MYTH No. 1: Abortion is a dangerous medical procedure


Abortion is a safe and internationally recognized medical procedure that does not generate more complications than the removal of a person’s wisdom teeth. It is important to note that in order to guarantee the safety of the procedure, it must be carried out under the supervision of trained health professionals and in a safe environment.

Access to safe abortion care is a critical, life-saving part of comprehensive reproductive health care, one that reduces maternal mortality and suffering. Research in the U.S. (University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill,) concluded that between 1998 and 2005, one woman died in childbirth for every 11,000 live births, compared to one in 167,000 who died from a legal abortion.

MYTH No. 2: Termination of pregnancy (abortion) has side effects such as infertility or breast cancer


The risks and complications of termination of pregnancy are minimal. It is not true that it causes infertility, breast cancer, or serious side effects.

MYTH No. 3: Pregnant women with serious diseases like cancer can get the treatment they need


Treatments to fight cancer, lupus, myocardia or other serious diseases are incompatible with pregnancy since their active components can be severely harmful to both the woman and the pregnancy process.

MYTH No. 4: Women naturally realize that they are pregnant


Pregnancy is a complex process that not all women are immediately aware of. Irregular menstrual cycles, changes in the body, or the stigmas that have been generated around sexuality and pregnancy are some of the factors that prevent or make it difficult for women to know if they are pregnant. Without access to education and health care, it is more likely for a woman or girl to not understand what is happening if they are experiencing an obstetric emergency or miscarriage.  

MYTH No. 5: Abortion is a traumatic experience that can result in “post-abortion syndrome,” which refers to intense distress that has a lasting impact on mental health


While every person’s response to abortion is different, ranging from complicated to normal, the existence of post-abortion syndrome has not been demonstrated in any of the studies carried out, and there is scientific evidence available to firmly position it as non-existent.

“Abortion and Mental Health” American Psychological Association (APA)

MYTH No. 6: With the current development of medicine, there are no cases in which an abortion is recommended for a pregnancy that puts women's health or lives at risk


The Latin American Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology Societies (FLASOG), recognizes that “abortion is a public health problem.” FLASOG states that: “the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy (ILE) is indicated when the pregnancy: endangers the life of the woman, aggravates pre-existing or acquired diseases, is a contraindication to receive timely treatment, or if the treatment of a disease in the woman can generate disease in the newborn.

MYTH No. 7: Ectopic pregnancies can be viable with proper treatment


An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg gets stuck on its journey to the uterus. They can also occur in the ovary, or somewhere else in the abdomen. Ectopic pregnancies are very dangerous if not treated. Fallopian tubes can break if stretched too much by the growing pregnancy — this is sometimes called a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. This can cause internal bleeding, and infection, and in some cases lead to death.

Ectopic pregnancy is considered the main cause of fetal and maternal death in the first trimester of pregnancy.  According to the “Clinical Guides of Gynecology and Obstetrics” of MINSAL 2012 medical professionals recommend that before an ectopic pregnancy ruptures, it should be interrupted and terminated through the consumption of medications.

MYTH No. 8: With the current development of medicine, it is possible in an ectopic pregnancy to transplant the fetus from the fallopian tubes to the uterus


With current technology, it is not possible to transplant a fetus from an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus. The most recent report in the medical literature on ectopic transplantation turned out to be fraudulent, and the British doctor who proclaimed it successful was removed from office.

MYTH No. 9: The decriminalization of abortion claims that fetuses with Down syndrome are killed


Down syndrome is not a fetal malformation incompatible with extrauterine life. It is a genetic alteration caused by a separate extra chromosome 21, known as Trisomy 2. In these cases, there is no incompatibility of survival after birth, and may have a life expectancy close to 60 years.

MYTH No. 10: Sex education increases rates of teenage pregnancy and abortion


Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), inside or outside of educational settings, does not increase sexual activity, risky sexual behaviors, or rates of infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Using an explicit rights approach in CSE programs generates knowledge of the rights of the person within a sexual relationship, increased communication with parents about sexual relationships, and greater self-efficacy to handle risky situations.

Programs that exclusively promote abstinence have been shown to be ineffective in delaying sexual intercourse, and reducing frequency and number of sexual partners.

MYTH No. 11: Abortion would disappear if people used contraception. Only irresponsible women choose abortion


There are a wide variety of reasons and circumstances that lead to abortion, such as risk to a pregnant person’s life, pregnancy following a sexual assault or coercion, or a fatal abnormality detected in the fetus. 

Furthermore, evidence shows that not all pregnancies are planned and motherhood is not always desired. For example, in Mexico 4 out of 10 pregnancies were not planned, due to being the product of violence, sexual coercion, or in other cases due to the unsatisfied need for contraceptives, especially in adolescents who lack the necessary information, access, or the autonomy to be able to use them in the face of the refusal of their partner. Moreover, contraceptives are not always made easily accessible, and affordable, and can also fail.

MYTH No. 12: Most religions oppose abortion


Numerous religious traditions have taken a stance on abortion, but few are absolute. While the Catholic Church continues to hold severe opposition to abortion, organizations such as Catholics for Choice, interpret that women have the autonomy to decide if, when, and how they become pregnant. 

In the Bible, there is no explicit condemnation of abortion, which is only mentioned once, when it occurs as a result of a violent assault on a woman. Other religions that also support abortion in certain circumstances are Anglicanism, Buddhism, Methodism, and Judaism. 

MYTH No. 13: The current constitution prevents the passing of a law that decriminalizes abortion for any reason


The Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador, in Sentence 18-99 (in Spanish) affirms that “controversies arising from the conflict between intrauterine human life and the constitutional rights of the mother must be legally regulated. In this way, it is unavoidable to arbitrate a normative solution to resolve the specific cases that may occur.”