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What are the Pros and Cons of an Abortion?

By B. Schreiber
Updated May 17, 2024
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The pros and cons of an abortion depend on a number of factors unique to each individual. Life goals, such as continuing education or career paths, are often important influences on the decision. The financial implications of both abortion and pregnancy also vary among individuals, depending on their plans and stage of life. Advantages of abortion include relatively greater freedom to follow plans, being financially secure, and maintaining social ties. Disadvantages could include the immediate cost, possible physical side effects, and damage to relationships.

An unwanted pregnancy can have dramatic implications for a woman's identity or self-image, which can be an important individual factor in the pros and cons of an abortion. Carrying a fetus to term or raising a child can be a challenge to educational goals such as college of vocational school,or to a career already in progress. Having an abortion can make it easier to pursue such plans and with less interruption. For young people, it is also more likely to lead to financial security and independence at a younger age. Still, planning for adoption can minimize disruptions to long-term plans while making abortion unnecessary.

There are also financial pros and cons of an abortion. One negative aspect of an abortion is the immediate cost, which can range from hundreds to possibly thousands of dollars. Abortions in the first trimester tend to cost a few hundred dollars, while later abortions can cost much more, especially if they involve medical conditions or if they must be performed in a hospital. On the other hand, having an abortion avoids the serious long-term financial commitment of having a child, which generally lasts 18 years. Infants and growing children require food and clothing, health care, and education.

Abortion, pregnancy, and childbirth have different health effects that affect the pros and cons of an abortion. One factor in favor of abortion is that it is generally safer than childbirth. Nevertheless, abortions can have negative health effects such as bleeding or infection. Major complications of abortions are relatively rare. Negative psychological effects of abortion vary among individuals, but could include guilt, anxiety, or regret. Conversely, some experience relief after an abortion because of the potentially life-altering implications of having a child.

The pros and cons of an abortion may also be determined by social considerations. Some may worry that their reputation might be harmed if they are found out to be pregnant or if they have a child. Having an abortion can have positive or negative effects on a relationship with a significant other, the significant other's family, or a woman's own friends and family. The social repercussions of an abortion vary greatly among individual situations and depend on the situation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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