Abortion opponents have aggressively deceived women about abortion to frighten women and make them feel guilty. Some of the deceptive information about abortion includes: the claim that abortion causes breast cancer, psychological problems, and infertility. These myths are not based on scientific fact. One of the ways that abortion opponents get this information to women are at so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These "fake clinics” are not medical facilities, although they pass themselves off as medical facilities. The information given to women is not legitimate medicalinformation based on scientific fact.
Myth 1 - "Post-Abortion Syndrome"
Groups against abortion and so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers (fake clinics) have heavily promoted that having an abortion damages women psychologically. The American Psychological Association (APA) released a report in 2008, indicating that there is no solid scientific evidence that abortion causes mental distress in women. The APA study is a scientific refutation of the fiction, promoted by anti-abortion activists for several decades, that having an abortion harms women’s mental health. To read more about the "post-abortion syndrome” and the APA study, go to the National Women’s Health Network’s 2008 fact sheet.
In 2010, the Alan Guttmacher Institute issued a news release about a study that further debunks the myth that women have psychological problems following an abortion. Essentially, the Guttmacher Institute concluded that there was no scientific evidence that abortion causes psychological problems.
We know that women have a wide variety of feelings after an abortion. Women may feel relief or sadness, depending upon their life circumstances and possibly the reason they chose an abortion. The range of feelings that women experience following abortion does not mean that they made the wrong decision.
Myth 2 - "Abortion Is Dangerous"
Anti-abortion extremists have tried to scare women about abortion by declaring that abortion is unsafe. One in three American women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Abortion is one of the most common and safest medical procedures provided in the United States today. Approximately 1.3 million women have an abortion per year, and 90% are in the first trimester of pregnancy. Less than 1% of abortions result in serious complications. Abortion is about 10 times safer than childbirth.
Myth 3 - "Abortion Causes Breast Cancer"
Those who have opposed abortion have launched fearful campaigns that assert that women who have had abortions are more prone to cancer. There is no scientific truth that there is a relationship between abortion and breast cancer. Click here to read the National Women’s Health Network fact sheet that dispels this myth from a 2003 study.
Myth 4 - "Abortion Is Always A Difficult Decision"
The circumstances that lead to abortion are different for every person. For some people, deciding to terminate a pregnancy is simple. For others, it's complex. There is no one right way to decide to have an abortion.
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