About Abortion (Termination of Pregnancy)

Am I Pregnant?

If you think you could be pregnant, you first need to confirm your suspicions by going to the doctor, even if you have done a home-pregnancy test. The test can be done by a GP, at a youth health clinic or sexual health clinic, or at a Family Planning clinic. The sooner you find out for sure, the more time you have to think about your options.

How Should I Feel?

Finding out you are pregnant can bring up many different emotions, especially if it was not planned. Each woman will feel different. Some women feel confused and scared; others numb and shocked, whereas others feel happy and excited. All these feelings are normal and okay. Your feelings will probably also change while you are thinking about your options.

Who Could I Talk To?

Unplanned pregnancies happen to women of all ages and backgrounds for many different reasons. If you are considering an abortion it can be important to talk about your options with people who are close to you, like a trusted partner, friend or family member. It might also be helpful to talk to a health worker who has experience in this area to get more information before you make a decision.

What Are my Options?

If you are pregnant there are four options for you to consider:
• Continue the pregnancy with a partner
• Continue the pregnancy on your own
• Continue the pregnancy and then adopt out or foster.
• Terminate the pregnancy (Abortion).
Different issues will influence each woman and affect the amount of time needed to make the best decision. Sometimes it can help to find a quiet place alone to think things through, or write your thoughts down. It can also be important to talk things through with someone you trust like a partner, friend or family member. The following questions may help you work out what is the best decision at this time in your life:

Your Relationships:

• Do you have support from your family or partner?
• Can you work things out through the tough times?

Your Responsibilities:

• What does being a parent mean to you?
• Who can you call on for emotional and financial support?

Your Future Plans:

• How will this decision affect your plans for study, work or travel? Where do you see yourself in one, two, and five year’s time? Can you imagine a child as part of those plans?

If you are considering having an abortion it is important to remember that the safest time is 7-12 weeks after your last period.

What are my Rights?

It’s your right to have:
• Confidential care
• Safe, non-judgemental care
• Respect for whatever choice you make

What Does the Law Say?

Abortion is allowed in all States of Australia under certain circumstances and when done by a registered doctor. Each State has different rules about when you can have an abortion.

What is an Abortion?

Abortion is the termination (end) of a pregnancy by a procedure that empties the contents of the uterus (womb). Abortions are done at specialist clinics or hospitals.

The most common type of abortion is a surgical procedure called a suction curette. This involves the removal of the lining and the contents of the uterus by applying gentle suction to the inside of the uterus with a small plastic tube. This is a safe, simple and low risk procedure when done between 7-12 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure takes about 15 minutes, but you will need to be at the clinic or hospital for about four hours.

Various reports put the number of abortions each year anywhere between around 70,000 and 90,000 but it is impossible to accurately count the numbers of abortions that take place in Australia because there is no national data collection system.

Will I Remember Anything?

Most abortions are done under a light sedation or ‘twilight sleep’. This means you can choose to have medication that will make you relaxed and sleepy and you usually will not remember anything about the procedure. There is also the option of having a local anaesthetic only or a general anaesthetic. The staff at the clinic or hospital can talk about these options with you.

Is it Safe?

Abortion is a safe and simple procedure in the first 12 weeks and the majority of women have no problems afterward. As with all medical procedures, however, there are some risks involved. You will need to discuss these with your doctor or the staff at the clinic or hospital.

If it has been more that 12-14 weeks since your last period there is more involved in having an abortion. Each State and Territory has different laws about the maximum number of weeks pregnant a woman can be to have an abortion.

South Australia is the only state where comprehensive data on abortions are published. The information from the past decade shows that, on average, less than 1% of women who had abortions experienced complications. In fact, reported complications have decreased steadily.

How do I Make the Appointment?

Ring the clinic that you choose. When you make an appointment you will be asked questions about your general health and also questions about your last menstrual period.

It is necessary to fast (have nothing to eat or drink) for 4-6 hours before the procedure. You will also be asked to bring some things such as spare pads, a nightie, and your Medicare card with you on the day.

How Much Will it Cost?

How much you will need to pay is different for each State and Territory and for each clinic, so check before making the appointment.

Can I use Medicare?

Medicare will cover some or all of the cost. Even if you use Medicare, having the abortion stays confidential.

You are able to get your own Medicare card from age 15. If you don’t have a Medicare card you will need your Medicare number. If you don’t know your number the clinic can call during business hours and find out for you, but you should check if they are willing to do this before making the appointment.

What Happens on the Day?

It often helps to have a support person with you on the day, and if you are having the light sedation you will definitely need to have someone to drive you home.

Before the procedure, a health worker will talk with you about what is involved, what the risks are and what to do to take care of yourself afterwards. You will be able to ask questions (sometimes it helps to write them down beforehand). You may also sign a consent form stating that you understand what is happening.

This can also be a good time to talk about contraception and choose a method that will suit you.

What About After the Abortion?

Your Feelings:

Every woman has different feelings depending on her situation and the reasons for choosing abortion.

Often women report feeling relieved and feeling ‘themselves again’. Other feelings can be guilt, anger, regret or sadness or a mixture of feelings.

All of these feelings can be a normal part of coming to terms with the abortion. If the feelings are still strong after two weeks it is important to talk with someone such as a supportive local doctor, a Family Planning clinic, youth health, or women’s health clinic or a counsellor.

Your Health:

You will be given a course of antibiotics to take for a week after the procedure to prevent any infection.

A routine two week check up, at a health clinic or your local doctor, is important to ensure that there are no signs of infection such as pain or fever and that you don’t have any heavy bleeding.

In almost all cases having had an abortion will not stop you from being able to continue a pregnancy when the time is right for you.

Remember: You are the only one who knows how you feel about your decision and you are the best person to decide what is right for you.

I’m the Dad – What About Me?

Ideally, the decision to continue or not with a pregnancy is made together with you and your partner. It’s not always possible, though. As the father, you might experience a range of feelings, like confusion, sadness, or anger at being left out of the decision. Some couples find that dealing with all these issues together can lead to a much closer relationship. Your support for your partner is really important, and your involvement can help the experience of abortion be as smooth as possible for both of you.

Sometimes it is difficult to express feelings, especially with an issue like abortion where you may have many conflicting emotions. Talk to your partner about what is going on for you both. You could also call FPA Healthline or the Kids Help Line to talk things over.

What is RU486? 

RU486 (also called Mifepristone) is a drug that is widely used by 35 countries in the world including the UK, France, the USA, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Tunisia and New Zealand. Over 21 million women have used it worldwide.

Mifepristone is used to induce medical abortion, as an alternative to having surgery. It is a hormone treatment that prevents the fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. It’s usually used with another drug called a prostaglandin (which makes the uterus expel the uterine contents). Under medical supervision, a woman takes the hormones, and a few hours later, expels the placental and foetal tissues.

Source: Reachout.com


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  • About Abortion (Termination of Pregnancy) « Khunshikang’s Blog…

    If you think you could be pregnant, you first need to confirm your suspicions by going to the doctor, even if you have done a home-pregnancy test. The test can be done by a GP, at a youth health clinic or sexual health clinic, ……

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