By: Claire

At, we work to share information and resources that help support a safe abortion with pills. But in our effort to produce content that is detailed and specific, we often overlook one of the most common and rudimentary questions many people visiting our website are eager to ask: what is abortion? Let’s take this opportunity to review.

What Is Abortion?

An abortion is the termination (or ending) of a pregnancy.1 Sometimes this termination happens on its own, which is called a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Other times this termination is brought on, which is called an induced abortion.

Both spontaneous and induced abortions are common around the world.2 The term “abortion,” though, most often refers to an induced abortion.

It is also important to note here that abortion is an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care.

What Are The Different Types Of Abortion?

There are two general categories of abortion care: surgical abortion and abortion with pills. Many health care providers object to the name “surgical abortion,” however, because it can mispresent the procedure.

You can read more about the different types of abortion in our 2019 blog piece, What Are The Different Types of Abortion Procedures?

How Can I Have An Abortion?

Abortion access varies from country to country. Though global trends indicate that abortion is becoming more legally accessible around the world3, many barriers still stand between women and the quality health care they deserve.

If you would like to learn about options for a safe abortion in your country, you can visit our country profiles.

Some countries legally restrict abortion access, meaning that a safe option to terminate a pregnancy can be hard to find. These restrictive settings may drive many women seek out unsafe methods of abortion, which can be both dangerous and ineffective.

In countries where safe abortion access is difficult to find, three trusted online organizations are working to offer support:, or While Women On Web and Women Help Women may be able to connect people with quality, effective abortion pills, safe2choose can offer live abortion counseling services.

If you are looking to learn more about safe medical abortion, you can visit our website or send us an email at You can also follow us on social media: we’re on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Claire is a teacher, reproductive rights advocate, and the manager of