Common Questions and Myths

Read about common questions and myths such as:

If I have an abortion, will I be able to get pregnant again?

Does abortion cause an increased risk of breast cancer?

Is there a post-abortion syndrome?

Making an Informed Choice

We want you to be able to make an informed decision, no matter what option you may choose. The information in these pages can help you think through your options.

Abortion: ending your pregnancy.
Adoption: giving someone else the legal right and responsibility to raise your child.
Parenthood: carrying the pregnancy to term and raising your child.

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For information and financial assistance, call the NAF hotline:


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Common Questions and Myths

//Common Questions and Myths

In very marked contrast to most other medical procedures, the inflation-adjusted cost of an abortion has remained relatively stable over time, despite increased restrictions and a decline in demand. In fact, abortion providers have maintained lower than average fees for care compared with physicians in other specialties. Many clinicians provide this care because they know the difference it can make in a woman’s life.

Most providers require patients to make an appointment.

Trying to end a pregnancy by self-aborting can be very dangerous to your life, health, and ability to have children in the future. You may injure yourself or die if you attempt to self-abort. Call the NAF Hotline 1-800-772-9100 for help and learn about the safe options available to you.

It is possible to get pregnant right after an abortion, even before you have had a period. To prevent a pregnancy, talk to your provider about birth control methods that you can use immediately after an abortion.

Your parents, partner, or friends may influence your feelings about having an abortion, however, the decision to have an abortion is yours. If you are feeling pressure to have an abortion, talk to clinic staff about your concerns.

Many religious and spiritual organizations respect a woman’s right to choose and are pro-choice because of their religious beliefs. For more information, visit the Religious Coalition for Reproductive ChoiceSacred Choices, or Catholics for Choice.

More than one-third of women in the United States will have an abortion before age 45. Women who have abortions come from all walks of life. Some of them got pregnant while using birth control. Some are survivors of sexual assault. They are all ages and all races.

Women get pregnant under a variety of circumstances and each has different reasons for having an abortion.

In February 2003, the National Cancer Institute convened a symposium of over 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and the risk of breast cancer. They concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. A summary of their findings can be found on the American Cancer Society website.

The most reliable indicator of whether a woman will experience feelings of distress after an abortion is her emotional stability before the abortion. Women indicate that the most common feeling after the completion of an abortion is relief. While some women also experience a sense of loss, sadness, or grief, having an abortion is not associated with long-term psychological distress.

Abortion is very safe and is at least 10 times safer than childbirth.

Safe abortions do not result in scar tissue. After recovery from an abortion without complications, there will be no physical sign of your choice.

Having an abortion will not prevent you from having a healthy pregnancy when you are ready.

Yes.  Abortion is legal in the United States and Canada.

No.  However, some states have laws that require a minor to involve her parents in the decision to have an abortion.

No.  The Supreme Court has ruled that requiring a spouse’s consent in order to have an abortion is unconstitutional. You may decide to tell your husband or partner, but the clinic will not contact him.

Yes.  The provider will require proof of identity, but your citizenship is irrelevant. Immigration Services will not be notified.

There are several ways to find a clinic. You can call NAF Hotline referral line 1-877-257-0012  or use our provider map.

Yes. State laws, a woman’s individual medical circumstances, and the availability of providers can all impact the accessibility of abortion care. Call the NAF Hotline referral line 1-877-257-0012 for more information on the gestational limits in your state or for help finding a provider.

Yes. The morning-after pill (also known as Emergency Contraception, EC, Preven, or Plan B) prevents pregnancy and does not cause an abortion. It prevents fertilization of an egg or attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterine wall. The abortion pill (also known as RU-486, medical abortion, Mifeprex®, or mifepristone) terminates an already established pregnancy when used in combination with another medication.

There is some discomfort associated with both medical and aspiration abortion, as with most medical procedures. Most women describe it as uncomfortable but bearable cramping.

Medical and aspiration abortion are both safe and effective methods to end a pregnancy. Neither is better than the other. The process involved is different. Some women will prefer one over the other and some women might have medical conditions that would result in her provider recommending one over the other.

Some private physicians offices choose to offer the abortion pill so you should check with your practitioner’s office to see if they do. If they do not offer the abortion pill, call the NAF Hotline for assistance in finding a medical abortion provider.

Although you may be able to receive financial assistance from local or national abortion funds, it is unusual to obtain care cost-free. Call the NAF Hotline for more information on funding assistance.

Almost two-thirds of insurance companies cover elective abortion to some degree. Contact your insurance company to find out if you are covered.

At this time, military health plans cover abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.

Medicaid is only required to cover abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. However, some states do cover abortion as part of their Medicaid policies.