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Abortion Education

ABORTION EDUCATION 

Abortion Overview

Am I pregnant? If you think you might be pregnant, you need information on all your options. You may be considering an abortion.

Some women feel like now isn’t a good time to have a baby. You may also worry you won’t be able to continue on in school. Because abortion is a permanent decision, it can be a good idea to take a couple of days to get as much information as you can about all your options to make the best choice for you.

Before you deal with the stress of that decision, though, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re pregnant. Many women who contact us are upset about needing to make this choice, because they are late for their period.

But, a late period is only a sign of pregnancy. There are many reasons your period could be late. Stress, a change in diet, a change in exercise or more, all can have an effect on a woman’s period. To know for sure, it’s always a good idea to have a pregnancy test.

Even though pregnancy tests are generally accurate, it can also be a good idea to get an ultrasound. This can tell you if your pregnancy is viable.

Contact us to make an appointment or get real-time help. We can help you think through your options, and offer free pregnancy tests and services. We don’t make any money on you, no matter what decision you make.

While we don’t perform or refer for abortions, we’re here to give you all the options you need to make the healthiest choice possible. 

 

Medication Abortion (First Trimester – Up to 10 Weeks LMP)

You may hear the abortion pill referred to as medication abortion, early medication abortion, RU-486, or the two doses involved—Mifeprex (Mifepristone) and Mifeprostol. The abortion pill is intended to end a pregnancy through abortion in a woman who has had her last period within the past ten weeks (70 days).

Almost 25 percent of U.S. abortions are early medication abortions,[1] and doctors in some states can prescribe an abortion pill remotely in what is called a telemed abortion.

The FDA has approved the abortion pill up to the 70th day after a woman’s last menstrual period.[2] Unfortunately, some doctors put women at an even greater risk of injury by prescribing the abortion pill to a woman who is past the FDA’s approved 70-day-limit. Sadly, some doctors have been arrested and charged with giving the pill to women who were not even pregnant. [3]

We want you to be safe, no matter what you choose. Whether you choose abortion, parenting or adoption, if you think you might be pregnant, make sure you have an ultrasound before you make your choice. Ask for a doctor or other qualified medical professional (registered nurse or sonographer) to do an ultrasound to make sure you’re pregnant and within the ten weeks (70 days) the FDA requires for the abortion pill.

Another reason you need an ultrasound is a medication abortion is useless in the case of a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy[4] —which means your baby is growing in your fallopian tubes rather than your uterus. Your life could be in danger if you do not start by getting an ultrasound.[5]

If you choose to end your pregnancy with a medication abortion, you will need to make three separate visits to the doctor’s office:

  1. On the first visit, you will be given three pills (Mifepristone). This will to begin the process of ending your pregnancy by causing the death of your embryo.


Note:
If you change your mind after the first visit, please contact us and we will connect you with a network of doctors who can reverse the effects of Mifepristone in some cases.

  1. Two days later, if your embryo has not been expelled from your body, you will be given a second drug, Misoprostol, which induces labor, to complete the abortion.
  1. One to two weeks later, you would make a third visit to check whether the abortion has ended your pregnancy. Some women may need a first trimester aspiration abortion if the medication abortion did not go as expected.

This is your decision to make. But please know, you do not have to make it alone. You can contact us to schedule an appointment. We are here for you.

 

First Trimester Aspiration Abortion (5-14 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)

One common method of abortion, which is often widely used because it takes less time and abortion clinic visits than a medication abortion, is a first trimester (first 12 weeks) aspiration abortion.

Although the abortion procedure itself can take as little as 15 minutes, a patient who is further into her first trimester of pregnancy would need to be dilated hours—and sometimes a day—before the abortion. Some doctors give their patients a dose of misoprostol, which is used in medication abortions, to soften the cervix before the abortion.

Once the patient’s cervix has been dilated, the abortion practitioner passes a “cannula”—a plastic tube—through her cervix and into her uterus. Once the cannula is in the patient’s cervix, the abortion practitioner uses it to pull the embryo or fetus out of her uterus.

Abortion providers may also use a procedure called an early-stage aspiration abortion if the patient is 5-9 weeks pregnant. He or she would use a hand-held syringe to pull the embryo out of the patient’s uterus. Aspiration abortions from 10-14 weeks often require a machine-operated pump.[6]

In a first trimester aspiration abortion, the abortion practitioner finishes the procedure by looking to see that every part of the embryo or fetus—as well as the patient’s placenta—has been removed. This lowers the risk of infection and complication.[7]

Most first trimester aspiration abortions require local anesthesia, while some require general anesthesia.

Although most states require that only licensed physicians perform an aspiration abortion, California allows registered nurses, midwives, and physicians assistants to perform the procedure.[8]

Some women get a first trimester aspiration abortion to finish a medication abortion that did not go as expected. Some first trimester aspiration abortions fail as well. In these cases, abortion providers may use dilation and curettage to complete the abortion.[9] 

You deserve to know the whole truth about abortion, fetal development, and maternal health. We are here for you, to provide you with all the information you need to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in your pregnancy. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.

 

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)[10]

Abortion providers use dilation and evacuation (D&E) to end a pregnancy through abortion during the second trimester. D&E is a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C). The abortion provider also uses forceps to remove the fetus from the patient’s uterus.

A procedure known as an “intact D&E” uses similar tools, which abortion providers use to abort a pregnancy into the final 12 weeks (third trimester).

In a D&E, the abortion provider uses an ultrasound to locate the fetus. He or she then decides whether to use a vacuum aspiration or D&C procedure to pull the fetus out of the patient’s uterus. The abortion provider bases his or her decision on how big and how far along the fetus is in terms of development.

Remember, as a patient, you have the legal right to change your mind about an abortion decision at any time before the actual procedure begins. You can find out more about your legal rights in this decision by contacting us or scheduling an appointment today.

Legally, you also have the choice of whether or not your provider will induce fetal demise before he or she starts a D&E abortion.[11] Induced fetal demise means a fetus’ heart is injected with a toxic dose of a chemical such as potassium chloride prior to being pulled from the uterus. Induced fetal demise is also used in Labor induction abortions.

If patient is 16 weeks or less into her pregnancy, many abortion providers will use vacuum aspiration, removing the fetus from the patient’s uterus with suction force.

If the fetus is more than 16 weeks—or younger but above average in size—an abortion provider may use D&C, using a scraping tool to pull the fetus from the patient’s uterus.[12]

At least a day before undergoing a D&C or intact D&E abortion, the patient’s cervix is dilated using Misoprostol or a dilation tool called a “laminaria”. This dilation allows the abortion provider to use tools, including forceps, to pull out the fetus.

In a D&C, the abortion provider starts the procedure by putting forceps through the patient’s vagina and cervix, into her uterus. Using an ultrasound to find the fetus, the provider uses forceps and pulls the fetus out piece-by-piece.

The abortion provider keeps track of what fetal body parts he or she has pulled off, so that none are left in the uterus that could cause infection. Finally, the abortion provider uses a curette[13] and/or suction instrument to remove any tissue or blood clots left over, to make sure the uterus is empty.

Abortion providers who use intact D&E start by crushing the fetus’ skull so he or she could then pull the fetus’ body out of the patient’s uterus. To crush the skull, an abortion provider uses forceps to make an opening at the base of the skull. He or she then uses suction to pull out the skull’s contents, collapsing the skull.

You deserve to know the whole truth about abortion, fetal development, and maternal health. We are here to provide you with all the information you need to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in your pregnancy. Please contact us to schedule an appointment today.


Labor Induction Abortion (Second and Third Trimester) 

 Although very few women choose labor induction abortions, some women end their pregnancies through abortion with this procedure during the second or third trimesters.

This abortion procedure ends a pregnancy by first causing the death of a fetus through a lethal does of a chemical. The fetus is then birthed, which can take 10 to 24 hours in a hospital labor and delivery unit.

The first step in the process is what abortion providers refer to as “fetal demise.” The abortion provider begins by injecting the fetus’s heart with a fatal dose of potassium chloride, using  a 25-gauge needle. The patient then is induced to labor and delivers the dead fetus.[14]

Misoprostol, which is also used to induce labor in an early medication abortion, is used to start labor in a labor induction abortion. Mifepristone, also used in an early medication abortion, is sometimes given as part of the process of a labor induction abortion.[15]

Mifepristone causes fetal death by causing the amniotic sac (containing the fetus, placenta and pregnancy-related tissue) to detach from the uterus. Misoprostol is then given to induce labor to deliver the fetus, placenta and other pregnancy-related tissue.

More than 40 percent of women who undergo a labor induction abortion do so because their fetus has been diagnosed with a fetal anomaly.[16] If you are facing this situation, you have three legal options: abortion, parenting, or placing for adoption.

To find out more about these options, please contact us and schedule an appointment today. You deserve to know the whole truth. You have options.

[1] “Fact Sheet: Induced Abortion in the United States,” The Guttmacher Institute, last modified July 2014, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html.

[2] “Medication Guide: Mifeprex,” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last modified April 22, 2009, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf.

[3] Graham Lee Brewer, “Oklahoma Abortion Doctor Facing Felony Charges Loses State Medical License,” The Oklahoman, Dec. 30, 2014.

[4] “Mifeprex: Prescribing Information,” Danco Laboratories, last modified April 22, 2009, http://www.earlyoptionpill.com/userfiles/file/Mifeprex%20Labeling%204-22-09_Final_doc.pdf. See also “$15 Million Lawsuit Filed In Case Of Local Woman Who Died After Abortion,” The Chattanoogan, Aug. 14, 2002.

[5] An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition where an embryo implants outside of a mother’s uterus, often in her fallopian tube. This condition can only be detected through an ultrasound.

[6] “Abortion: Methods of Abortion,” Columbia University, accessed March 6, 2015, http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/pubhealth/modules/reproductiveHealth/abortion.html.

[7] “Manual and Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion,” WebMD, accessed March 6, 2015, http://www.webmd.com/women/manual-and-vacuum-aspiration-for-abortion.

[8] Shannon Firth, “Nurses, Midwives, and Pas Fill Gap as Abortion Providers: When physician is removed does risk increase?” March 3, 2015, MedPage Today, http://www.medpagetoday.com/OBGYN/GeneralOBGYN/50285, last accessed March 10, 2015.

[9] “Manual and Vacuum Aspiration for Abortion,” WebMD, accessed March 6, 2015, http://www.webmd.com/women/manual-and-vacuum-aspiration-for-abortion.

[10] Maureen Paul et al., Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care (United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2009), 157-77.

[11] Justin Diedrich and Eleanor Drey, “Induction of fetal demise before abortion, (January 2010), Society of Family Planning, http://www.societyfp.org/_documents/resources/inductionoffetaldemise.pdf, accessed March 6, 2015.

[12] “Dilation and Cutterage (D&C),” WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/dilation-and-curettage-dc, accessed March 6, 2015.

[13] Curette: A sharp, loop-shaped medical instrument.

[14] Anna K. Sfakianaki, et al., “Potassium Chloride—Induced Fetal Demise: A Retrospective Cohort Study of Efficacy and Safety,” Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: 337-341, accessed March 5, 2015, doi: 10.8763/332337.

[15] Rachel Perry, “Options for second-trimester termination,” Contemporary OBGYN, Nov. 1, 2013, http://contemporaryobgyn.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-obgyn/content/tags/abortion/options-second-trimester-termination?page=full.

[16] Sfakianaki, et al. “Potassium Chloride-Induced Fetal Demise,” 337-341. See also: Beth Daley, “Oversold and misunderstood: Prenatal screening tests prompt abortions,” accessed March 6, 2015, The New England Center for Investigative Reporting, http://features.necir.org/prenatal-testing.