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.
Abortion is a common and safe medical procedure. But abortion is surrounded by stigma in our society.
The Goodbye Stigma Summit
Watch powerful video "mic drops" from the Goodbye Stigma Summit event.
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.
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 explains how access to safe, legal abortion allowed her to finish college and law school, and fulfill her dreams and goals.
Planned Parenthood helped this patient feel respected and safe. Here she recounts her story of accessing an abortion with dignity, autonomy, and without stigma.
For more information about abortion, visit plannedparenthood.org.
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.
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.
Updates on Abortion Policies and Litigation from Kaiser Family Foundation
Key Facts on Abortion in the United States from Kaiser Family Foundation
- The Hill: Planned Parenthood president says abortion work shouldn't be marginalized
- The Washington Post: Planned Parenthood president: Saying abortion is a small part of what group does is stigmatizing
- Refinery 29: This Is The Perfect Reason To Have An Abortion
- Sara: My Story of Care
- Slate: The Abortions We Don’t Talk About
- USA Today: I'm a Catholic obstetrician who had an abortion. This is not politics or religion. It's life.
- CareMatters: 1 in 4 American women will have an abortion by age 45
- Bustle: How Women’s Abortion Stories Are Shattering Stigma Around The Procedure
- Women's Health: 'I Had An Abortion At 23 Weeks—This Is What It Was Like'
- Cosmopolitan: How Abortion Makes It Onto Television: 10 TV Writers Share Behind-the-Scenes Stories
- The New Yorker: Why Its Become So Difficult to Get an Abortion
- CNN: 'Pro-voice' Replaces Judgment with Conversation
- Buzzfeed: 41 Things Abortion Providers Want You to Know
- CareMatters: Survivor of a pre-Roe v. Wade abortion
- Washington Post: Abortion can be a lonely experience, which is why I openly talk about mine
- Romper: Things no one will tell you about your abortion, but I will
- Glamour: Lindy West
- We Testify: Amanda William
- 1 in 3 Campaign: Alyssa
- The Belle Jar: I am a man and I had an abortion
- Why it’s become so hard to get an abortion
- Advocates for Youth: Abortion and Stigma
Abortion in the Media
- Jezebel: We're Seeing More Abortions Depicted on TV, But It's Not Necessarily Helping the Cause
- VOX: How TV lied about abortion
- Aljazeera: How shame and silence meet in control of women’s bodies
- Washington Post: Five years after an abortion, most women say they made the right decision
- Truthout: Attempts to Restrict Insurance Coverage Are Abortion Stigma at Work
- Broadly: Here's How TV Depicted Abortion Stories This Year
- Bustle: The TV Shows That Addressed Abortion In 2018 Highlighted The Experiences Of Women Of Color
- Vanity Fair: How Jane the Virgin crafted the perfect abortion story line
- MTV News: Combating abortion stigma, one show at a time
- Bustle: How television handled abortion in 2016
- Abortion in Pop Culture: From “Fast Times” and “Maude” to “Dirty Dancing" and "Scandal"
- A24Films: Obvious Child
- Newsweek: My Life As An Abortion Provider
- New York Times: Early abortion looks nothing like what you've been told
Intersection of Abortion and Religion
- Slate: The Faith-Based Case for Saving Abortion Rights
- The New York Times: Er, Can I Ask a Few Questions About Abortion?
- National Catholic Reporter: AOC embraces reproductive justice, and other Catholics should, too
- CNN: 'I had an abortion': 'Pro-voice' replaces judgment with conversation
- Refinery 29: I provide abortion care because I am a Christian
- Bustle: This feminist rabbi is dismantling the abortion vs religion debate
- The Daily Beast: I am a minister and a mother — and I had an abortion
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