Legal abortion is a relatively safe procedure, particularly when performed early in pregnancy and by experienced doctors. There are in fact less risks associated with early abortion than with continuing a pregnancy and child birth.
However, no clinical procedures are completely free from risk; the information below summarises some of the principle risks. More serious complications are rare. If a woman has particular concerns, though, she should talk these through with her doctor.
Several studies have shown that having an abortion does not lead to psychological problems. Although women may regret having to have an abortion the vast majority find that they have no emotional problems after it.
A small number - about 3% - have long-term feelings of guilt and some of these feel that the abortion was a mistake. But for these women the unwanted pregnancy was usually one of many problems in their lives, and these problems continued after the abortion. There is some evidence that for most of these women not having the abortion would not have improved their situation or might have made it worse.
Many women feel relieved once it is over and, looking back, view the decision to end the pregnancy as regrettable but necessary.
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