Facing a difficult situation: Secret Abortion

Secret Abortion

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Could I Get an Abortion Without Anyone Knowing?

  • Medical care is always confidential. Your doctor may not share your abortion information without your consent.
  • You could theoretically have an abortion without anyone in your social circle knowing.
  • Many women have found it beneficial to have support rather than walking this road alone.

⚖️ Considering whether to have an abortion or not? Take the Abortion Test.

🤰 Wondering whether you might be pregnant? Take the Online Pregnancy Test.

Is It Possible to Have an Anonymous Abortion?

Whether it is possible to keep an abortion private needs to be addressed on two levels: professional confidentiality and your personal life.

Professional Confidentiality:

A few healthcare professionals will have to know about the abortion:

  • Your family doctor/GP giving the referral and providing aftercare
  • Any government-mandated counseling service (where applicable):
    If you are required to receive pre-abortion counseling, you will most likely have to provide identification proving that you have completed this requirement. Make the most of it — the purpose of counseling is to allow you to investigate all your options and find out what support is available. Only when you are informed will you be able to make a choice you can feel good about in the long run.
  • The medical staff at the abortion clinic
  • Your insurance provider (unless you are paying out of pocket)

NOTE: Insurance companies usually send clients an EOB (Explanation of benefits). If you are enrolled under your parents’ plan, they will likely see a summary of the services provided to you. The EOB would probably not directly state “abortion” but “medical visit” or “D&C.”

🤐 Maintaining confidentiality is a key duty of all medical, insurance, and counseling staff. They are obligated to keep their client's information private unless a consent form is signed.

It is possible to keep any official medical information about an abortion hidden from friends or relatives. It is up to the woman whom she would want to tell.

Will the Abortion Be on My Medical Record?

While all medical professionals are sworn to confidentially, some countries additionally have laws allowing women to decide whether the abortion should appear on their medical records. This is the case in the UK. Similarly, the US HIPAA privacy rule establishes standards to protect the patient's privacy. Ask your care provider whether a similar law also applies in your region.

Oftentimes, a paper trail is necessary, e.g., if laws stipulate that several doctors must agree on the necessity of the procedure, if a referral is made, or if the abortion is funded by the general healthcare system.

Including abortion information on your medical record will allow your doctor to provide you with more individualized care.

Personal Life — Secrecy and Truth

Whether it is possible to keep an abortion hidden from one's partner, children, or other close relatives and friends remains uncertain. Depending on the closeness of these relationships, someone would probably have a hunch that something happened without necessarily suspecting an abortion. They would be left wondering.

This should be taken into consideration when pregnant and trying to decide whether to keep it a secret.

Additionally, consider how carrying this untold secret might affect you. The difficulty is that its impact on you later is not always readily foreseeable. If you suspect an abortion might weigh heavily on you, pay attention to these concerns. They matter because you matter.

Anonymous Abortion Under 18?

You may not want your parents to know about the pregnancy and are looking into options for an anonymous abortion. If you are a minor, you may need your parents’ consent to have an abortion.

For more information, go to:

Can a Past Abortion Be Detected?

Medically, abortions are untraceable, except if the uterus was accidentally punctured. Particularly with late-term abortions, perforations can lead to the development of scar tissue and adhesions.

Initially, these symptoms are to be expected:

  • Post-abortion bleeding
  • The pregnancy hormone (HCG) decreases gradually and is therefore still traceable for 4–6 weeks
  • Sometimes, the onset of one's period is delayed by days, weeks, or even months

Secret Self-Managed Abortion

The desire to abort without anyone knowing could lead you to think about DIY abortions. Then — so you hope — absolutely no one would need to be included.

❗️Caution: Self-induced abortions are associated with severe risks. Medical professionals have the expertise and experience to keep you safe. For the woman's sake, DIY abortions are often prohibited by law. Sometimes, women wait too long to expose their secret after a failed abortion. At that point, medical attention may come too late.

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Pregnant — I Don’t Want Anyone to Know. Now What?

At this point, you may wonder whether it would be better if no one knew about the pregnancy. You may be considering a secret abortion rather than facing the reactions of those around you. Either decision would create an emotional burden for you.

You may like to try these three things:

Step 1: 🕰

Take the time you need to allow yourself to calm down amid this emotionally and physically taxing situation.

Once you regain a more level footing, you will be able to determine which decision corresponds with your values and convictions — so you can make a choice that leaves you with no regrets.

Step 2: 👤

It may feel good to entrust someone with your secret. Can you think of a close friend, a relative, or someone else who would be supportive?

Do you think you could muster the courage to open up to someone? Putting your heads together, you are more likely to find a solution — especially during a time of emotional upheaval in which you may feel unsure about the upcoming decision.

Step 3: 👩‍💻

Do you desire a neutral sounding board for your thoughts?

If you are deliberating whether to have an abortion or keep the baby, you are invited to participate in our weeklong Decision Coaching sessions. You would receive a daily email for 7 days, which includes thought-provoking ideas and stories of other pregnant women.

👉 Click here for more information and prompts for signing up!

Would you like to remain anonymous while receiving judgment-free feedback on your concerns?

Take advantage of our other free digital coaching offers:

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