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Listed below are some of the most common lies that CPCs tell women, as well as factually-cited responses to these erroneous claims.

Lie #1: ‘Abortion causes breast cancer.’

Truth: According to the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the National Cancer Institute (an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health) studies have not shown there to be any connection between induced or spontaneous abortions and a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Lie #2: ‘You’ll never be able to have children again if you have an abortion.’

Truth: According to The Mayo Clinic, much evidence states that abortion (both surgical and medical) is safe when it comes to future pregnancies. It is rare for either of these methods to result in infertility. The Mayo Clinic adds that abortion, like all medical procedures, carries some risk. However, the risk of medical and surgical abortions is low.

Lie #3: ‘Condoms don’t work.’

Truth: The World Health Organization disputes this lie, sharing that intact condoms prevent STDs and unintended pregnancies with an accuracy rate of 97%. Likewise, the National Institute of Health also touts the effectiveness of condoms. Abstinence is the only 100% way to guarantee that you are preventing unintended pregnancies, but birth control and other forms of contraception, such as condoms, can protect a woman from getting pregnant more than 99% of the time. A woman should consult with her doctor about the form of birth control that is best for her.

Lie #4: “The abortion pill, RU-486 is dangerous and not medically safe for women.”

Truth: According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), Mifeprex (RU-486) is safe and legal if taken with a prescription from and the consultation of a licensed, medical care provider. As the FDA reports, “since the approval of Mifeprex in September 2000, FDA has been informed of six deaths, from sepsis, in the United States following medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol that FDA has concluded may be related to the use of these drugs. It is unknown whether using Mifeprex and misoprostol caused these deaths.” Likewise, FDA states that only licensed medical providers can prescribe RU-486 because, as with any other prescription drug, patients need to be monitored.

Lie #5: “Birth Control and Emergency Contraception (the Morning-After Pill) are abortants.”

Truth: According to Princeton University’s Office of Population Research & Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, both birth control and emergency contraceptive pills (also called “morning after pills” or “day after pills”) prevent pregnancy after sex. Neither causes an abortion. Emergency contraceptive pills work before pregnancy begins. Leading medical authorities –such as the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – define pregnancy as beginning when the fertilized egg implants in the lining of a woman’s uterus.

Implantation begins five to seven days after the sperm fertilizes the egg, and the process is completed several days later. Emergency contraception pills work differently depending on where you are in your monthly cycle. They may prevent or delay ovulation, affect the movement of egg or sperm, interfere with the fertilization process, or prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

Lie #6: “Abortion causes permanent psychological and mental damage, including Post-Abortion Syndrome.”

Truth: Many renowned research authorities have recognized that while there may be mood changes linked to fluctuating hormone levels, including those during pregnancy and emotional responses when a woman has had an abortion, there is no such thing as “Post-Abortion Syndrome.” The National Abortion Federation, in citing the American Psychological Association, shares “that the studies with the most scientifically rigorous research designs consistently found no trace of “post-abortion syndrome.”

Lie #8: “Abortions cost much more than carrying your baby to term.”

Truth: The Guttmacher Institute reported that in 2001, the average charge for a surgical abortion at ten weeks’ gestation was $468; but since most abortions in the United States are performed at low-cost clinics, women on average paid $372 for the procedure. According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, a 2007 report found that the average cost of medical expenditures associated with an uncomplicated pregnancy and hospital birth averaged about $7,600 in 2004.

Lie #9: “Surgical abortion can kill you.”

Truth: The National Abortion Federation shares that surgical abortions are one of the safest medical procedures performed today.

Lie #10: “You have plenty of time to make a decision. One-third of all pregnancies end in miscarriages anyway.”

Truth: CPCs tend to suggest that a woman facing an unintended pregnancy has ample time to decide because some pregnancies result in miscarriages. The problem with this is that the expense of an abortion increases and the availability of an abortion decreases during later stages of the pregnancy, making this decision all the more difficult for the woman and her family. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that miscarriages occur in 15-20% of all pregnancies. Also, most occur in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Some miscarriages take place before a woman misses a menstrual period or is even aware that she is pregnant.

Lie #11: “Your baby can already smell, and hear you.”

Truth: The truth of this statement relies entirely upon the stage of embryonic/fetal development, which only a licensed medical provider can tell you, not a volunteer guessing about your last menstrual cycle. Visit the National Institute of Health’s website to learn more about stages of development and what occurs during each week of pregnancy.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina

We fight for a future that includes access to all reproductive health care no matter your zip code, income or employer. North Carolina can be a leader in reproductive rights, health and justice. Will you join us?