Abortion Information

Most abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. In later stages, as the baby grows, the procedure becomes more complex. Costs for an abortion range from $600 to over $5,000 per procedure, depending on the stage of development at which the abortion is performed and the type of anesthetic that is used. This center does not offer abortion services or abortion referrals.  

Plan B

Recently, the “morning after pill” (Plan B) has become easier to purchase.  Basically, this is a high-dosage birth control pill which can be taken up to 72-hours after intercourse.  It prevents and stops pregnancy in one of 3 ways:  it will prevent the egg from being released, the normal menstrual cycle will be altered, or if an egg has been fertilized, beginning a pregnancy, the ovum will not be able to implant on the uterine wall.  Side effects from Plan B are menstrual changes, nausea, lower stomach (abdominal) pain, tiredness, headache, dizziness, breast pain or vomiting. 

RU 486

RU 486 is used as an early chemical abortion.  It requires a series of two pills that must be taken with 49 days (7 weeks) from the first day of your last period.  The first pill prevents the progesterone in your body from working; shutting off the blood supply to the embryo.  Two days later you will be required to return to the clinic for the second pill, which is prostaglandin to induce labor.  Severe cramping, bleeding, nausea and vomiting should be expected.  A final visit to the clinic is needed to ensure the abortion has gone to completion.  Five percent to ten percent of all women require a surgical abortion to complete the process.

Surgical Abortion

Manual or Vacuum Aspiration is the common surgical abortion procedure for the first trimester (5 to 12 weeks).  Manual aspiration procedures use a specifically designed syringe that applies suction, while the vacuum aspiration procedure utilizes a hollow tube attached by tubing to a bottle and pump, providing a vacuum.  In both instances, suction is utilized to remove your pregnancy from the uterine wall.   During the procedure, you may feel cramping, nausea, sweating, or feel faint. 2

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is the common surgical abortion procedure for the second trimester (performed in the second 12 weeks).  It is a combination of vacuum aspiration, dilation and curettage (D&C) and the use of surgical instruments (such as forceps).  With this procedure, you are given a combination of a medical injection to the cervical area and a sedative.  The procedure involves the use of vacuum aspiration (as described above), forceps to remove larger sections of the pregnancy, the use of a curved instrument (curette) to scrape the lining of the uterus, and the use of suction for a second time. 3

Health Risks

There are health risks associated with abortion since it is a medical procedure.

Common side effects:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

While not as common, the following side effects can occur:

  • Heavy bleeding and possible hospitalization due to hemorrhaging
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to drugs or anesthesia
  • Tearing of the cervix or perforation of the uterine wall
  • Scarring of the uterine lining, which can cause infertility
  • Damage to other internal organs (primarily the bladder or bowels)
  • Effects on future pregnancy (primarily through scarring or damage to the cervix)
  • Emotional impacts.  Watch particularly for guilt, anger, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, actual suicide attempts, anniversary guilt, flashbacks of abortion, sexual dysfunction, relationship problems, eating disorders, alcohol/drug abuse or psychological reactions.

What about STDs?

If you are pregnant and considering abortion as an option for your unplanned pregnancy, you need to know if you have any sexually transmitted diseases in order to avoid a possible significant health problem.

In most cases, the abortion clinic will not test you for an STD prior to performing an abortion.  Diseases, such as Gonorrhea or Chlamydia, if not detected and treated prior to an abortion, can increase your risk of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease by 25%.

This center does not offer abortion services or abortion referrals.