Terminating a pregnancy or working through the decisions to be made about a pregnancy can be distressing. For many people culture and religious beliefs will have an impact on the decision. To help your friend in this situation it is best to arm yourselves with good information. Here are some facts about abortion.
- Abortion is legal and available in Australia before 14 weeks. The laws for later abortions (> 14 weeks) vary across the states and territories. Do some research in your own country or state to find out about current legislation so that you and your friend can be sure of the options.
- Around 33-37 women in a 1000 will have an abortion (world average).
- Abortion is one of the safest and most commonly performed surgical procedures.
- Over half of women who have an abortion were using a form of contraception at the time.
- Women don’t always choose to have unprotected sex sometimes there is manipulation, coercion or even rape.
- An abortion performed safely does not reduce a women’s fertility.
- For many women abortion does not cause ongoing emotional distress.
It is a good idea to help your friend to do some research and find an appropriate professional health service or visit a health professional such as a GP. Refer to the links page to see some of the recommended services.
- LISTEN to your friend talk about any issues she might be having
- ACCEPT her decision and DON’T make decisions for your friend
- SUPPORT them in their decision
If your friend decides on having the abortion you might offer to accompany them when they go for the procedure. You could also check in periodically afterwards to see how they are going.