Legally, it is the woman who must make the final decision about whether or not to have an abortion. However, if you and your partner are considering this option, there is a lot you can do to help her.
Abortion and Men
Every year, many thousands of couples and single women face an unplanned pregnancy. At bpas, we provide abortions for over 55,000 women each year. Naturally, we make every effort to involve partners in the process, and aim to keep men fully informed about what will happen if your partner decides to have an abortion.
bpas provides abortions for women who wish to terminate their pregnancy. Legally, it is the woman who must make the final decision about whether or not to have an abortion. However, if you and your partner are considering this option, there is a lot you can do to help her.
Firstly, let her talk about it if she wants to, and make sure she is getting appropriate and supportive advice. A decision to have an abortion is not always an easy one.
Secondly, if or when your wife or partner does decide to have an abortion, encourage her to get advice as soon as possible. There are limits (24 weeks into pregnancy) to when a woman can get an abortion in the UK. And the sooner the abortion is performed, the less complicated the procedure.
Finally, after the abortion, your partner may feel like talking about it. She may not. It is up to you to be as supportive and caring as possible, so that the two of you can get on with your lives and consider the future, including safe contraceptive options.
Some questions you may have about abortion
Is abortion legal in Britain? Abortion is legal in Britain if two doctors agree that certain conditions are met. These include careful consideration of the effect the continuing pregnancy may have on the mental and physical health of the woman.
Why do women decide to have an abortion?
Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, women need to consider their options. They may decide to go ahead with the pregnancy, unplanned as it may have been. But they may feel that having a child may affect their existing family, or their relationship, or their current professional and personal life. The decision to have an abortion is not an easy one for any woman. But the option is there to ensure that women can protect themselves from an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, and continue to plan how, when and if they have children.
Is there an age limit to how young women can be to have an abortion?
Does she have to tell anyone about it?
All staff at bpas will respect confidentiality and will not give anyone else this information about her, even if she is under the age of 16, unless she agrees to it. The only time we would need to tell someone else would be if we thought that she was in serious danger. In that case, we would always try to tell her what we were going to do first.
How does the actual process of getting an abortion work? And is it safe?
Actual methods of abortion vary depending on how pregnant the woman may be, Abortion is a very safe and straightforward procedure in the early weeks of pregnancy. A doctor or nurse will explain exactly how the procedure works, and any possible complications or side effects with the woman.
Click here for a more detailed description of abortion procedures.
How much will it cost?
If you wich to pay for the procedure, the bpas price list can be found here.
What are the after effects of abortion?
Depending on the individual, women may experience a sense of loss or relief or confusion after an abortion. As a partner or friend or member of her family, you are best placed to see how a woman is feeling and to give her any support and reassurance that she may need or ask for.
Does my partner need counselling?
Do women feel differently about having sex after an abortion?
Women should certainly avoid vaginal sex for two weeks after the abortion. And if you can’t wait, use a condom to avoid any infection.
It is not the same since she had the abortion. What is wrong?
No-one pretends that the decision to have an abortion is easy. And some couples may disagree about whether or not a woman should have an abortion. If you feel that the abortion has affected your relationship in any way, you may like to seek out advice from an organisation such as Relate who specialise in couple counselling and encouraging couples to communicate with each other about their feelings and concerns.
Click here to find your nearest Relate centre or call 0300 100 1234.
We understand that you will have many questions, some of which you may not wish to discuss with your partner. bpas provides a "supporting someone" leaflet to the partners of women having or thinking about an abortion. To view this, please click here