How Do I Talk About AbortionTo My Child?

parent to child how to talk about abortion

Parents are their children’s best teachers and advocates. Of the many formative conversations parents have with their growing children, conversations about sexual and reproductive health are among the most influential.

It is important for parents to remember that sexual and reproductive health encompasses more than sex and contraception, and conversations with children should reflect this. Including the topic of abortion in the dialogue helps demystify and destigmatize one of the safest and most common health care experiences.

In today’s blog post, we provide a brief guide for parents who want to talk openly and honestly with their children about abortion.

  1. abortion is health care

    Abortion is a highly political issue. If your child has already dealt with the issue of abortion, there is a good chance that he or she will approach the topic through a political lens. Start by grounding abortion in public health: use factual, neutral language to explain what abortion is, not how abortion is portrayed or valued. You can say things like, “Abortion is a way to end a pregnancy” or “Abortion prevents a pregnancy from continuing.”
  2. abortion is widely used

    One of the most effective ways to destigmatize abortion is to emphasize its ubiquity. Each year, approximately 73 million abortions are performed worldwide.1 Abortion is not unique to any particular population: people of all nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures terminate pregnancies. Shout Your Abortion and Abortion Out Loud are both great resources for exploring the breadth and diversity of abortion experiences.

Abortion is safe

Regardless of where the conversation about abortion takes you and your child, it is important to leave the conversation knowing that abortion is safe. In fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available when armed with the appropriate information and resources.2 Without this understanding, unsafe abortion methods can become just as normal as safe methods. It is important that children understand the difference and know how to find the right resources for abortion care when needed.

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About the Author: Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont is a senior reporter on Daily Mid Time Global Development desk. He has reported extensively from conflict zones including Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East and is the author of The Secret Life of War: Journeys Through Modern Conflict. Email: