Before you decide...

Get The Facts

Get the Facts before you decide

Abortion is a medical procedure that terminates a pregnancy. This procedure affects your body, so you owe it to yourself to get complete and accurate medical information on how the procedure works and what it will do to you, before deciding if this option is right for you. You owe it to yourself to be fully informed.

Morning After Pill (also known as Plan B, Plan B One Step, or Ella)

The morning after pill is considered emergency contraception and is FDA approved to take within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It is not the same as RU486. The morning after pill works by delaying ovulation, and it may also interfere with fertilization and/or prevent implantation.

Before taking the morning after pill, you should know that it won't work if you are already pregnant. It does not protect against STIs, and it is not recommended as a routine contraception. In addition, common side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and menstrual changes.

*(Source: Manufacturer's Prescribing Information for Plan B (Levonorgestrel) tablets.)

RU486, Mifepristone (Abortion Pill)

Up to 10 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)

This drug is only FDA approved for use in women up to the 70th day after their last menstrual period. It is recommended that the procedure take place over three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given medication to cause embryonic death or stop further embryo development. Two days later at the second visit, a second medication called misoprostol is taken which induces uterine contractions to expel the embryo. A follow up visit is required about two weeks after the initial visit to determine if the procedure has been completed. If the medical abortion is incomplete, a surgical abortion procedure will be required. If you have taken RU486 and are having doubts about continuing with the procedure, contact us. Help may be available to reverse the effects of the medication.

RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may rupture, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman. For this reason, an ultrasound is required to confirm location of the pregnancy.

Possible complications

  • incomplete abortion
  • allergic reaction to the medications
  • painful cramping
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • infection
  • heavy bleeding

FDA Warning!! It is dangerous to your health to buy Mifepristone over the Internet because in doing so, you will bypass important safeguards designed to protect your health (and the health of others). Drugs that are non-FDA approved carry risks above and beyond expected side effects. Click here for At Home Abortion Facts.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration

First Trimester - Up to 13 weeks after LMP

This surgical abortion is done early in a pregnancy up until 14 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. Local anesthetic is usually provided. The cervix is dilated using dilators to allow a tube to be inserted into the uterus. Depending on the gestational age of the fetus, a syringe or suction system is attached to the tube. The fetus, placenta, and membranes are then removed from the uterus using suction.

Possible complications

  • incomplete abortion
  • pelvic infection
  • heavy bleeding
  • torn cervix
  • perforated uterus
  • blood clots in uterus
Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

First Trimester - Up to 13 weeks after LMP

This is the most common type of surgical abortion. Local anesthetic is usually provided and the cervix is dilated using dilators. Dilating the cervix may cause cramping. After the cervix is stretched open, the provider inserts a spoon-like instrument called a curette into the uterus and runs it along the walls of the uterus to remove the fetus, placenta, and membranes. A follow up visit is important to ensure the abortion was completed. If the abortion was not completed, vacuum aspiration may be required.

Possible complications

  • incomplete abortion requiring vacuum aspiration
  • pelvic infection
  • heavy bleeding
  • torn cervix
  • perforated uterus
  • blood clots in uterus
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

Second Trimester - 13 weeks after LMP and up

This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion. This can be done using medication or by placing absorbent dilators into the cervix several hours or the day before the abortion procedure to open the cervix. Dilating the cervix may cause cramping. Once the cervix is stretched open, the provider uses medical instruments like forceps and/or suction curettage to remove the fetus and placenta. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, it may be necessary to use medication to stop the fetus's heart prior to the procedure. It may also be necessary to dismember the fetus during the procedure.

Possible complications

  • blood clots in the uterus
  • heavy bleeding
  • cut or torn cervix
  • perforation of the wall of the uterus
  • pelvic infection
  • incomplete abortion
  • anesthesia-related complications
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E After Viability)

Late term - From about 24 weeks and up

This procedure can take up to three days. The cervix is first dilated by placing absorbent dilators into the cervix which will typically stay in place up to two days. Dilating the cervix may cause cramping. On the third day, the provider will provide local or general anesthesia before the abortion procedure. The fetus is removed using instruments such as forceps, suction, and/or curettes. Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, it may be necessary to use medication to stop the fetus's heart prior to the procedure. It may also be necessary to dismember the fetus during the procedure.

Possible complications

  • retained tissue, including placenta
  • uterine perforation. (As a result, a major surgery may be required, including possible hysterectomy).
  • cervical laceration, perforation, and heavy bleeding
CONSIDER THE EMOTIONAL RISKS OF ABORTION

After an abortion, many women feel immediate relief. Life seems to return to normal. But others, however, feel that their abortion has left an unbearable feeling of loss and suffer alone for sometimes many years into her future.

Abortion significantly increases a woman's risk for

  • depression and anxiety
  • drug and alcohol abuse
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • suicidal thoughts, attempts and deaths
  • relationship difficulties

Click here to read Michele's abortion story
Click here to read Tiffany's abortion story

We are here to help you get answers to your questions so you can make a fully informed decision.

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The education on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling, medical or prenatal care. Please note, our center does not perform nor refer for abortions.