Can my doctor tell if I’ve had an abortion?
One of the great tragedies of the abortion debate in this country is that it has left women feeling shame about a normal medical procedure. Abortion clinics save lives, and almost no one regrets their abortion. Moreover, by the age of 45, almost 1 in 4 women will have an abortion. Each woman’s reasons are uniquely hers. For some, abortion is a life-saving medical procedure. For others, it marks the tragic end to a doomed pregnancy. And for many, abortion enables them to live the life they want, so they can eventually raise children in a safe and healthy environment. Almost no one regrets their abortion. Even 5 years later, 99% of women who have abortions report relief. Despite this, you may worry that others will know about your procedure. So can your doctor tell you’ve had an abortion?
Can My Doctor Tell I’ve Had an Abortion?
Your doctor can’t tell if you’ve had an abortion.
In most cases, abortions do not leave any telltale traces. Sometimes, an abortion leaves scar tissue on the uterus. However, lots of conditions can leave behind scar tissue. It’s also not possible for your doctor to tell for sure if you’ve ever been pregnant.
This doesn’t mean you should keep your abortion a secret. A complete medical history can help a doctor advise you and keep you healthy, especially during subsequent pregnancies. If you’re afraid your doctor will judge you, it’s time to find another provider. And if you don’t want a partner or parent to know about your abortion, try telling your doctor in private.
Medical Privacy and Abortion
Doctors are legally required to keep your medical history confidential, even from your spouse or parents. Abortion clinics must also protect your privacy, and cannot tell third parties about your abortion, or even that you are a patient. However, abortioin clinic protesters may undermine your privacy. To protect yourself, do the following:
- Avoid fake abortion clinics. These clinics sometimes masquerade as abortion providers, then publicize personal information that they get from pretending to be doctors. Find a real abortion clinic here.
- Consider wearing a hoodie or sunglasses as you walk into the clinic. Protesters sometimes take pictures of women visiting clinics to shame them.
- Consider parking away from the clinic, or having someone drop you off so that protesters cannot identify your car.
- Avoid interacting with protesters, since this can encourage them to take an interest in your identity.
All abortion clinics must follow medical privacy laws. The best clinics offer compassionate care that never feels rushed or disconnected from your fundamental humanity. For help finding a great abortion clinic, click here.