Abortion is a medical procedure that terminates a pregnancy. Women who have chosen to have an abortion are commonly shamed into silence.
Stigmatizing and silencing those who have had an abortion contributes to the ignorance and the misconceptions surrounding the medical procedure. There are a lot of myths about abortion that have circulated because of the lack of information provided.
Myth: Abortion isn’t a safe medical procedure.
Truth: Abortion is a safe medical procedure. In fact, it’s 10 times safer than childbirth. Before the legalization of abortion, women would try to terminate their pregnancies illegally resulting in complications and/or death. Legalization has allowed for medical professionals to perform these procedures safely.
Myth: After an abortion a woman is likely to have “post-abortion syndrome.”
Truth: “Post-abortion syndrome” isn’t a medically recognized condition. There is no evidence that an abortion will cause a negative effect on the mental state of a woman. Anti-abortion groups created this false idea. The most common feeling of women post-abortion is relief.
Myth: Women who have an abortion are at higher risk for breast cancer.
Truth: In 2003, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) concluded after studying the correlation between abortion and breast cancer that there is no association between the two. According to the NCI abortion does not increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.
Myth: If abortions were made illegal, the procedure would stop being performed.
Truth: Abortions and other methods of pregnancy termination still occurred before the procedure was legalized. Women would do harmful things to their body to terminate their pregnancy. Unlicensed physician in unsanitary and unsafe conditions often performed these abortions. These illegal abortions were often fatal or caused permanent damage to the women who received them.
Myth: Every woman in the US has an accessible abortion clinic nearby.
Truth: Unfortunately in some states there is only one clinic which means women sometimes have to travel extremely far distances to get the procedure done. Some women don’t have the time, the money, or the means to travel that far, forcing them to have the child or terminate the pregnancy in an unsafe way.
Myth: An abortion is a very painful procedure.
Truth: Abortion can be uncomfortable. The pain is often compared to menstrual cramping. With the proper painkillers and numbing agents, provided by the clinic, the discomfort can be tolerated.
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