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Well, for starters, once someone is actually pregnant if they don't want to remain so, abortion is what terminates a pregnancy. Sterilization prevents pregnancy: it can't make a pregnancy go away that's already happening.

That aside, sterilization is a choice to never become pregnant: abortion is a choice to terminate a pregnancy once, at the time. Sterilization also can be more expensive than abortion, people in their most likely reproductive years can't always be given one (many providers will refuse people in their teens or twenties), and not everyone wants to make a permanent choice about not having children.

Really, I'd not say these are comparable things, overall.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col