Melissa's New Book

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and a Glossary of critical terms. Use this page to find answers to questions about abortion survivors and a list of definitions for frequently used terms. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to reference our resources page or contact us at

Top 5 FAQs:

An abortion survivor is an individual who remains alive after an attempted abortion failed to end their life in the womb. This could mean those who have survived a chemical abortion–whether by procedural failure or abortion pill reversal–surgical abortion, at-home methods, or any other abortion attempt.

The specific effects of a failed abortion vary significantly from person to person. Survivors may experience a range of outcomes, from developmental struggles, damage to organs or other vitals, missing limbs, or scarring. However, some survivors experience none of these.

Psychologically, the aftermath of a failed abortion can be equally complex. Survivors may struggle with feelings of abandonment and loneliness, wonder why they were unwanted, experience mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, or grapple with unhealthy coping behaviors or boundaries.

In some cases, the effects of intrauterine trauma can be felt for a lifetime, impacting a survivor’s sense of self and relationships with others. It is important to remember that each person’s experience is unique, but these struggles can be made lighter. The Abortion Survivors Network exists to support anyone struggling with the effects of a failed abortion.

Although the United States fails to record reliable data on abortion survivors, we have estimated, through Canadian government extrapolations, that 1,734 infants are born alive after a failed abortion procedure every year in the United States.

In other words, about 2 out of every 1,000 abortions result in a live birth. After 49.5 years of Roe v Wade, 85,817 babies lived through an abortion procedure.

Unfortunately, the fate of an infant born alive after an abortion is not always predictable. Ideally, the baby should be treated as a preterm birth and receive medical attention in a hospital to improve its chances of survival. However, not all states have laws to protect these infants, and even fewer enforce such laws.

As a result, there have been numerous reports from healthcare workers of infants being left to die after a failed abortion. The Abortion Survivors Network strongly supports born-alive legislation, which would help ensure these infants’ survival.

Absolutely! The Abortion Survivors Network offers support through healing courses, community groups, and speaker training. For more information or to get involved, visit one of the pages below, or email Kara at

Basic Glossary:

Abortion Survivor 

An individual who remains alive after an attempted abortion failed to end their life. Abortion attempts include those performed through chemical, surgical and at-home methods. Survivors might be born alive infants, abortion pill reversal babies, or other types of abortion survivors.

Incomplete Abortion

An incomplete abortion is one in which some of the products of conception, or fetal tissue, remain in the uterus after the abortion procedure. The pregnancy has ended, but there is remaining pregnancy tissue. Incomplete abortions are not failed abortions as an infant did not survive.

Failed Abortion

An abortion that does not result in the intended termination of a pregnancy, whether the infant is born directly following the abortion procedure or at full-term

Born Alive Abortion 

An abortion resulting in the live birth of the infant, whom the abortion was meant to terminate, during or directly following the procedure

Born Alive Infant 

An infant born alive during or directly after a failed abortion

Born Alive Legislation 

Legislation that is meant to protect infants born alive after a failed abortion procedure, ensuring that they receive proper medical care.


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