Should I get an abortion?

Making the choice to terminate a pregnancy is not an easy one, but thankfully in most developed countries, a choice we do get to make (thank you feminist brethren. You rock!). Not everyone has easy access to safe pregnancy terminations. If this is you, contact Women on Waves – they can send you termination drugs in the mail.

Terminating due to foetal abnormalities or for health reasons

If you are having to decide on terminating a pregnancy based on the discovery of foetal abnormalities or another health reason, and you really want the baby, you have a very hard choice to make that is outside the scope of this article.

We recommend that you seek professional counselling and advice from your specialists.

Note to those who live in the US

In the United States, choices are being eroded. It’s important to do your bit to support our reproductive choices, so make sure your voices are heard, and support Planned Parenthood with money and love. But, mostly money.

Deciding to terminate

There are a lot of things to think about when deciding if you want to take your pregnancy to term, or go through with an abortion. These decisions can be life-changing – or make it so life just goes on as usual!

There are so many reasons to abort babies; the list is endless. At the end of the day, nobody is in a position to judge your reasons for wanting an abortion! Do whatever you want. It’s your life.

Common reasons for pregnancy terminations include not being ready, poor health, foetal abnormalities, being in the wrong relationship, family violence, fear of the outcomes, and sometimes even due to the sex of the baby. You may also want an abortion because you are scared a baby will ruin your figure/vagina, you want to spend the money a child costs on a nice holiday, or you are hiding it from a partner because you were having an affair.


Abortions are rarely undertaken lightly, and it is not simply ‘inconvenient’, but keep in mind that women have been getting pregnant, preventing pregnancy, and aborting babies since the dawn of time. This isn’t a new idea, nor is it that controversial.

A baby – the first, second or fifth – is a big deal, and not for everyone. Ultimately you are the one who has to live with your decision, so if you are stuck on this conundrum, here are some ideas to consider.

Ask yourself these questions…

  1. Do I want to have a baby?
  2. Do I want to have a baby right now?
  3. Am I in a position where the baby will be cared for 100 per cent?
  4. Do I have a medical condition that is preventing the healthy growth, birth and life of a child? Or myself?
  5. Will my life be better or worse if I have a baby?
  6. Can I afford to have a baby?
  7. Will having a baby affect my chances of other forms of success in life?

What to do when you’re struggling

If you are really struggling deciding whether to keep a baby or not, a trip to a counsellor or another trusted person can be a great idea to just hash it out a bit. Talking to an impartial person can help to clarify your feelings.

A foetus is not a baby (yet)

A baby is a baby when it comes out alive and big and screaming – some multiplying cells do not constitute a baby in the eyes of the law – and they would know. They’ve been debating this for so long, and it has now become law in most places.

You are not murdering a baby, but removing some quickly-multiplying cells from your uterus that have the potential to become a baby. Don’t get mixed up.

Foetuses do not feel pain

There is a growing body of evidence that shows a foetus at the stage of development an abortion takes place during does not have a developed nervous system, and therefore cannot feel pain. You are not hurting the foetus.

Once the foetus is removed, it’s done and you can move on

Getting pregnant by mistake, or getting pregnant on purpose and then changing your mind, or getting pregnant then something goes wrong in life, are all tricky scenarios. Having an abortion means that you can deal with the life you have, which is sometimes just the smart thing to do.

You are still a good person!

Not wanting to have a baby right now – or ever – for whatever reason doesn’t make you a bad person; it makes you human. Babies are an incredible commitment, and if you’re not there, you’re just not there and that’s ok.

We have abortion rights for a reason. It is not always right, for you, and for your family/community, who ultimately bears the brunt of your choice in myriad ways.

We don’t need more humans!

We have very little need for extra humans on earth. Adding to the already-heavy burden by having a baby by mistake isn’t serving any purpose except making your family bigger. (Which is fine too.) You are not doing humanity a favour by adding another kid to the mix.

Abortions don’t hurt much more than a bad period cramp and nobody will be able to tell

The main feeling after an abortion is cramping and an ache. In a surgical abortion, you have had your cervix forced open, and the contents of your uterus extracted. It’s not a walk in the park, but it’s also no worse than a bad period.

With a medical abortion, you will ‘get your period’, and feel it.

It heals up quickly and leaves no visible marks or scars – nobody will ever know, not even a doctor could tell. You will bleed for several days afterwards, but otherwise you will recover, and life will go on as it was.

It doesn’t matter if people agree with you

Whether you decide to have a baby or not, it is your choice. It doesn’t matter if other people agree with you, or think your reasons are valid, including the father of the child (fair or not). People can get super judgey when it comes to abortions, so be careful who you talk to and who you ask for help. But do ask for help and try to avoid going through this by yourself.

If you do decide to have the baby, life will go on and you will be ok

Life is weird. You might as well add to it!

Babies are hard work, but newborns don’t stay babies forever – they grow up and blame you for everything and live at home until they’re 40 and leave their stinky socks on the floor and tell their therapist how mean you are and be ungrateful for everything you have ever done because you loved them. Welcome to parenting.

Either way, baby or no baby, life will go on, albeit in a new direction, whether that’s another kid to add to a brood, or the first of one. Don’t be scared to terminate a pregnancy with your own valid reasons as all the backup you need, and don’t be scared to have a baby for your own valid reasons either.

Every decision is life changing by either not changing anything at all, or by changing everything. The world wants you to succeed, to be happy, to be well, so if a baby is going to rob you of one of those things, choose carefully. Your life depends on it.

Learn about safe, mail-order medical abortions you can do at home at Women on Waves.

Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)