Deciding to have an abortion is not always an easy thing for a woman to do, and it can take time to make a decision that feels right for you.
The important thing to remember is that it is your body and your choice to continue with a pregnancy or not.
Some women find it very helpful to talk things through with someone, such as a trusted friend or family member, or a nurse or counsellor at a young person’s or sexual health clinic.
Here are some things to consider:
- Will you have to give up school or work if you have a baby?
- Do you have a suitable place to live?
- What kind of support would you get from families and friends?
- Will you have enough money?
Getting an abortion:
To have a free abortion on the NHS you can get an appointment in a number of ways:
- you can be referred by your GP surgery
- by a nurse in a sexual health clinic
- or by a nurse at a young persons clinic
You can also refer yourself to a private abortion clinic. However if you refer yourself, check with the private clinic first whether you have to pay or not, as you can sometimes get a free NHS abortion at these clinics.
How long will the wait be?
If the referral is for an NHS abortion it can take a few weeks before the abortion will take place.
If you go privately, for example with Marie Stopes or the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, there will be a shorter waiting time.
Going to a doctor
If you think or know you are pregnant and don’t think you can have a baby it is important that you speak to a healthcare professional as soon as possible, especially if you are considering having a abortion.
Some doctors have a moral objection to abortion and choose not to refer their patients for one, but they must let the woman know of their objections and refer her to another doctor.
All women can access information on pregnancy choices free on the NHS. A number of those women wishing to have an abortion will be referred to a private healthcare provider but the care will be covered free on the NHS, whilst some of the women will have their abortion within the NHS system.
There might be regional variations that depend on the health and well-being of the woman, her age, and how far advanced the pregnancy is.
If you do decide to have an abortion it's better for your health to have it earlier on in the pregnancy because there are more types of abortions that can be offered to you.
Remember: ignoring the fact that you're pregnant isn't going to make it go away. If you've got doubts about your choices it's probably better to talk to someone - increasing your options is always a good thing.
Abortions at a private practice
Some women prefer to have an abortion through a private clinic because generally there is a shorter waiting time. Going privately an abortion can cost between £450 and £1,775, depending on which stage of pregnancy the woman is at.
Depending on where you live in the UK and how old you are there are certain legal limits to consider ››