Are you considering abortion?
Do you feel scared? Pressured? Trapped? If a baby is not in your plans right now, you could be feeling any of these emotions. Your feelings are valid; this is a big decision.
Before you decide, learn about the procedures and risks of abortion. Find out about the potential side effects – both physical and emotional. Educate yourself and review the safety checklist below. Knowledge is power!
What are the different types of abortion?
Medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill method, uses two powerful drugs to terminate a pregnancy. Women under 10 weeks pregnant are eligible for this abortion procedure, following confirmation of pregnancy through a pregnancy test and ultrasound.
Both drugs are prescribed by a doctor or clinic that provides abortion services. The first drug, Mifepristone, is used to block a hormone called progesterone. This hormone thickens the lining of the uterus for the fertilized egg. Mifepristone thins the lining of the uterus to prevent the embryo from implanting and growing. The second abortion drug, Misoprostol, causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy.
The two types of surgical abortion are vacuum aspiration abortion, and dilation and evacuation (D&E). A surgical abortion is performed after 10 weeks and is a more invasive process. Surgery removes the pregnancy from the uterus through the vagina. It’s normally done with an instrument called a curet and uses suction to remove all parts of the pregnancy. Anesthesia may be used during this process.
D&E abortions are normally performed at 14-16 weeks or after. Your cervix needs to be dilated (opened) further to remove the pregnancy. The contents of the uterus are suctioned out, forceps are used if necessary, and the lining of the uterus is scraped to be sure the entire pregnancy has been removed.
Abortion Safety Checklist
Before you visit an abortion clinic or provider, we strongly encourage you to ask yourself these important health and safety questions:
Have you confirmed your pregnancy?
It’s important to be sure you’re pregnant. It’s possible to receive a false test result if you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test too soon. You can confirm your pregnancy for free at Open Door.
Do you understand the risks involved in an abortion procedure?
Abortion is a medical procedure and does involve the risk of physical harm. You have the legal right to be informed of the type of procedure you will receive, as well as any potential complications. Ask as many questions as you need to understand all that is involved, physically and emotionally.
Did you investigate the qualifications of your potential abortion provider?
Find out the name of the doctor who will perform your abortion procedure, and confirm that he or she is a licensed physician and a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist. Call and ask if the doctor has appropriate privileges to admit you to a hospital if there is an emergency. Also, many states maintain public records about past medical malpractice judgments and settlements. Call your state agency (medical licensing board) to see if the doctor has been involved in any medical malpractice suits.
Do you understand that it is OK to change your mind?
Abortion is your choice—meaning you can change your mind at any time. It’s OK to say, “I need more time to consider my decision,” if you are in the waiting room or even on the table prepped for your procedure. Don’t feel pressured to proceed just because you feel like you have to. It’s your body; you have the right to listen to your instincts.
Ultimately, it’s your decision
Along with the facts from your pregnancy test and ultrasound, we want to empower you to make the best decision for your life. Each pregnancy decision carries short-term and long-term implications, and most are complicated by specific circumstances. We respect your right to have complete information and will give you the tools to meet your challenges. We will never judge you, profit from your choice, or pressure you into any decision.