Abortion FAQs — The Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions on Abortion

  • Abortions can be performed in several ways: first-trimester surgical abortions (suction aspiration, D&C) are possible until week 14, first-trimester medical abortions (abortion pill) are obtainable until week 9 or 10.
  • The average cost of a first-trimester abortion is US $500.
  • A woman’s abortion experience is unique and cannot be generalized. Physical complications and emotional repercussions are possible but not inevitable.

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⚖️ Wondering whether to get an abortion or not? — Take the Abortion Test!

1. Until When Can I Get an Abortion?

Abortion laws vary from region to region. While some countries allow abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, many governments impose restrictions, and others ban it altogether. These cut-off dates go by markers, such as the detection of a fetal heartbeat at six weeks, completion of the first trimester, or viability outside the womb.

However, a medical abortion using the abortion pill is restricted to the first nine weeks (UK, Australia, Ireland, South Africa) or ten weeks (USA, Canada, New Zealand) — after that, only in-clinic surgical and medical methods are permitted.

2. How Does an Abortion Work?

There are six primary methods of abortion:

  • Medication Abortion: an abortion using pills. The pregnant woman takes the abortion medication; the embryo loses its source of nourishment and is later expelled.
  • Suction / Vacuum Aspiration: First-trimester surgical procedure performed under local or general anesthesia. Using the suction aspiration method, the embryo is sucked out of the uterus using a vacuum device.
  • Dilation & Curettage (D&C): First-trimester surgical procedure performed under local or general anesthesia. During a D&C, the embryo is surgically scraped from the uterus.
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Second-trimester surgical procedure performed under sedation. During a D&E, the fetus is dismembered within the uterus and removed via forceps.
  • Dilation and Extraction (D&X): Second and third-trimester surgical procedure performed under sedation. During a D&X, the fetus is removed intact while collapsing the head to reduce its circumference.
  • Induction Abortion: Second and third-trimester procedure. Birth is induced. If the fetus is beyond the age of viability, it is given a lethal injection prior to delivery.

For information on the ten main steps of an abortion procedure and how the methods compare, go to Abortion Methods,

🏥 or take the Test: Abortion Methods: What Do I Need to Know? and receive an immediate evaluation.

To learn more about the possible types of anesthesia, go to Abortion — Which Anesthesia?

3. How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

The amount you can expect to pay for an abortion depends on gestational age, abortion method, type of anesthesia, doctor’s fees, and region.

  • A medical abortion costs approximately:


US $350 – 650

United Kingdom

covered by NHS in 99% of cases; privately funded abortions: £500–2000


AUS $220 – 440


CAN $450


£450 – 540

New Zealand

NZ $840

South Africa


  • A first-trimester surgical abortion costs approximately:


US $600 – 1,000

United Kingdom

covered by NHS in 99% of cases; privately funded abortions: £700


AUS $330 – 500


maximum CAN $900


£450 – 540

New Zealand

at least NZ $1200

South Africa


Abortions for minors cost the same amount, but other abortion regulations may apply. In most cases, women pay the above amounts out of pocket. Some insurance companies or governments cover the cost of an abortion.

Is the Price All That Matters?

When counting the cost of an abortion, remember to take the immaterial aspects into consideration. To what extent will you have to sacrifice your health or emotional well-being? Your life matters!

Therefore, choose to take a step back from these abortion facts and redirect your focus toward your gut instinct and areas you may still feel unsure about. Don’t rush your decision to avoid extra costs! Instead, try to take into account what is really important to you.

4. Should I Get an Abortion? Pros and Cons

Many pregnant women feel unsure of what to do when considering abortion. They are conflicted about their pregnancy. This means they feel torn between the arguments for and against abortion.

How to find a viable solution in this situation:

5. What Are the Risks Associated with Abortion?

Terminating a pregnancy may lead to physical, mental, or emotional complications.

Abortions using suction aspiration or D&C are surgical procedures. The accompanying risks are comparatively low but cannot be ruled out:

  • The mucosa, cervix, and uterus can be injured by surgical instruments. This could increase the risk of miscarriage in subsequent pregnancies.
  • There may be a risk of cardiovascular complications due to the anesthesia.

Medical abortion can cause further bleeding and abdominal pain, even after the embryo has been expelled.

Apart from the physical effect, there is also the risk of emotional repercussions. While some women initially experience a sense of relief after an abortion, others are confronted with feelings of grief, pain, or even regret — immediately or at a later point in time.

6. What Are Late-Term Abortion Laws and Procedures?

In most countries, abortions are considered late-term after the first trimester (between the 13th and the 40th week of pregnancy). Often, late-term abortions are restricted to medical emergencies, for example, if a doctor deems that a continuation of pregnancy poses a threat to the mother’s life or causes severe adverse effects.

Some countries allow late-term abortions indiscriminately or in the case of fetal abnormality, rape, or incest.

  • Considering a late-term abortion? Find out more about your regional exemptions HERE.

Up to 98% of abortions between weeks 10 and 20 are performed by D&E. (UpToDate.com) Here, the fetus is dismembered within the womb and extracted in pieces. This method is often preferred, as it does not require an overnight stay.

Induction is another late-term abortion method. If the fetus is not yet viable outside the uterus, labor is induced. The birth process then causes the fetus to die. If the fetus has reached viability outside the uterus, it receives an injection of potassium chloride in the womb, which leads to cardiac arrest. After that, delivery is induced.

7. What Are the Most Common Reasons for an Abortion?

No two women are alike, which is also true of the unique situation they find themselves in. Therefore, everyone has different reasons for considering an abortion.

Nevertheless, most women’s stories share some of these four common threads which cause them consider abortion:

  • "He doesn't want the baby" — Many pregnant women indicate that they are considering an abortion because their boyfriend or husband is opposed to the baby. How do I respond if he does not want the baby? Take the test for information and advice.
  • "Complicated relationship with the dad" — The relationship is still very new, unhappy, just casual, or the child is the result of an affair. Take the test: Pregnant from an affair – Now what?
  • "I need to be there for my other children" — Many pregnant women consider having an abortion because they are already mothers and sometimes feel overwhelmed or feel torn between career, family, and other obligations. If that resonates, this article is for you!
  • "I already have other plans for my life" — Sometimes an unexpected pregnancy can foil one's plans and bring things into disarray. Sound familiar? Go to: Pregnant — Bad Timing!
  • "I cannot provide the life my child deserves" — Financial concerns can create an immense burden, giving you the impression that you could not meet your baby's needs. This is where you can apply for financial aid and practical support.
  • "I am dealing with health concerns or complications" Pre-existing conditions, a potential birth defect, or a problematic previous pregnancy or delivery would cause concern. If this is your situation, you are not alone.

Read more about the most common reasons women choose abortion!
Are you being coerced to have an abortion? Go to Forced Abortion for support and advice!

Discover your personality traits and inner strengths:

8. What Experiences Have Other Women Had with Abortion?

Some women facing the decision of whether to have an abortion wonder what other women have gone through. Reading about the lived experiences of others can be helpful in one’s own decision-making process. Still, since each person is unique, their experience cannot be replicated. Read stories of women who have shared their abortion experience HERE.

9. How Common Are Abortions in My Area and Worldwide?

According to W.H.O., 29% of all pregnancies are aborted each year, totaling 73 million abortions worldwide annually.

The number of abortions in each country is measured per 1000 women of childbearing age:

USA: 20.8
Australia and New Zealand: 19.7
UK: 17
Canada: 15.2
South Africa: 4.5
Ireland: 1

For more detailed information go to:

⛑ Pregnant and unsure where to go from here? Take the First Aid Test

10. Abortion Checklist — How Do I Prepare?

Depending on your location, specific abortion laws are in place, requiring you to take certain steps before having an abortion.

Check out your regional requirements in the following articles:

The time you are given is an opportunity to weigh your options. Choose not to rush! What are your reasons for and against having an abortion?

Many women have found it beneficial to confide in someone rather than walking through this season alone.

Because your life matters, we want to support you in discerning a way forward.

  • Check out our overview of free services and take advantage of any of our unbiased and anonymous digital coaching resources.

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