Click poster to enlarge

My Body My Right.

Click here to get CPS posters

Not all women think abortion is cool for themselves, but all women have the right to make this choice.

Abortion is a simple medical procedure which ends a pregnancy. Throughout history, around the world, and in many religions, women have used abortion as a part of our healthcare. Other options for an unplanned pregnancy include adoption or keeping the child.

access to abortion

In the United States it is legal for a woman to get an abortion. But as a minor, you may need to ask your parents first. If you think they'll be supportive, definitely tell them. In some states you can get an abortion without telling your parents. In others, there are Parental Consent or Parental Notification laws.  Check with the Abortion Hotline (1-800-772-9100 or www.prochoice.org) for info on restrictions in your state. (See Parental Consent for a list of state laws).

parental consent

Parental Consent laws mean that you will need to get permission from a parent or guardian if you are under a certain age, usually 18. Some laws allow for permission from another adult family member.

Parental Notification laws mean that you have to tell a parent or guardian if you are under a certain age, usually 18, but legally you don't need their permission. Unfortunately, many clinics still won't do the abortion unless your parents give permission.

If you are thinking about an abortion and live where there is a Parental Consent or Notification law, it's a good idea to call a clinic that does abortions. They can help you to get a "judicial bypass" to the law by explaining your situation to a judge. The judge can give permission for the abortion. But this can take time, so call right away. You can also go to a state without these laws, if you can't tell your parents.

Parental Consent laws are state laws. So get involved in your state! Contact Choice USA to find, or start, a pro-choice group at your school (www.choiceUSA.org).

women choose abortion for many reasons:

  • we can't handle having a baby right now
  • our parents would be angry or disappointed; we might get kicked out of the house
  • having a baby might screw up finishing high school, going to college, or having a career
  • the father is not going to help
  • we don't have the money to take care of a baby
  • having a baby isn't healthy for us or the baby
  • we may have gotten pregnant by rape or incest

Any reason we have for choosing abortion is a good reason. These are our bodies and our lives. No one has the right to force us to have a baby, or to punish us for liking sex.


  getting an abortion

First, make sure that you are pregnant. Read our page on Pregnancy, get tested, or get Emergency Contraception (if you just had unprotected sex).

There are several groups listed under Women's Healthcare in the Resources which can help you find a safe abortion clinic, pregnancy test, or help with money for an abortion.

If you choose a clinic on your own, watch out for bogus clinics like Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These clinics seem like real health clinics, but aren't. They are run by anti-abortion groups and will try to scare you out of having an abortion. These fake clinics are listed in the yellow pages under Abortion Alternatives. Real clinics are listed as Abortion Services.

NEVER have an illegal abortion -- like one done in someone's home or by swallowing poisons! Abortion is safe when done in a legal clinic or hospital.

Although any medical operation can be scary, abortion has few risks. It can involve some cramping, and light bleeding afterward. It's a good idea to bring a friend along for support.

When you call to make an appointment ask:
  • Do you need to tell your parents or get their permission first?
  • Do they provide counseling and answer questions?
  • Do they speak your native language?
  • What should you bring with you?
  • What are the possible risks and side effects?
  • What type of anesthesia do they use? (Local anesthesia is best, because you will be awake during the operation, and it's safer, easier to recover from, and costs less.)
  • How much does it cost?
  • Will they take a check or only cash?
  • Do they have a payment plan or reduced prices if you can't afford it?

Abortions cost $350 or more. The costs and health risks increase after the first 3 months of pregnancy. And it's harder to get an abortion after 3 months, so get help soon! If you can't pay for an abortion, the Abortion Hotline will help you find a low-cost clinic and can sometimes help with money (see Resources).

(medical abortion)

RU486 is a newer way to end a pregnancy using medication instead of surgery. It must be done in the first 9 weeks after your last period started. You need to go to a health clinic to get the first pill or shot. A few days later, you will take another medication, which causes your uterus to contract and helps the pregnancy tissue to pass from your uterus. Within a week, you will begin to bleed like when you have your period. You may feel something like menstrual cramps, be tired or be sick to your stomach. You must go back to the clinic after about 2 weeks for a follow-up visit to make sure everything worked.

The cost for an RU486 (medical) abortion is about the same as an early surgical abortion. But there are some other differences between the two types of abortions:

  • RU486 doesn't use anesthesia or surgery
  • RU486 is done very early in the pregnancy
  • depending on where you live, it may be easier to get RU486 than a surgical abortion
| < | Contents | > |

not all women think abortion is cool for themselves but all women have the right to make this choice abortion is safe when done in a legal clinic or hospital real clinics are listed as Abortion Services

| JustSayYes | LetsTalk | Resources | TalkBack | Search | Home | Get CPS Stuff |

The Coalition for Positive Sexuality (CPS) is a grassroots, not-for-profit, activist organization. CPS is funded through donations and grants. Please help us to continue providing teens with candid sex education materials, and this website, by making a tax-deductible donation. Email us to find out how to donate.

Copyright © 1997 Coalition for Positive Sexuality