Abortion is currently permissible in Victoria. Under the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, it is legal for a pregnancy to be terminated from conception until she is 24 weeks pregnant. Although it is performed infrequently, abortion after 24 weeks is permitted. It is lawful for two doctors to agree and provide consent that the termination of the pregnancy is suitable. They are required to reflect upon the woman’s medical situation, as well as her current and future physical, psychological and social wellbeing. This law removed the rights of the unborn child right up until birth.
Even more concerning, under Victorian law, a health practitioner who refuses to present abortion information must refer any woman in search of information about abortion to another doctor who does not object. Abortions must be performed in emergency circumstances by doctors and nurses, when it is a matter of preserving the mother’s life, even if they believe that abortion is morally sound. This piece of legislation is arguably one of the most radical pro-abortion laws in the world. It is, therefore, one of our organisation’s priorities to create change and influence the amendment of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.
The Effects of Abortion
About a third of all Australian women will have an abortion. Approximately 80000 surgical abortions take place annually in Australia. This amount does not include chemical abortions, such as the morning-after pill or RU-486. There are many reasons why women choose to abort their child. For example, lack of support from their parents or partners, falling pregnant as a result of sexual abuse, or a suspected disability in the child. However, evidence shows that approximately 97% of children who are aborted are perfectly healthy.
Possible Physical Side Effects
(information from http://americanpregnancy.org/unplannedpregnancy/possiblesideeffects.html)
The physical side effects after an abortion will vary from woman to woman. There are potential side effects and risks that you should be aware of. It is important to talk to a health professional as well as the doctor who will perform your abortion about possible side effects.
Your period should return about 4 – 6 weeks after the abortion and you can get pregnant again soon after the abortion. If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, it is important to take them as directed in order to help prevent infection.
Anticipated Physical Side Effects Following An Abortion:
The following is a list of side effects that are frequently experienced after an abortion. It is possible to experience these side effects for as long as 2 to 4 weeks following the procedure.
Potential, More Serious Complications Following An Abortion.
Although serious complications occur in fewer than 1 out of 100 first trimester abortions and approximately 1 out of every 50 late term abortions, it is important to be aware of the following risks:
- Heavy or persistent bleeding
- Infection or sepsis
- Damage to the cervix
- Scarring of the uterine lining
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to other organs
It is important to understand that these risks are rare and that some of these risks are associated with child birth. What matters is that you are aware that these risks exist as you strive to make an informed decision about your pregnancy.
Abortion Physical Side Effects: Call Your Doctor
If you have had an abortion, call your doctor and seek medical attention if your side effects become severe or if you experience any of the following:
- Severe abdominal and back pain that prohibits you from standing up
- Bleeding that is heavier than a normal menstrual period
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Fever above 100.4 F
- Continuing symptoms of pregnancy
Possible Emotional Side Effects
The emotional side effects of an abortion will vary from one woman to another. Some women report a sense of relief after having an abortion.
The reasons for relief also vary from woman to woman.
When talking about emotional side effects following an abortion, most people are wondering about negative side effects. Their question is, “What are the potential emotional or psychological risks following an abortion?”
Emotional and psychological effects are more common than physical side effects and can range from mild regret to more serious complications like depression.
It is important to discuss these risks with a trained professional who can address your questions and concerns.
Abortion and emotional side effect are just as real as physical side effects.
One important factor related to the vulnerability of negative emotional or psychological effects has to do with your belief about the baby inside. For those that believe it is not a baby until it is born, there have less of a chance of negative consequences. However for those who believe it is a baby versus just growing tissue they are more vulnerable for negative effects.
What Are The Potential Emotional And Psychological Sides Effects Following An Abortion?
The following is a list of potential emotional and psychological side effects of an abortion. The intensity or duration of these effects will vary from one person to another. Potential side effects include:
- Guilty feelings
- Sense of loneliness or isolation
- Loss of self confidence
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Relationship issues
- Suicidal thoughts and feelings
- Eating disorders
Are There Individuals Who Are More Prone To Experience Emotional Side Effects?
It is possible for anyone to experience an unexpected emotional or psychological side effect following an abortion. Women commonly report that the abortion procedure affected them more than they expected. However, some individuals are more susceptible to experiencing some type of emotional or psychological struggle. Women with a higher probability of having a negative emotional or psychological side effect include:
- Individuals with previous emotional or psychological issues
- Individuals who have been coerced, forced or persuaded to get an abortion
- Individuals with religious beliefs that conflict with abortion
- Individuals with moral or ethical views that conflict with abortion
- Individuals who obtain an abortion in the later stages of pregnancy
- Individuals without support from significant others or their partner
- Women obtaining an abortion for genetic or fetal abnormalities
What Are The Recommendations For Someone Considering An Abortion?
Get Help – Probably the most important thing you can do when facing an unplanned pregnancy is to communicate with trained professionals who can answer your questions and discuss your individual circumstances with you.
Avoid Isolation – If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you might have the tendency to withdraw from others, to keep the matter a secret and try to face the issue alone. Although it can be difficult, try to stay connected with family and friends who can support you. Too much isolation under these circumstances can lead to depression.
Evaluate Your Circumstances – Evaluate your circumstances to see if they include any of the situations listed previously regarding individuals who are more likely to experience one or more side effects. Discuss your situation with someone who can help you give you perspective and understanding.
Avoid Pressure – Avoid people who are pressuring you you to do what they think is best. Whether you opt to parent, place your baby, or have an abortion, you are the one who is going to have to live with your choice.
Talk to Others – See if you can find someone who has gone through an unplanned pregnancy or had an abortion to find out what it was like for them.