There are many commonly held beliefs about abortion that are false and inaccurate. To make an informed choice it is important to have accurate information.
Myth: Abortions are dangerous.
Over 99.75 percent of abortions do not cause major medical problems.
Less than one-quarter of 1 percent of abortions performed in the United States lead to major health complications, according to a 2014 study from the University of California, San Francisco, that tracked 55,000 women for six weeks after their abortions. The researchers note that this makes an abortion statistically about as risky as a colonoscopy.
Myth: Abortions can cause cancer.
In February 2003, the National Cancer Institute convened a symposium of over 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and the risk of breast cancer. They concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. A summary of their findings can be found on the American Cancer Society website.
Myth: Fetuses experience pain during abortions.
Fetuses cannot feel pain until at least the 24th week of pregnancy.
Experts ranging from Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree with that timeline. In fact, research from UCSF found that fetuses can’t perceive pain before 29 or 30 weeks of development.
Myth: Most women who have abortions regret their decision and have emotional problems afterward.
95 percent of women who have abortions ultimately feel they have made the right decision, according to an August 2013 study from UCSF. “Experiencing negative emotions postabortion is different from believing that abortion was not the right decision,” the researchers explained.
Furthermore, while unplanned pregnancies often cause emotional stress, there is no evidence to suggest that women who choose to terminate their pregnancies will be more likely to suffer from mental health issues, according to a 2008 report from the American Psychological Association that investigated all relevant medical studies published since 1989.
Myth: Abortion is a sin against God.
What does the Bible say about abortion? Absolutely nothing. There are lots of verses that anti-choice people will use to argue that the Bible and Christian God are against abortion; however, the Bible never directly addresses abortion/termination of pregnancy. In our opinion, this idea is something that has been hijacked by the conservative movement in an attempt to control women’s lives and bodies.