Frequently Asked Questions
Common questions you might encounter about abortion, and how to address them.
Abortion Access FAQs
- Abortion is a component of comprehensive medical care. Access to the full spectrum of maternal, sexual, and reproductive health care options, including abortion, is important for people’s health, safety, and well-being. Any limitation to the medical care that is available to our patients, including reproductive health care, leaves them at risk of physical and emotional harm and even death.
- All people should be able to access the health care they need, including abortion. Obstetrician–gynecologists should be able to offer that care without interference or fear of being criminalized or otherwise punished.
- Access to high-quality, safe, evidence-based medical care is one of our foundational principles. Abortion is a component of comprehensive medical care.
- While people may have differing views about abortion, those views must not interfere with the relationship between people and their physicians.
- As the premier professional membership organization for obstetrician–gynecologists, we advocate for all people to have access to the health care they need, which includes abortion, and for obstetrician–gynecologists to be able to offer that care without interference or fear of being jailed, sued, fined, or otherwise punished.
- Obstetrician–gynecologists are trained to provide a complete range of evidence-based reproductive health care services, including abortion.
- Restrictive laws and bans on abortion that criminalize doctors for doing their jobs also harm people who need access to this care.
- By stoking fear and confusion among clinicians, restrictive laws and bans also interfere with the ability of obstetrician-gynecologists to provide patients with other needed care related to pregnancy.
- Yes. Systemic inequities in the health care system and society mean that communities of color, especially Black communities, and people with lower incomes struggle to access comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion.
- Inability to obtain an abortion has serious long-term consequences on people’s lives, health, and well-being. When access to reproductive health care is restricted, people with low incomes and those from communities already subject to structural barriers to care experience those effects most profoundly.
- Obstetrician–gynecologists must be able to offer care without restrictions that further widen the health care gap and inequities in health outcomes.
- Restrictions that limit one’s ability to get an abortion can increase the risks and, in some cases, make it inaccessible altogether. People should be able to access comprehensive reproductive health care without medically unnecessary regulations.
- Abortion is a safe medical intervention.
- Forcing people to continue their pregnancies by banning access to abortion exposes them to the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
- People seek abortion for many different reasons. What’s important is that each individual should make decisions in consultation with their doctor and without outside interference.
- While there may be differing views about abortion, people should be able to access the health care they need without medically unnecessary barriers or restrictions.
- People must be allowed to access the health care they need at any point during a pregnancy without medically unnecessary barriers or restrictions, and doctors must be able to offer that care without interference or fear of being jailed, fined, sued, or otherwise punished.
- Abortion is a safe medical intervention.
- People can have differing views about abortions later in pregnancy, but those views must not interfere with the relationship between people and their doctors.
- Medication abortion is a safe, effective form of abortion, and mail-order access to medication abortion can increase access to safe, legal abortion care for many patients, especially those for whom medication abortion is the right choice.
- State requirements for in-person dispensing of mifepristone, one of the medications used in the FDA-approved regimen for medication abortion, are burdensome and unnecessary. Requiring the medicine to be dispensed in person, then taken elsewhere at the patient’s discretion, is arbitrary and does nothing to bolster the safety of an already-safe medicine. That’s why the FDA removed this requirement at a national level.
- Medication abortion can help increase patient access to needed care. People should be able to access the abortion care they need without medically unnecessary barriers and restrictions or fear of being jailed, sued, fined, or otherwise punished.
- Doctors should also be able to offer care without interference or fear of being jailed, sued, fined, or otherwise punished. Medically unnecessary barriers to people’s ability to access the kind of care they want and need and restrictions on physicians’ ability to provide care are harmful to doctors and to people seeking care.
For medical information about abortion, reference our Abortion Care FAQs.