take days to complete
||Completed in 5–10 minutes followed by 30 minutes to one hour of observation time
|Somewhat and variably painful
||Usually less painful; anaesthesia is available
|≥95% success rate within 1–3 weeks
||99% success rate
|Generally much heavier bleeding than a period
|Typically 2–3 office visits plus ultrasonography and blood tests
||Typically 1–2 office visits
||Requires a support person to drive depending on anaesthesia
In Victoria, abortion is available up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Beyond 24 weeks abortion occurs much less frequently.
Abortion at this stage is not elective as the decision for abortion is made by medical doctors based on medical information, for example, where a mother cannot survive the pregnancy or a fetus cannot survive birth.
Are there any possible physical effects?
Although some women appear to experience minimal problems, abortion may be followed by serious long term physical and psychological side effects.
You have the legal right to choose the outcome of your pregnancy. But real empowerment comes when you find the resources and inner strength necessary to make your best choice. Here are some other options.