Reasons for abortion

Choosing to have an abortion is an extremely difficult decision which can cause a great deal of heartache and stress. It is a personal choice which is influenced by a variety of factors, e.g. economics and these vary between individuals.

Every woman who undergoes an abortion will have her own reasons for doing so. This means that every case needs to be judged on its individual merits.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ type of abortion and your GP or clinic will take all factors into account before you proceed.

Abortion is one of those issues which divide public opinion: but even people who are opposed to it for ideological reasons can accept that there are situations in which it may be the only option.

This means if the woman’s health is a risk or if she may lose her life altogether.

In many societies, abortion may be permitted but only under strict guidelines which includes a maximum limit at which it can be performed. An abortion cannot take place after that limit.

Situations where abortion is allowed

There are a few scenarios or guidelines where abortion is permitted which include:

  • Severe or life threatening risk to the woman’s physical and mental health.
  • The baby is unlikely to survive for long after birth or will have a poor quality of life. This can include serious mental or physical disability which cause pain and distress to the baby and reduce their life expectancy.
  • A pregnancy has occurred as a result of rape, child abuse or incest.
  • The woman is physically or mentally unable to cope with a pregnancy or care for a baby. She may be too young, living in dire poverty or simply unable to cope.
  • The woman is carrying multiple foetuses but one or more foetuses are endangering the health of all of them.

These reasons form part of the 1967 Abortion Act.

If you are in the position of finding yourself pregnant and are unsure what your choices are then here are your options:

    • Continue with your pregnancy
    • Adoption or fostering
    • Abortion (also known as a termination)�

If you decide to have the baby then there is help available to you. Your family and friends can help and there is advice and support via your GP and other organisations.

Another option is to continue with your pregnancy but give up the baby for adoption afterwards. The baby will be brought up by new parents: this means that you will have no say in its upbringing or welfare.

Bear in mind that this is a legal process which severs any ties between you and your baby.

Fostering is similar except that you do retain contact with your child and have the option to take over its care at a later date. It involves your baby being placed with a foster family who will keep you informed of the baby’s progress.

The third option is to have an abortion or termination. Obtain as much information via guides such as this one, and support from counselling services. Make sure that it is the right decision for you.

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