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Abortion is a common and safe medical procedure. But abortion is surrounded by stigma in our society. 

Stigma keeps people silent about their personal experiences, and silence feeds public complacency with political attacks and destructive myths. Help us say goodbye to stigma by learning more.

The Goodbye Stigma Summit 

Watch powerful video "mic drops" from the Goodbye Stigma Summit event.

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Tell Me More: Abortion Stigma

Tell Me More: Abortion Stigma Tell Me More: Abortion Stigma

Tell Me More: Abortion Stigma

Planned Parenthood supporter Kenny Goldberg interviews Vice President of Strategy Rebecca Karpinski on a brief history of how abortion has become stigmatized and breaking the silence around abortion.

Jessy's Story

Patient and Supporter: Jessy Patient and Supporter: Jessy

Jessy's Story

This young woman was terrified when she found out she was pregnant. But she was able to get the abortion care she needed at Planned Parenthood. She is sharing her story to end the shame and stigma surrounding this common medical procedure.

Erin's Story

Patient and Supporter: Erin Patient and Supporter: Erin

Erin's Story

Erin explains how access to safe, legal abortion allowed her to finish college and law school, and fulfill her dreams and goals.

#ShoutYourAbortion stories

#ShoutYourAbortion stories volume 14 #ShoutYourAbortion stories volume 14

#ShoutYourAbortion stories

Planned Parenthood helped this patient feel respected and safe. Here she recounts her story of accessing an abortion with dignity, autonomy, and without stigma.

 What You Should Know

  • 1 in 4 American women will have an abortion by age 45. Additionally, we know that trans and nonbinary people also need access to abortion care and must be included in the conversation.

  • Abortion stigma is often linked to other forms of stigma in our society: stigma around sexuality, intimate partner violence, gender identity, mental health, or alcohol and drug use.

  • Everyone’s abortion story is unique. How each of us experience abortion is affected by our culture, class, faith, personal circumstances, life experience, and what those around us say.

  • Sharing stories is one of the most effective ways to reduce stigma and prejudice. As more people find safe ways to share their stories with friends and family, the harder it is to stigmatize abortion.

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Myths and Facts About Abortion

Who has abortions?

About half of all pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unintended, and 4 in 10 of these are ended by medically safe, legal abortions — which means that people, of different ages and backgrounds, experience abortion. 60% of people who terminate a pregnancy already have children, and 73% are religiously affiliated.

Why do people have abortions?

People have many reasons for deciding to terminate a pregnancy. 75% cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; 73% say they cannot afford a child; 69% say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or the ability to care for existing children; 48% say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their partner; and 38% do not want more kids.

People may not be ready to be a parent yet, worry that the pregnancy will harm their health, or they may be focused on wanting  to be the best parent possible to the kids they already have. No matter what the scenario is, choosing to have an abortion is valid and the only person who should decide if, when, and under what circumstances to start a family is you. 

Is abortion dangerous?

A first-trimester abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with minimal risk. In fact, at  any stage in gestation, carrying a pregnancy to term is more risky (at least 10x) than terminating a pregnancy. First-trimester abortions pose virtually no risk of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, birth defect, or preterm delivery or low birth weight of subsequent pregnancies. Exhaustive reviews by panels convened by the U.S. and British governments have concluded that there is no association between abortion and breast cancer, or any other cancers. The risk of mental health problems is no greater for someone having a first-trimester abortion than if they carry a pregnancy to term.

Dr. David Preskill discusses abortion stigma Dr. David Preskill discusses abortion stigma