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How to talk about abortion

The recent attacks on bodily autonomy highlight the importance of speaking about abortion using medically accurate and inclusive language. We summarized a guide provided by The American College of Obstreticians and Gynecologists. For a more comprehensive list check out their page.

Basic Facts

  1. Abortion is Safe. Only 2% of *women who received an abortion experienced complications. Abortion-related complications are mostly minor and are treatable.

  2. Emergency contraception and abortion are not the same. Emergency contraception PREVENTS pregnancy and is used before the egg and sperm meets.

  3. People can get pregnant after an abortion. Evidence show that there is no association between abortion and risk of infertility.

  4. Abortion does not cause breast cancer.

  5. 95% of *women report that abortion was the right decision.

  6. Being denied of abortion leads to greater stress than receiving an abortion. A study by UCSF found that women who sought abortion and were refused treatment had higher stress levels than those who received an abortion. 

  7. Abortion reversal is NOT safe and effective. This procedure performed in crisis pregnancy centers have not been proven to be safe or effective by scientific testing.

*Trans men and non-binary people seek abortions, but the studies mentioned in this page only studied women which is why we used a binary language

Abortion FAQs

Why is abortion a component of comprehensive medical care?​
"Access to the full spectrum of maternal, sexual and reproductive health care options, including abortion, is important for people’s health, safety and wellbeing. Similar to birth control, prenatal check-ups, Pap smears and STI testing, abortion is one of many forms of care that doctors provide for people of reproductive age."
Why should opposing views on abortion not interfere with doctor-patient decisions?
"People should be able to access the health care they need without medically unnecessary barriers or restrictions, and doctors should be able to offer that care without interference or fear of being criminalized or otherwise punished. Physicians are trained to provide a complete range of evidence-based reproductive health care services, including abortion. Criminalizing doctors for doing their jobs also harms people who need access to this care...By stoking fear and confusion among clinicians, restrictive laws and bans also interfere with the ability of obstetrician-gynecologists to provide patients with other needed care related to pregnancy."
Do restrictive  laws increase healthcare inequality and inequity?
Yes. Systemic inequities in the health care system and society target communities of color, especially Black communities, and people with lower incomes. As a result, they struggle to access comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion. Inability to obtain an abortion has serious long-term consequences on people’s lives, health, and well-being. When access to reproductive health care is restricted, people with low incomes and those from communities already subject to structural barriers to care experience those effects most profoundly. Obstetrician–gynecologists must be able to offer care without restrictions that further widen the health care gap and inequities in health outcomes.
Do gestational age bans affect risks for patients?
Restrictions on abortion care, like gestational age limits, can increase the risks of damage to the patient's physical and/or mental health. In some cases, these restrictions make abortion inaccessible altogether. People should be able to access comprehensive reproductive health care without medically unnecessary regulations. Abortion is a safe medical intervention. Forcing people to continue their pregnancies by banning access to abortion exposes them to the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

Debunking Common Anti-Abortion Rhetoric 

On October 26, Autumn Higashi, a known anti-choice speaker, came to the University of Washington campus for her Planned Parenthood Betrays Women tour. Several Green Wave members attended the event to document her talking points. On November 2, Seattle Green Wave hosted a Myth Busting event to review Higashi's main points and debunk her false claims. Below includes the slides and sources that were shared.

If the embedded link does not work click here.

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