As we have already seen in a previous post about abortion facts, about 43 million women get abortions each year. That’s a pretty mind-boggling number. And it does beg the question, what are the reasons for abortion in most of these cases?
If you are a little anxious about getting an abortion for whatever reason, knowing the reasons for abortion by other women can help you feel better. It can be very lonely and unnerving when you have to make a decision about getting an abortion, and you may feel like your own abortion reasons are selfish. Perhaps you are looking for some sort of validation. By knowing the abortion reasons of other women, you will see that there are millions (literally) of women around the world who find themselves in the same position as you are in right now and who have gone ahead and gotten their abortions done with little or no regret. This can help you feel better about your own abortion reasons.
Of course, every woman has her own story and her abortion reasons will seem unique to her, which in a way they are. But abortion reasons can still be segregated into a few major headings as follows.
Abortion Reasons #1 – Not A Good Time To Have a Baby
More than two-thirds of all abortions are elective and conducted on women below 25 years of age. An elective abortion means that the mother chooses to end the pregnancy for personal reasons even though she and the baby are both quite healthy and there is no medical cause for an abortion. The gist of several elective abortion reasons is that it is just not the right time for the pregnancy. Following are some of the abortion reasons cited that can be clumped under this heading.
- Motherhood is a huge responsibility. And a large percentage of the women who have elective abortions know that they are mentally unprepared to take on this responsibility. After all, it means having another life in your hands. This is daunting and scary as hell and one of the main abortion reasons.
- Another of the abortion reasons is financial insecurity. It costs a LOT of money to raise a baby today. Clothes, diapers, baby safety gear, food, education – it costs a small fortune. Sometimes, a baby may be wanted but a couple may not have be financially secure at that point to pay for the multitude of baby stuff that they will need. Rather than bring up their child in an environment of lack, they choose to have an abortion and try again at a later time when they are more stable on the financial front.
- Some women are just not prepared to have their lives changed by a baby. They may have all the money in the world and be just where they want with their careers. But they are not really ready to give up their carefree lives and independence just yet. This is one of the abortion reasons that gets a lot of flack from anti-abortion groups who call the move selfish and cruel. But it nevertheless remains one of the main abortion reasons for women in their 20s and 30s who have never had children before and who are used to being on their own.
- A condom tears during a one night stand or a casual sexual encounter and you get pregnant. Although you do want to have children, you do not have a partner or significant other and you do not want to raise a child alone. This is another of the abortion reasons that have the anti-abortion groups up in arms.
- Teen pregnancy is another of the abortion reasons that falls under this category. However, this is usually not so much as an elective than a necessity. There is plenty of research to support that abortion is actually a much better option for pregnant teens than having the baby. The main argument in favor of this abortion reason is that teens are at higher risk for several pregnancy complications since their bodies are still developing and not ready to take on the burden of a full-term pregnancy followed by the rigors of childbirth. The second reason has more to do with the quality of life for both the teen mother as well as the baby born of a teen pregnancy. If the teen has the baby, she will most likely (not always) drop out of school or college and take up a job in anticipation of the expenses that entail bringing up a child. Since she has not completed her education, she will not get a very high-paying job. This means she and her baby will live in not-so-good circumstances, perhaps in an unsafe neighborhood. There is a likelihood that a child born and raised in a low-income household will also lack the education needed to get a better-paying job. There are statistics which suggest that children born to teen mothers are at greater risk of getting pregnant in their teens as well. And the vicious cycle continues.
- In a few cases, the abortion reasons may have nothing to do with the mother’s wishes but rather the father’s. Perhaps the husband or partner that she is with does not want her to continue with the pregnancy.
Abortion Reasons #2- Taboos About Sex
One of the reasons for abortion is to hide the very fact that sex has occurred. Not all cultures are open about sexuality. In several countries, young unmarried people are sexually active but do not want to be open about it either because it is still taboo or they do not want their parents to find out. So a pregnancy can be inconvenient and very scary in such a socially hostile environment. And an abortion is an easy way out, often the only option for a young and scared couple to live a normal life without judgment.
Abortion Reasons #3- Health Reasons
Some abortion reasons have to do with complications arising from the pregnancy. Women who get pregnant between 35 and 45 years of age are at higher risk of pregnancy complications, which may force them to get an abortion.
Danger to Mother’s Life – Some pregnancy complications can be very harmful for the mother. They may make her very, very sick and be potentially fatal. The only way to save her life would be to terminate the pregnancy. Even if there are no pregnancy complications, certain pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes would put the body under great duress, leading to a worsening of the condition or giving rise to a whole new set of complications. So while the baby may not be in any danger in such a case, the mother will just keep getting sicker and sicker. Examples of other pre-existing health conditions that make for good abortion reasons include cancer, HIV and autoimmune disorders.
Deformities in The Baby – Prenatal testing today can reveal incredible details about the developing foetus, to the point where it can tell you whether your baby will have any problems when it is born and even later in its life. If the baby is suffering from major deformities that will hamper its quality of life, it makes for one of the most emotionally painful abortion reasons. Sometimes, prenatal tests can even predict whether or not a pregnancy can come to full term. If there are complications that ascertain that the pregnancy will not make it through the whole nine months, the parents can choose to have an abortion rather than postpone the inevitable. Some of the health conditions that justify an abortion include spina bifida, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and anencephaly.
Abortion Reasons #4- Family Planning
Some women have an abortion for family planning reasons. There are two family planning scenarios that contribute to abortion reasons.
- You already have as many children as you want or can afford and do not want any more children.
- You have children already. You would like to have more. But the new pregnancy comes far too soon on the heels of your last child. There is research that shows that spacing the years between children is a good idea not just for the mother but for the kids as well. When there is a gap of at least 3 to 4 years between children, the mother has more time and attention to give to the baby in its formative years. Having kids too close together would have her tired, irritable, and possibly even resentful. It would also affect the children. Plus, having space between kids allows the older kids to be better siblings to the younger ones. There is also a marked reduction is sibling rivalry. So this is actually one of the better abortion reasons.
Abortion Reasons #5- Female Foeticide
In some cultures, a female child is unwanted. Maybe the family already has enough girls and they want a boy. Maybe they just do not want girls at all. If prenatal tests show that the baby is a girl, the family will not hesitate to use this as a reason to have an abortion.
Abortion Reasons #6- Mentally Unstable Mother
Abortion reasons are not limited to physical health alone. If the mother is psychologically unstable due to depression or some form of psychosis, for example, then it will not be fair to either the mother or the baby to go ahead with the pregnancy. The doctor presiding over the case needs to make this difficult call since the mother is in not state to make it herself.
Abortion Reasons #7- Pregnancies After Rape or Incest
A pregnancy arising out of rape is not desirable. This is one of the completely understandable abortion reasons and even the anti-abortion groups will steer clear of slamming this one. Rape is a traumatic experience that violates a woman at her very core and haunts her for the rest of her life. Having a baby of that trauma would be a constant tangible reminder of the incident. Less than 1% of all reported abortion reasons arise out of rape. The numbers may be higher. This is a hard statistic to come by since most rape victims have a deep sense of shame and feel to humiliated to share the real reasons for their abortion.
Many women who have abortions do not feel the need to explain themselves. And you should not have to either. Your abortion reasons are your own business and if you feel this is something you need to do then you should be allowed to do it under safe, hygienic conditions by a qualified doctor and without judgment or stigma. If you encounter a doctor who is not satisfied with your abortion reasons or feels that your abortion reasons are not valid, look elsewhere.
That being said, it is always better for your emotional health in the long run if you know why you are doing what you are doing. If you are not sure of your abortion reasons, try a little counseling so you can be more clear about you intention in having an abortion. Many women fail to have their abortion reasons down straight and they think they are fine. But the psychological effects of abortion can resurface years later, and if you do not know the reasons for your abortion, you may find it very hard to cope so far after the fact.