Please note, we do not refer or provide abortions, but we do provide information on the procedural risks associated with it.
Information on abortion is found below. Please note, we do not refer or provide abortions.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: Up to 7 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy, no later than 7 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period. A long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube, and the embryo is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage: Between 6 to 14 weeks after LMP
This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the baby is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped knife called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. (The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the “products of conception.”)
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Between 13 to 24 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. At this point in pregnancy, the fetus is too large to be broken up by suction alone and will not pass through the suction tubing. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed, 1 or 2 days before the abortion. Once the cervix is stretched open the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus’ skull is crushed to ease removal. A sharp tool (called a curette) is also used to scrape out the contents of the uterus, removing any remaining tissue.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X) (Partial-Birth Abortion): From 20 weeks after LMP to Full-Term
This procedure takes three days. During the first two days, the cervix is stretched open using thin rods made of seaweed, and medication is given for pain. On the third day, the abortion doctor uses ultrasound to locate the legs of the fetus. Grasping a leg with forceps, the doctor delivers the fetus up to the head. Next, scissors are inserted into the base of the skull to create an opening. A suction catheter is placed into the opening to remove the brain. The skull collapses and the fetus is removed.
RU486, Mifeoristone (Abortion Pill) Within 4 to 7 weeks after LMP
This drug is only approved for use in women not later than 49th day following their last menstrual period. The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug that which causes cramps to expel the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure has been completed. RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside the uterus, usually the fallopian tube. If an ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.
Consider the Risks of Abortion
Below are some facts about abortion. Please note, we do not refer or provide abortions, but we are happy to help you in any way we can.
Statistics show that side effects may occur with induced abortion, whether by surgery or medication. These include abdominal pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Abortion also carries the risk of significant complications such as bleeding, infection, and damage to organs.
Complications that may occur include:
- Heavy Bleeding – Some bleeding after abortion is normal. However, if the cervix is torn or the uterus is punctured, there is a risk of severe bleeding known as hemorrhaging. When this happens, a blood transfusion may be required. Severe bleeding is also a risk with the use of RU486. One in 100 women who use RU486 require surgery to stop the bleeding.
- Infection – Infection can develop from the insertion of medical instruments into the uterus or from fetal parts that are mistakenly left inside (incomplete abortion). A pelvic infection may lead to persistent fever over several days and extended hospitalization. It can also cause scarring of the pelvic organs.
- Incomplete Abortion – Some fetal parts may be mistakenly left inside the uterus after the abortion. Bleeding and infection may result.
- Sepsis – A number of RU486 or mifepristone users have died as a result of sepsis (total body infection).
- Anesthesia – Complications from general anesthesia used during abortion surgery may result in convulsions, heart attack, and in extreme cases, death. It also increases the risk of other serious complications by two and a half times.
- Damage to the Cervix – The cervix may be cut, torn, or damaged by abortion instruments. This can cause excessive bleeding that requires surgical repair.
- Scarring of the Uterine Lining – Suction tubing, curettes, and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining.
- Perforation of the Uterus – The uterus may be punctured or torn by abortion instruments. The risk of this complication increases with the length of the pregnancy. If this occurs, major surgery may be required, including removal of the uterus (hysterectomy).
- Damage to Internal Organs – When the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage will occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.
- Death – In extreme cases, other physical complications from abortion including excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus, and adverse reactions to anesthesia may lead to death. This complication is rare, but it is a real possibility.
Other Risks of Abortion
Abortion and Preterm Birth
Women who undergo one or more induced abortions carry a significantly increased risk of delivering prematurely in the future. Premature delivery is associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy as well as other complications of prematurity (brain, respiratory, bowel, and eye problems).
Abortion and Breast Cancer
Medical experts are still researching and debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. Here are some important facts:
- Carrying your first pregnancy to full-term gives protection against breast cancer. Choosing abortion causes loss of that protection.
- A number of reliable studies have concluded that there may be a link between abortion and the later development of breast cancer.
- A 1994 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found: “Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.”
Emotional and Psychological Impact
There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in both emotional and physical health. For some women these negative emotions may be very strong, and can appear within days or after many years. This psychological response is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the symptoms are:
- Eating disorders
- Relationship problems
- Flashbacks of abortion
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sexual dysfunction
- Alcohol and drug abuse
*Information came from www.optionline.org
We know that an unexpected pregnancy can be very overwhelming and we hope that you will consider all of you options in making any life-changing decision. Sometimes when faced with a crisis a person may be filled with fear and worry and statistics show us that we don’t always make our best decisions when we are nervous and afraid. One of the client advocates would be happy to go over this information and try to answer any questions that you may have. We know that you are going through a difficult time and we care about you and are here to help you in any way that we can. We are not here to judge you or pressure you in any way. Let us know how we can help you and we will do our best to provide the information and assistance that you may need. We do not do abortions, nor do we refer for them.
If You’re Unsure
You may have looked at information on abortion, and parenting and still be uncertain as to what you want to do. You may want to consider some questions to help you determine how you feel.
What is your biggest fear about pregnancy?
- Having a baby?
- Telling your parents?
- If the father will be supportive?
How do you feel about being pregnant?
- Do you want to have a baby?
- Do you want to parent?
- Would you feel excited if it was a different time?
- Are you too scared to know?
What are your plans for the future?
- To finish school?
- To get married?
- To get a job?
What are you considering?
- Single Parenting?
How did you feel about abortion before you got pregnant?
- Religious beliefs?
- Moral or ethical concerns?
What are your reasons for wanting an abortion?
- Are you afraid to tell your parents?
- Someone is pressuring you to have an abortion?
- You’re worried about health issues?
- You’re not sure who the father is?
- You’re in college on a scholarship?
- You want to go to college?
- You’re too young?
There are a lot of questions that a woman and her boyfriend may have regarding an unexpected pregnancy. We are here to try to help you answer as many of them as we can. Please feel free to contact us or come into our office at any time.