When something is done to end a pregnancy, it is called an ‘abortion’. The
unplanned loss of a pregnancy is called a ‘miscarriage’ or ‘spontaneous abortion.’
For more information about the causes of a miscarriage, see page 219.
Deciding to have an abortion can be hard. Some religions teach that abortion
is wrong, and in many countries abortion it is not legal or safe. But there are many
reasons a woman may try to have an abortion anyway. In making a decision, most
women will benefit from warm, respectful advice and friendly support. Here are
some examples of why a woman may want an abortion:
• She already has all the children she can care for.
• A pregnancy is a danger to her health or her life.
• She has no partner to help support the child.
• She wants to finish school.
• She does not want to have children.
• She got pregnant after being forced to have sex.
• Someone is forcing her to have an abortion.
Let women make their own choices
Some women choose to have a baby whether
or not they will have support. They may
choose to have a baby even when they
know the baby will have serious health
or disability problems. Many pregnant
women say: “I want THIS child!”
and are determined to find ways to
manage, whatever the difficulties.
I will be your friend
no matter what you
decide to do.
For some women, the conditions of
their lives or health make having a child
a bad choice, and they decide to have an
abortion. They may make this decision because they know they will not
have enough support to care for the child. Or because they know the baby
will have a disability or a serious health problem. Or they may find the idea of
having a child, with or without a disability, too difficult to deal with.
Deciding to have a baby is a personal choice all women should be able
to make. Whatever your own beliefs, try not to judge a woman if she does
something you do not agree with. Care for her with compassion and treat her
as you would want yourself or your daughter to be treated.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007