22 Nov 2016
Let’s Talk Abortion: Your Body, Mind and Health
Lately there has been a lot of buzz around abortion laws potentially changing in America. Though some people believe that abortion is wrong because it is terminating the life of a fetus, many are pro-choice, believing that only the mother who will have to carry and birth the child should be concerned about whether she wants to keep the child or not. I am personally pro choice and believe each woman should have the choice of what to do with her body, and so here is some information so that women can make some informed decisions on their own.
When conducted in a developed country where abortion is legal, it is an extremely safe procedure that will terminate the life of the fetus. Legal safe abortions use medication or surgery depending on the stage of the pregnancy and should not cause any kind of problems. (Illegal abortions that are not performed by certified doctors however, can be very dangerous). Some reasons why women may choose to have an abortion are that the child was created out of rape or incest, the pregnancy puts the mother in physical danger, the mother is very sick (e.g. cancer or aids), the parent cannot afford a child or does not want to have children at that time or ever. Children who are unwanted are at risk for being unhappy, unhealthy and live in poverty in their life; furthermore these children are often at greater risk for becoming criminals. So, sometimes, if someone doesn’t want to have children it is maybe for the best they don’t. Some people may want to have sex selective abortions: aborting a child because of their sex. This has been partially responsible for higher rates of male births in countries where having a son is considered to be more desirable. For the most part this is not only considered highly immoral, but having an unequal population of males vs females can cause many societal problems to the country later on. There are many organizations that take action to prevent this type of abortion, and research shows that promotion gender equality is more successful at reducing this than reduced access to abortions.
Though abortions done by professionals are one of the safest medical procedures (having no more risk than giving birth), as with any procedure there can be some side effects. Here are some of the possible complications that may arise and how to deal with them.
Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal and can even last up to 4 weeks. Things like exercise, drinking alcohol, and taking aspirin, can increase this bleeding. However if you are bleeding to the point that you are bleeding through a pad every half hour for more than two weeks you should call your clinic/doctor.
Cramps: Cramps are normal and can last up to three weeks. These can be alleviated in the same way that period cramps can be alleviated: taking acetaminophen and or ibuprofen, using a heating pad, drinking warm liquids and in some cases you may be prescribed with codeine.
Breasts: With hormonal changes, breast can become swollen, hard and painful. Discharge can also come out of the nipples. This should resolve soon and in the mean time you can use pain killers (e.g. Tylenol)| and ice packs to ease the pain.
Here are some observations to make the healing process easier: For one week do not use tampons, go in swimming pools or baths or engage in sexual intercourse to avoid infection. Avoid alcohol for 24 hours after the abortion. Remember that fertility can come back as quickly as one week after the procedure, so stay protected.
Emotional reactions: it is entirely normal to feel upset, sad, confused, or angry after the procedure. Making sure you have someone to talk to during this process is always a good thing. If you have negative emotional symptoms that last over two weeks or are incredibly intense, or if you are having suicidal thoughts, please speak to a professional so that you can get counselling. This is not normal as for the most part abortions have been shown to have little mental effect on woman, with most of those who chose the procedure to feel confident in their choice.
At the end of the day, only you can choose what feels right for your body. If you are unsure, ask yourself how you feel about becoming a parent, how a child will affect your finances, schooling, job, personal life, and if you will be able to give the child appropriate care. You may also ask yourself if you feel able to go through the procedure based on your personal morals. Every woman is different and that is ok. You should not make a decision based on pressure from others, guilt, desire to do what families and friends or your doctors think is right – whether in one direction or another. Some women have unwanted pregnancies and end up being completely happy to have kept the child, while for others they feel very happy having made a decision to have an abortion. Of course this is not an easy decision for all which is why it is so important to be surrounded by healthcare professionals, friends and family who will be supportive no matter your decision.
What are your thoughts? Drop me a line below!
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