How safe is abortion?

Aspiration Abortion: When abortion was illegal it was a very unsafe procedure. This is because people often did the procedure under unsanitary conditions or with no medical training. However, since legalization, abortion has become one of the safest surgical procedures available. In the first three months (first trimester), 97% of women report no complications, 2.5% report minor problems that can be handled in a doctor’s office and less than 0.5% require hospitalization for complications. To put this in perspective, abortion is at least 10 times safer than pregnancy and childbirth.  Complication rates are a little higher in the second trimester, but the procedure remains very safe.

Medical Abortion: The medications have been safely used around the world since 1988. Medical abortion is at least 10 times safer than continuing a pregnancy.

Details on the risks are outlined on the Surgical Abortion and Medical Abortion pages.


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