What is abortion?

In support of what is currently happening in Poland and in other countries, where abortion is not legal or restrictive, we stand by them and share knowledge about what abortion is, why it is necessary to be legal and the consequences of banning it.

In November we will look closely into abortion, starting today with explaining what abortion is and the types of methods in use.

First of all, we want to remind everyone that abortion is a human right and and every individual has the right to decide on the number and timing of their children, has the right to information about abortion and contraception and has the right to receive medical care before, during and after the abortion process.

Abortion represents the voluntarily ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. Abortion can be performed based on the following reasons:

  • On request (gestational age limit is different by country): malformations, rape, incest, out of personal choice

  • To save the woman’s life

  • To preserve the woman’s mental health

  • Broad social or economic grounds

How do I prepare for an abortion?

Pre-abortion care

Before the procedure of abortion can happen the patient undergoes pre-abortion care

1. Abortion counseling: patients need to be informed about every aspect before undergoing the procedure in a caring, non-judgemental and confidential way

  • Pregnancy options: abortion, giving birth and keeping the baby, giving birth and giving the baby to adoption

  • Abortion methods: medical or surgical

  • Risks and benefits for each method and for abortion in general

  • Emotional needs, coping abilities after the procedure is finished

  • Contraceptive options

  • After the counseling the patient needs to be able to provide voluntary informed consent

2. Medical evaluation of the pregnancy

  • Confirming the presence of a pregnancy through a urine test by analyzing the levels of beta human chorionic gonadotropin (𝛽hCG). High levels of 𝛽hCG are presented when an egg is fertilized and starts developing into an embryo and later into a fetus. Curios about the developmental process of a fetus and its size can be compared to various fruits? Check our previous articles!

  • Determination of gestational age. Each country has a different upper limit of gestational age where it is safe and legal to perform an abortion. The age of pregnancy can be determined through medical history (last period), gynecological examination (a pelvic examination can be up to 98% accurate if performed by an experienced physician), ultrasound (standard measure for determining the pregnancy location and gestational age)

  • Determination of 𝛽hCG levels. Levels of 𝛽hCG<5000 IU/I mean that pregnancy is less than 6 weeks

  • In case of finding an ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy (abnormal pregnancy where a fertilized egg develops into a mass and not into a viable fetus), the medical abortion (MA) is contraindicated as it has higher risks. Don’t know what an ectopic pregnancy is? We have a dedicated article for this topic!