This is a common question for many of our patients, and we have helped thousands of women successfully navigate this decision in Massachusetts. While abortion is one option, there are many options available to you beyond abortion, so understanding all of your choices and the risks associated with them can help you make an informed decision.
What Is An Abortion?
Abortion is a medical treatment that ends your pregnancy through medication or a surgical procedure. A medical abortion uses a combination of two different drugs, and this method can only be used up until 11 weeks of pregnancy. A surgical abortion removes the pregnancy tissue from your womb either through dilation or suction.
Does Abortion Come With Risks?
Yes, abortion procedures can create some risks, depending on the procedure, your overall health, and how far along you are in the pregnancy. It can also depend on whether or not you are in a clinical setting for treatment or use an at-home abortion treatment option.
Online pharmacy options can also create additional risk, particularly if you have not had a doctor diagnose the gestational age of the pregnancy to ensure you are within the 11 weeks. It is not uncommon for women to be off in tracking their menstrual cycle, so this is an important step for you to take before considering a medical abortion. There are also long-term complications you might experience like cervical complications and uterine cancer .
Medical Abortion Risks
In Massachusetts, about 46% of abortions are a medical abortions. Some complications include:
- Heavy bleeding
- An incomplete or unsuccessful abortion (which means you may need to have a surgical abortion)
Surgical Abortion Risks
Surgical risks may include:
- Heavy bleeding
- Injury to your cervix or uterus
- Incomplete abortion
Are There Emotional Risks From Abortion?
There are also very important risks to your mental and emotional health that should be considered. Research has demonstrated a positive association between induced abortion and some types of mental illness, including a significant association with depression. Women who seek abortion do not anticipate experiencing regret and may find themselves unprepared and unsupported when intense feelings of sadness occur.
Are There Other Alternatives?
Yes, abortion is not your only option for an unplanned pregnancy. You can also consider adoption, legal guardianship, and parenting. If you are unsure of what option would be best for you, our clinic can support you at no cost by verifying your pregnancy and helping you understand all of your options. We know it is essential for you to be well informed before making such a life-altering choice, and we offer judgment-free education and pregnancy services.
What Should I Do If I Find Out I Am Pregnant?
Many pregnancies, about 10-20%, end in miscarriage, so we also recommend that you come into the clinic and verify your pregnancy. It’s important to verify the viability of your pregnancy before considering an abortion for your safety. We understand that an unplanned pregnancy can be very overwhelming, but we are here to help you in any way that we can. Our Massachusetts clinics are no-cost so you can get the support and information you need easily and judgment-free.
 Long-term physical health consequences of abortion, 2000 to 2013: A nationwide retrospective cohort study, Lin, T. B., Hsieh, M. F., Hou, Y. C., Hsueh, Y. L., Chang, H. P., & Tseng, Y. T. Medicine vol. 97,31 (2018): e11785. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000011785
 The Royal Institute of Public Health, January, 2009, Induced abortion and intimate relationship quality in the Chicago Health and Social Life Survey, P.K. Coleman, V.M. Rue, C.T. Coyle