Complications from abortion, while rare, are to be expected, as with any medical procedure. While the vast majority of serious abortion complications occur in parts of the world where abortion is legally restricted, legal access to abortion is not a guarantee of safety, particularly in regions where abortion is highly stigmatised. Women who seek abortion and caregivers who help them are universally negatively "marked" by their association with abortion. While attention to abortion stigma as a sociological phenomenon is growing, the clinical implications of abortion stigma - particularly its impact on abortion complications - have received less consideration. Here, we explore the intersections of abortion stigma and clinical complications, in three regions of the world with different legal climates. Using narratives shared by abortion caregivers, we conducted thematic analysis to explore the ways in which stigma contributes, both directly and indirectly, to abortion complications, makes them more difficult to treat, and impacts the ways in which they are resolved. In each narrative, stigma played a key role in the origin, management and outcome of the complication. We present a conceptual framework for understanding the many ways in which stigma contributes to complications, and the ways in which stigma and complications reinforce one another. We present a range of strategies to manage stigma which may prove effective in reducing abortion complications.