Abortion Information

What is an abortion?

An abortion is where a pregnancy is ended. There are several types of abortions surgical and medical abortion options.

Where can I have an abortion?

In the UK abortions are carried out in NHS hospitals and private clinics. Where can I go for abortion help and advice? If you are considering abortion or are unsure what to do, you should talk to a health professional. Your doctor or family planning clinic will be able to provide confidential advice. Alternatively, you can contact a private clinic.

Why do women have abortions?

There are a number of reasons why women may not wish to continue with a pregnancy and may seek abortion services. Deciding to have an abortion can be one of life’s most difficult decisions, we believe that all women should have the right to choose for themselves. If a woman feels that an abortion is in her or her family’s best interests, then she should have access to safe, supportive and non-judgemental advice and help.

How many women have abortions?

The latest statistics show that there were 189,931 abortions performed for women resident in England and Wales in 2011

Where can I find out more about abortion?

There is a lot of information about abortion available but unfortunately, not all information is accurate or impartial. You can get more information from this website www.abortion-clinics.co.uk who are completely pro-choice. Your GP or local family planning clinic, or young persons clinic like Brook, should also be able to offer you information about abortion.

How soon do I have to make a decision about abortion?

Although it might be difficult, it is best if you can make a decision as soon as possible. The earlier you make your decision the more abortion options are open to you.

Can anyone help me make a decision about abortion?

If you are confused about how you feel about abortion, you could talk to family and friends. Alternatively, you may prefer to talk to a counsellor. Your GP will be able to recommend a counselor. Is it up to me if I have an abortion? It is entirely your right to choose whether or not you would like to have an abortion. No one else can make this decision for you. Can my boyfriend / parents stop me from seeking an abortion? No, your boyfriend/parents can not stop you from seeking an abortion. It is your right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Abortion services are confidential and no one will be told about your visit unless you want them to be – including your parents and doctor.

How old do I have to be to have an abortion?

Any woman has the right to access abortion services although younger women are advised to have counselling to talk their feelings and options through. Abortion services are confidential and no one will be told about your visit unless you want to include your parents or doctor. Will an abortion go on my medical record? If you access abortion services through the NHS, it will go on your medical record only if you are referred by your GP or give permission for your doctor to be contacted. You may be able to access NHS abortion services via a family planning clinic or young person’s clinic like Brook without your GP knowing. If you access abortion services privately it is your decision as to whether or not your GP is notified.

Can I have more than one abortion?

Yes, women are free to seek abortion services on more than one occasion, however there are very reliable methods of contraception available which if used properly should reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy resulting in abortion.

Is there a link between abortion and breast cancer?

There is no proven link between abortion and breast cancer.

Can a woman with learning disabilities have an abortion?

Yes, a woman with learning disabilities can access abortion services as long as she fully understands what is involved and is able to give consent. Counselling may be required.

How long will I be at the Clinic on the day of the operation?

This will depend on which procedure you have. It could be anything from a couple of hours up to around 7 hours. This will be discussed at your consultation.

Is the consultation necessary if I already know what I want to do?

Yes, there is a legal requirement that you see a patient advisor and a doctor, and two doctors’ signatures are necessary on the relevant forms.

Do I have to be examined internally?

Not usually: however if a scan is unclear or is unavailable an internal examination would then be necessary.

Will the patient advisor try to talk me out of it?

No: the patient advisors are trained to listen to you, provide information and support and never judge you or ask you to justify your reasons for wanting an abortion.

What if I am breastfeeding?

If you have an early medical, it is recommended that you stop breastfeeding for 14 days from the first day of treatment. If you have a general anaesthetic surgical, please wait 24 hours after the anaesthetic before starting breastfeeding again.