BASIC FACTS ABOUT ABORTION

What is an abortion? Abortion is not a method of contraception. Contraception prevents pregnancy. An induced abortion is a medical procedure that terminates, or ends, a pregnancy. Sometimes, abortion is called a ‘termination of pregnancy’.

If your contraception rails, or you have unprotected sex, you could become pregnant. If you are two weeks overdue for a period and there is a chance that you could be pregnant, you will need to have a pregnancy test. You can buy a urine pregnancy test kit from the chemist and do it yourself at home, or you can have it done at a local doctor’s surgery, a Family Planning Centre, a Women’s Health Centre, a chemist, or in some hospital outpatient departments. If you take a urine sample for testing make sure that the sample is from the first time you go to the toilet in the morning and it’s in a very clean jar. If you see a doctor you may also have a blood test or a pelvic exam to check for pregnancy.

If it turns out that you are pregnant and you didn’t plan to be, you may feel very confused. Many people say ‘I never thought this would happen to me!’ Sometimes things seem to happen so quickly once you find out, that it’s hard to know what to do. It is really important to talk to someone about the choices you have. Your local doctor or someone at a Family Planning Centre will be able to help you.

Generally your choices are to have the baby and keep it or have the baby and offer it for adoption or foster care. Depending on where you live in Australia, and what is happening in your life, you may also choose to have an abortion.

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