Other Abortion Information Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that we often receive at our Pregnancy Resource Centers. If your question is not on this list, we encourage you to speak with our PRC staff to get more abortion information from a caring, knowledgeable person with the experience and perspective to help. Call us anytime.
Will PRC pressure me not to have an abortion?
We are not salespeople. We don’t do pressure. Our goal with anyone who comes in to our centers is to have a conversation. We want to hear where you’re at, answer your questions, and provide helpful information for where you’re at. If you’d like, we’d love to be able to come alongside you and support your pregnancy journey, no matter where it leads.
Can I bring a family member or significant other along when I come in?
When possible, we encourage you to bring any support person you are comfortable with to join you when you come visit one of our centers. Please note that occupancy restrictions put in place due to the COVID 19 pandemic may affect this policy. When you schedule your appointment with us, please ask what the current policy is.
What is abortion?
In the medical context, abortion is the intentional termination of a human pregnancy. This is true regardless of when, how, or why the procedure is performed.
Is there a difference between a fetus and baby?
A fetus is a human embryo which has developed past the 8th week of gestation. The term “fetus” is used to describe a baby in utero (that is, unborn). The term “baby” is appropriately applied to a child at any stage of development from conception through birth until perhaps toddler age. In recent times, the “fetus” has been intentionally used by many in what is perhaps an effort to be more technically correct, but also to accustom people to be more emotionally detached from unborn children, denying their personhood. When expectant parents receive an ultrasound of their fetus, they see that their child is far more than a clump of undeveloped cells – it is a new, pre-born human life which looks and acts human in every way.
When does human life begin? When is a fetus a person?
We believe that human life begins at the moment a child is conceived – which is the same as saying the moment that a woman’s egg is fertilized, creating a unique combination of human DNA based on the genetic makeup of the mother and father. This conviction is based upon much more than philosophy or sentiment. There are concrete, universally recognized scientific facts that indicate life does indeed begin at conception rather than at birth or any other time. For instance, every human in existence today started from a zygote – a single cell capable of self-replication with all the DNA information that will ever be required for that unique individual. While the zygote (later fetus) is dependent upon the mother’s body to provide nutrients and hospitable conditions for survival and development, this single human cell is best understood as a new human life – it is not identical in genetic information to the mother or the father, being a unique combination of the two. And this is more than the life of a cell or the rearrangement of life in other forms – it is new human life in development. It is a living, separate, whole human being and a person – dependent on others like many organisms, but still living and human. According to a 2018 survey, this is not a contested fact: 95% of biologists at US academic institutions agree that a human’s life begins at conception.
We believe that if human life begins at conception, we have an ethical duty to protect that life beginning at conception. We ask – is this a huge leap in logic? Some villainize Pregnancy Resource Centers as wanting to take away the rights of women to choose what to do with their own body – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If a woman has been given the opportunity to support and develop another unique human life through pregnancy, this is something that should be celebrated and supported. If a new life is to be aborted, we simply wish for the decision to be made carefully and with all the facts accurately represented. Hence why we support and provide free abortion information for all women and their partners.
Is personhood different than biological life?
Upon knowing the physical facts, most people can see that a new human life is created upon conception. The question remains, however, when is that new human life ethically – and legally – deserving of the protections afforded to any fully-developed human life? That is, when does that single-celled zygote achieve personhood? While this topic is too complicated for this space, involving discussion of many situations only encountered now due to scientific advancements, we think it a straightforward and true thing to say that every biologically distinct human life is a person and deserves the protections given to any other person.
If I have an abortion, will I be able to have a child at a later time?
In most cases, you will still be able to have children after an abortion. However, there is a risk that infection may develop which would inhibit your ability to get pregnant or carry a child to term. Infertility may result if a surgical abortion is complicated by heavy bleeding, perforation of the uterus, or incomplete removal of pregnancy tissue.
What is the normal process of human development in utero?
Each month, a woman’s body releases a single egg which travels through one of the fallopian tubes on its way to the uterus. While in the fallopian tube, if it is fertilized by a sperm, the fertilized egg is now a zygote: a single-cell baby.
As the zygote continues its travels to the uterus, it duplicates and divides and forms a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. The blastocyst implants into the wall of the uterus, where it develops into an embryo attached to a placenta. From fertilization to implantation to be completed, the process takes only 10 days.
From that point, the embryo continues to develop, forming internal organs and external body structures. By the end of the 1st trimester, the baby is fully formed.
Eight weeks after fertilization (10 weeks of pregnancy), the embryo is considered a fetus. All the features which have formed now begin to grow and develop. At about 14 weeks, the sex of the baby can be identified. By 16 to 20 weeks, women can feel movement. By 24 weeks, the baby has a chance of survival outside the uterus.
Are abortions ok in the cases of rape and incest?
We know that these situations are very difficult for any woman who is a victim. This cannot be overstated. At the same time, we believe that all life is worth protecting, no matter under what conditions it came to be. It may seem impossible to bear this burden – but we make the commitment to stand by you and your baby for as long as you need. We can let you know about realistic alternatives to abortion and help you navigate those roads.
Are abortions helpful to the scientific community in supplying stem cells for research?
There are multiple types of stem cell. Embryonic and fetal stem cells are the two most relevant to us.
Embryonic stem cells are derived from blastocysts (fertilized eggs which have developed but not yet become embryos) before implantation in the uterus. These blastocysts are often created by fertilizing an egg in a lab. As such, many don’t consider the use of the cells to be abortion, but there are still strong ethical considerations that should come into play – despite the promising benefits of these kinds of cell. Can we say that one human life is worth more than another?
Though not quite as flexible as embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells can be harvested without terminating the life of an unborn child. There are many ways to harvest different kinds of fetal stem cells apart from abortion – through the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and the umbilical cord blood.
On the other hand, fetal tissue obtained through abortions is commonly used for medical purposes. Some of the more troubling issues behind the acquiring of fetal tissue for research has been brought to light through some recent, controversial videos.
What is the Roe v Wade decision, and how does it impact my pregnancy decisions?
The 1973 Roe v Wade US Supreme Court decision declared that the right to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester was up to the decision of the woman. In the second and third trimesters, the decision declared that the government could regulate abortions, but not ban them. In effect, this landmark case made abortion legal nationwide, and passed decisions for regulation on to states.
What kinds of abortion are illegal in Oregon?
There are currently (as of February 2021) no legal restrictions on abortion in Oregon.