Pregnancy Choice - Abortion

Procedure Information

Abortion is a medical procedure that results in the termination of a pregnancy. There are many things to consider before choosing elective abortion to end a pregnancy. Browse our Abortion FAQ's to learn about the most commonly asked questions about abortion.


What are my options for abortion?

There are two different ways an abortion can be performed, a medical abortion and a surgical abortion.

Medical abortion: A procedure that involves giving the patient medicine (aka "The Abortion Pill") to end a pregnancy. This type of abortion is FDA approved for use through the first 70 days of a pregnancy and requires three office visits. During the first office visit, you will be given three tablets of Mifeprex®, which blocks a hormone that the developing embryo needs to continue growth. Two days later, you will return to the doctor's office to take two tablets of Cytotec®, which will make your body go into labor and expel the embryo; it is common for you to be sent home with medicine to prevent infection. The third office visit, which takes place two weeks later, is to confirm that the abortion is complete, and you are no longer pregnant.

Surgical abortion: A surgical procedure to remove the embryo/fetus from your uterus. In the first trimester, aspiration is used. During an aspiration abortion, your cervix will be dilated and a suction machine is used to empty your uterus. Aspiration abortion usually takes about 5-15 minutes, not including paperwork, counseling and recovery. In the second trimester, a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion is used. Your cervix will be dilated and a suction machine along with other surgical instruments will be used to empty your uterus. A D&E usually takes about 10-45 minutes, not including paperwork, counseling and recovery.

What are the risks/side effects of abortion?

Abortions are the safest in the first trimester.

If the medical abortion fails, the medicine may cause birth defects. Other side effects of the abortion pill include heavy bleeding, blood clots in the uterus and allergic reaction to the medication.

Side effects of a surgical abortion include heavy bleeding, blood clots in the uterus, infection, injury to the cervix and other organs, and failure to completely end the pregnancy.

What should I be aware of when seeking an abortion?

When considering a surgical abortion, there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Is the person performing the abortion a licensed physician?
  • Has the physician's license ever been suspended or revoked?
  • Which hospital does the attending physician have admitting privileges?

**For your safety, do NOT have a medical abortion if it has been longer than 70 days since your last menstrual period (LMP).

This content has been used with permission from Image Clear Ultrasound®.