Abortion Procedures &
Abortion is not
just a simple medical procedure. For many women, it is a life
changing event with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual
consequences. Most women who struggle with past abortions say that
they wish they had been told all of the facts about abortion, its
risks and the impact it may have had on their lives before they made
advocates are available to answer your questions about abortion.
Call (845) 471-9284 to schedule a confidential appointment. All our
services are free.
up to 7 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP).
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy up until 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.
between 6 and 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.”).
between 13 and 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 a day or two 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
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
RU486 (not the
same as the Morning After Pill), Mifepristone (Abortion Pill):
4 to 7 weeks after LMP.
This drug is only approved for use in women up to the 49th day after
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 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
is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo
lodges outside the uterus, usually in
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
Side effects may
occur with induced abortion, whether surgical or by pill. These
pain and cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Abortion also
carries the risk of significant complications such as bleeding,
infection, and damage to organs. Serious complications occur in
less than 1 out of 100 early abortions and in about 1 out of every
50 later abortions. Complications may include:
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
- Infection can develop from the insertion of medical
instruments into the uterus,
or from fetal parts that are mistakenly left inside (known as an
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.
Abortion - Some fetal parts may be mistakenly left inside
after the abortion. Bleeding and infection may result.
- A number of RU486 or mifepristone users have died as a result
of sepsis (total
- Complications from general anesthesia used during abortion
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.
the Cervix - The cervix may be cut, torn, or damaged by
abortion instruments. This can cause excessive bleeding that
requires surgical repair.
of the Uterine Lining - Suction tubing, curettes, and other
abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine
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 (known as a hysterectomy).
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
- 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 is real.
Consider Other Risks of Abortion
Women who undergo
one or more induced abortions carry a significantly increased risk
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
Breast Cancer: Medical experts are still researching and
debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. Here are
some important facts:
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
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.”
information about the abortion/breast cancer link, click
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:
different understandings of God. Whatever your present beliefs may
be, there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves to be
considered. Having an abortion may affect more than just your body
and your mind -- it may have an impact on your relationship with
God. What is
God's desire for you in this situation? How does God see your unborn
child? These are important questions to consider.
HERE for an Abortion Clinic Health & Safety Checklist.
Explore Your Options
You have the
legal right to choose the outcome of your pregnancy. But real
comes when you find the resources and inner strength necessary to
make your best choice.
Here are some other options:
continue your pregnancy and to parent is very challenging. But with
the support of caring people, parenting classes, and other
resources, many women find the help they need to
make this choice.
You may decide to
place your child for adoption. Each year over 50,000 women in
this choice. This loving decision is often made by women who first
thought abortion was their only
Help Is Available
unexpected pregnancy can seem overwhelming. Our trained advocates
are available to help you explore you options and answer your
questions about abortion.
471-9284 to schedule a confidential appointment. All our services
To access source documentation, click