Why do women seek abortions?


The decision to have an abortion ultimately comes down to a woman’s decision not to continue with a pregnancy. Reasons for abortion vary and can include that the woman:
• does not want a child.
• does not want a child right now: she may feel she is too old, too young, or that she wants to focus on her education or career.
• has completed her family or wants to delay having her next child.
• cannot afford the financial cost of having a child (or another child).
• is homeless or experiencing other serious challenges such as illness or addiction.

Other reasons women seek abortions include that the pregnancy resulted from rape or coercion, or that the woman is in a violent relationship and doesn’t feel that it is safe to have a child. A small number of wanted pregnancies end in abortion because of a devastating fetal diagnosis.

A woman may experience more than one of these reasons when making the decision to have an abortion[1].

[1] Based on clinical experience from Family Planning NSW and Women’s Health NSW. See also Finer L, Frohwirth L, Dauphinee L, Singh S, Moore A. Reasons U.S.women have abortions. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2005;7(3):110-118. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1363/3711005; Starrs A, Ezeh A, Barker G, Basu A, Bertrand J, Blum R, Coll-Seck A, Grover A, Laski L, Roa M, Sathar Z, Say L, Serour G, Singh S, Stenberg K, Temmerman M, Biddlecom A, Popinchalk A, Summers, C, Ashford L. Accelerate progress – sexual and reproductive health and rights for all: report of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2018;391:2660. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30293-9.