Abortion Mythbusting

We’re going to send a mythbusting tweet on abortion every day for the next few weeks, and we’ll keep updating this page with the new tweets, along with references and links to additional information.

Abortion Fact #1

Roughly one in three UK women will have an abortion during her lifetime.

A banner ad showing three women, one of whom is holding a baby. The text reads: What do you call a woman who's had an abortion? Mother daughter sister friend. No more names.


The 1 in 3 figure actually comes from a US study by the Guttmacher Institute. Here in the UK, according to Department of Health statistics (PDF), the age-adjusted rate of abortions per year (not per lifetime) for women aged 15-44 in 2011 was 1.75%.


Abortion Fact #2

Legal abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures there is, and carries less risk than childbirth.

It’s important to note that this is only true in the case of legal abortions performed by medical professionals. Globally it is estimated that approximately 20 million unsafe abortions are performed annually, with 97% taking place in developing countries. Unsafe abortion is believed to result in approximately 68,000 deaths and millions of injuries annually.


Wikipedia: Abortion

Grimes, D. A.; Benson, J.; Singh, S.; Romero, M.; Ganatra, B.; Okonofua, F. E.; Shah, I. H. (2006). “Unsafe abortion: The preventable pandemic” (PDF). The Lancet 368 (9550): 1908–1919. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69481-6. PMID 17126724.

NHS: Abortion Risks


Abortion Fact #3

Women can need an abortion at any point in their reproductive lives. In 2010 9% of abortion were for girls under 18; 41% ages 18-24; 36% ages 25-34, and 14% age 35 and up.


Department of Health: Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2010 (PDF)

Found via Education for Choice’s abortion facts.


Abortion Fact #4

Abortion is extremely unlikely to cause infertility, and women who have abortions can go on to have children later in life.

The exception to this would be in the case that a woman had an infection after receiving an abortion, and did not get the infection treated: in this scenario it would be possible for the infection to have an effect on future fertility. However this would be an extremely rare situation, and abortion normally does not cause infertility.

There are no proven associations between induced abortion and subsequent ectopic pregnancy, placenta praevia or infertility. Women with a previous induced abortion appear to be at an increased risk of infertility in countries where abortion is illegal but not in those where abortion is legal. Published studies strongly suggest that infertility is not a consequence of uncomplicated induced abortion.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists


NHS: Can having an abortion affect my fertility?

Family Planning Association (FPA): Abortion your questions answered

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Induced termination of pregnancy and future reproductive outcomes – current evidence


Warning about The Haven in Cambridge: bogus medical advice

“The Haven in Cambridge” recently set up shop at Citylife House, Sturton Street, Cambridge, CB1 2QF, offering “information about abortion, adoption and parenting and aim to equip you make an informed choice with regards to the future of your pregnancy” [1]

“The Haven in Cambridge” is one of many advice centres run by Care Confidential. Care Confidential is a Christian Evangelical organisation which opposes abortion under any circumstances. They are not in any way linked to the NHS, and they cannot refer you to an abortion provider. Nevertheless they have set up ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centres’ all over the UK. These centres are advertised in a way that implies that they can provide impartial counselling, accurate medical information, or a referral to an abortion provider, but they don’t provide any of these things. The people working at these centres often don’t have any medical qualifications, and they provide inaccurate and frightening medical information, with the goal of preventing abortion at all costs.

Feminist Action Cambridge believes that anyone considering an abortion should have access to accurate medical information and supportive, impartial counselling, should they need it.

If you need to get an abortion, or you are considering having an abortion and would like to talk to someone about it, you have a few options. You can go to your GP or to a family planning clinic and ask for a referral to an abortion provider. Or you can self-refer for an NHS-funded abortion by calling the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) Actionline on 08457 30 40 30.

Abortions are free on the NHS.

There is some more useful information here:
NHS choices: Where can I get abortion advice?

1. http://www.careconfidential.com/cambridge/Default.aspx

Midwifery is the World’s Oldest Profession

Journal article with headline 'Bat Midwife Aids Mother-to-be'

This is what S.P.U.C is telling your children in school…

What follows is a transcript of notes taken from a recent presentation given by The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child [SPUC] at a local Cambridgeshire school. An audio recording was made of the presentation by members of Feminist Action Cambridge with the intention of exposing SPUC’s lies and misinformation.

As we all enter the lecture theatre there is a large projection with film and music overlaid. The looped video shows children playing outside, a baby lying on a man’s chest asleep, then sitting up and eating, an [extremely lifelike] animation of a baby in the womb. The text: ‘I feed’, ‘I grow’, ‘I move’ fades in and out.

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