Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Abortion - Reasons Women Choose Abortion

The decision to continue your pregnancy or to end it is very personal.

Each year, nearly 1.2 million American women have an abortion to end a pregnancy.2

The most common reasons women consider abortion are:

  • Birth control (contraceptive) failure. Over half of all women who have an abortion used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.2
  • Inability to support or care for a child.
  • To end an unwanted pregnancy.
  • To prevent the birth of a child with birth defects or severe medical problems. Such defects are often unknown until routine second-trimester tests are done.
  • Pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
  • Physical or mental conditions that endanger the woman's health if the pregnancy is continued.

In the United States, 9 out of 10 abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks (first trimester) of pregnancy. Most of these are done within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy.2

Very few abortions are done after 16 weeks of pregnancy. But some women have to delay abortions because they have trouble with paying for, finding, or traveling to an abortion specialist.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 05, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    Couple with troubles
    Article
    Bone density illustration
    VIDEO
     
    Young woman being vaccinated
    Slideshow
    woman holding hand to ear
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    mother and daughter talking
    Evaluator
     
    intimate couple
    Article
    puppy eating
    Slideshow