Debunking Abortion Myths

The nonprofit Ipas has created a manual with factual evidence to widely believed misconceptions about abortion.  This is a great new resource for reproductive rights that presents scientific and unbiased data on such a stigmatized procedure.

Myths vs. Facts on Abortion by Ipas

  1. Myth: Abortion results in “postabortion syndrome.”  Fact: Postabortion syndrome is not a valid psychiatric diagnosis.
  2. Myth: Abortion causes breast cancer.  Fact: There is no causal relationship between abortion (spontaneous or induced) and an increase in women’s risk for developing breast cancer.
  3. Myth: Emergency contraception causes abortion. Fact: Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. If a woman is already pregnant, emergency contraception will have no effect on the pregnancy and will not cause an abortion.
  4. Myth: Pregnancy is safer than abortion. Fact: Abortions performed by trained providers under hygienic conditions are much safer than pregnancy and childbirth.
  5. Myth: Legalizing abortion does not make it safe. Fact: When women have access to safe, legal and affordable abortion, maternal death and injuries due to unsafe abortion decrease dramatically.
  6. Myth: Restricting access to abortion is the best way to reduce abortions. Fact: The best way to reduce abortions is to reduce unintended pregnancies through comprehensive sexuality education, prevention of gender-based violence, and access to woman-centered and effective contraception.
  7. Myth: Medical abortion is dangerous and can kill women. Fact: Medical abortion is a safe and effective option for terminating a pregnancy in the first trimester.
  8. Myth: If abortion is legal, women will use it as birth control.  Fact: Women who do not have information and access to reliable contraceptive methods face higher rates of unplanned pregnancy and may use abortion to terminate the pregnancy, regardless of the legality of abortion.
  9. Myth: Abortion is a Western imperialist export to developing countries. Fact: Since the beginning of recorded history, women throughout the world have terminated unwanted pregnancies. This practice is well documented (Rylko-Bauer 1996, Devereux 1976, Gallen et al. 1981, Riddle 1992)
  10. Myth: Abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life.  Fact: Abortion to save the life of a woman or girl is medically necessary under certain circumstances and is widely accepted by professionals and institutions like the World Health Organization.

For the full manual, visit the Ipas website to download The Facts Speak for Itself: Ten Facts About Abortion or email publications@ipas.org for ordering information.

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