Thinking about abortion?
Please contact us before you make a final choice. We are here to help you sort through all of your questions and concerns. There is a lot to educate yourself on before you make a decision, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
WHAT IS ABORTION?
Roe (P), a pregnant single woman, brought a class action suit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas abortion laws. These laws made it a crime to obtain or attempt an abortion except on medical advice to save the life of the mother.
Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit included Hallford, a doctor who faced criminal prosecution for violating the state abortion laws; and the Does, a married couple with no children, who sought an injunction against enforcement of the laws on the grounds that they were unconstitutional. The defendant was county District Attorney Wade (D).
Think you might be pregnant?”
If you think you might be pregnant you may be experiencing a range of emotions. Many questions may be running through your mind. It’s natural for women to have many questions about pregnancy. Pregnancy is a big event in a woman’s life.
Common symptoms of pregnancy
Symptoms may include a late or missed period, tender or swollen breasts, frequent urination, fatigue, and nausea. The first step to take to see if you might be pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. We offer free pregnancy testing with a nurse and use only the most accurate urine pregnancy tests. If your test is positive we can confirm the viability of your pregnancy with an ultrasound.
Our caring medical staff can answer your questions.
The questions we hear most often are about avoiding a pregnancy, the abortion pill, pre-pregnancy health, options for an unintended pregnancy, prenatal care, the accuracy of pregnancy tests, miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Whatever your question, we have a staff member that can help. Your health is important to us.
Here a List of Common Types of Abortions
Chemical Abortion/RU486 – Takes three office visits. Pills given at first abortion clinic visit kill the embryo. A day or two later at second visit, a medication is given to start cramping and expulsion of embryo, yolk sac, and placental tissue. Third visit to clinic is after “at home” abortion to check if abortion is complete. If not, surgical abortion is necessary to complete abortion. RU486 can result in serious injury, requiring hospitalization, and in rare cases can result in death. An abortion will not terminate an ectopic pregnancy.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration – Abortionist dilates the cervix. A long, thin tube is inserted through cervical canal into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube and the tiny baby called an embryo (means growing within) is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage – The cervix must be stretched open by abortionist using metal rods or laminaria inserted the day before. The doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, and then connects this tube to a very powerful suction machine to remove the fetus (meaning little one or unborn offspring) from the uterus. Then, the uterus is scraped with a sharp rounded blade to remove any remaining placental tissue.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) – When the fetus is too large the cervix must be opened wider. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed (called laminaria) a day or two before the abortion. A sharp tool is inserted into the uterus and the fetus is dismembered, skull crushed, parts removed, and uterus suctioned.
Late Term Abortion – Typically takes place over three days and is associated with increased risk to life and health of the mother. A long clamp tool is inserted through dilated cervix. The Fetus is then torn apart and removed.
Considering Abortion: Explore All Your Options
We are available to discuss your options, listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Contact us to share your thoughts, concerns and feelings about what you are going through. Read about your options:
Abortion Procedures and Risks
It may seem like abortion will wipe away this situation and you can just move on. It’s not that simple. 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 and its risks.
First Trimester Aspiration Abortion between 4-13 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)
This surgical abortion is done throughout the first trimester. Depending upon the provider and the cost, varying degrees of pain control are offered ranging from local anesthetic to full general anesthesia. For very early pregnancies (4-7 weeks LMP), local anesthesia is usually given. Then a long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube and the embryo is suctioned out.
Towards the end of the first trimester, the cervix needs to be opened wider to complete the procedure because the fetus is larger. This may require a two day process where medications are placed in the vagina, or a thin rod made of seaweed is inserted into the cervix to gradually soften and open the cervix over night. The day of the procedure, the doctor may need to further stretch open the cervix using metal rods. This is usually painful so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. Next, the doctor inserts a plastic tube into the uterus and then applies suction. Either electric or manual suction machines are commonly used. Manual Vacuum Aspirators (MVA) are becoming more popular in the U.S. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped tool 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.”)[1, 2, 3, 4]
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): between 13 to 24 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion because the fetus is larger. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed into the cervix a day or two before the abortion. Sometimes, other oral or vaginal medications are used to further soften the cervix. The day of the procedure, after anesthesia is given (local or general), the cervix is further stretched open using metal rods. Until about 16 weeks gestation, the procedure starts with a plastic tube inserted through the cervical opening and suction is applied. The suction pulls the fetus’ body apart and out of the uterus any remaining fetal parts are removed with a grasping tool (forceps). A sharp tool (called a curette) may also be used to remove any remaining tissue.
After 16 weeks, much of the procedure is done with forceps to pull fetal parts out through the cervical opening. The doctor keeps track of what fetal parts have been removed so that none are left inside to potentially cause infection. Lastly, a curette, and/or the suction machine is used to remove any remaining tissue or blood clot ensuring the uterus is empty.[5, 6, 7]
Dilation and Evacuation (D & E) After Potential Viability: about 24 weeks and up
When the abortion is done at a point when a live birth is possible, injections are given to cause fetal death. This is done in order to comply with the federal law which requires that the fetus be dead before complete removal from the mother’s body. The medications (digoxin and potassium chloride) are either injected into the amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord or directly into the fetus’ heart. The remainder of the procedure is the same as described above.
An alternate technique called “Intact D and E” may also be used. The goal of this procedure is to remove the fetus in one piece thus reducing the risk of leaving parts behind to cause infection, among other things. This procedure requires the cervix to be open even further by inserting the seaweed rods in the cervix two or more days prior to the abortion. Often it is necessary to crush the fetus’ skull for removal as it is difficult to dilate the cervix enough to bring the head out intact.[8, 9, 10]
Medication Abortion RU486 (Abortion Pill)
This drug is only approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use in women up to the 49th day after their last menstrual period; however, it is commonly used “off label” up to 63 days. This procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the fetus. Two days later, if the fetus has not been expelled from her body, the woman is given a second drug (misoprostol) to accomplish this. One to two weeks later, an evaluation is done to determine if the procedure has been completed.[11, 12]
RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.[13, 14]
If an ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.
Medical Methods for Second Trimester Induced Abortion
This technique involves the termination of pregnancy by the stimulation of labor-like contractions that cause eventual expulsion of the fetus and placenta from the uterus. Like labor at full term, this procedure typically involves 10-24 hours in the hospital labor and delivery unit. Digoxin or potassium chloride is injected into the amniotic fluid, or umbilical cord or fetal heart prior to the procedure in order to avoid the delivery of a live baby. The cervix may be softened either with the use of seaweed sticks, or medications at the start of the procedure. Various combinations of oral mifepristone and oral or vaginal misoprostol are the medications of choice for midtrimester pregnancy terminations. These medications cause the pregnancy to detach from the uterus and the uterus to contract and expel the fetus and placenta, in most cases. Throughout the procedure, the patient may receive oral or intravenous pain medications. Occasionally, a scraping of the uterus is needed to remove the placenta. Potential complications include hemorrhage and the need for a blood transfusion, retained placenta and uterine rupture.
Consider the Immediate Risks of Induced Abortion
Abortion carries the risk of significant complications such as bleeding, infection, and damage to organs. Serious medical complications occur infrequently in early abortions, but increase with later abortions [16, 17]. Getting complete information on the risks associated with abortion is limited due to incomplete reporting and the lack of record-keeping linking abortions to complications. The information that is available reports the following risks.
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.[18, 19, 20] When this happens, a blood transfusion may be required. Severe bleeding is also a risk with the use of the abortion pill: one in 100 women require surgery to stop the bleeding.
Infection can develop from the insertion of medical instruments into the uterus, or from fetal body parts that are mistakenly left inside (known as an incomplete abortion). This may cause bleeding and a pelvic infection requiring antibiotics and a repeat abortion to fully empty the uterus.[22, 23] Infection may cause scarring of the pelvic organs.[24, 25] Use of the abortion pill has resulted in the death of a number of women due to sepsis (total body infection).[26, 27]
DAMAGE TO ORGANS
The cervix and/or uterus may be cut, torn, or damaged by abortion instruments. This may cause excessive bleeding requiring surgical repair. Curettes and other abortion instruments may cause permanent scarring of the uterine lining. The risk of these types of complications increases with the length of the pregnancy. If complications occur, major surgery may be required, including removal of the uterus (known as a hysterectomy). If the uterus is punctured or torn, there is also a risk that damage may occur to nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder.
In extreme cases, complications from abortion (excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage from a perforated uterus, and adverse reactions to anesthesia) may lead to death.[32, 33] This complication is considered rare by some. However, the last thing abortion centers want is to have the ambulance come to their door to pick up a dead woman after a legal abortion. But, it happens too many times. (for more info, see: The Blackman Wall project)
Consider Long Term Risks of Induced Abortion
Finding out the real risks of abortion can be difficult. Women should be given comprehensive information before going through a procedure or taking a medicine that could have lifelong effects on health. Doctors should obtain informed consent before doing a medical procedure. Consider the following as you make your decision:
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).[34, 35, 36, 37]
Abortion and Breast Cancer
Medical experts continue to debate the association between abortion and breast cancer. Did you know that carrying a pregnancy to full term gives a measure of protection against breast cancer? Terminating a pregnancy results in loss of that protection.[38, 39]
Despite the controversy around this issue, it is important for women to know what some experts say: a number of reliable studies have demonstrated connection between abortion and later development of breast cancer.[40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45]
For more information regarding this potential risk, contact Option Line.
Emotional and Psychological Impact
Following abortion, many women experience initial relief. The perceived crisis is over and life returns to normal. For many women, however, the crisis isn’t over. Months and even years later, significant problems develop. There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in both emotional and physical health, long term. Many studies have shown abortion to be connected to:
•Clinical Depression [47, 48, 49]
•Drug and Alcohol Abuse [50, 51]
•Post-traumatic Stress Disorder [52, 53]
•Suicide [54, 55, 56, 57, 58]
Women who have experienced abortion may develop the following symptoms:
•Guilt, Grief, Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal Thoughts
•Difficulty Bonding with Partner or Children
If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, most pregnancy resource centers offer confidential, compassionate support groups designed to help women work through these feelings. You are not alone.
People have different understandings of God. Whatever your present beliefs may be, there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves to be considered. We are here to talk with you about any concerns you may have.
Choosing to continue your pregnancy and to parent can be challenging. With the support of caring people, parenting classes, and other resources, many women find the help they need to make this choice. We offer free services designed to assist you in your parenting decision.
Each year more than 50,000 American women lovingly place their baby in an adoptive home. This decision is often made by women who first thought abortion was their only way out. Adoption can be a loving option for birth mother, baby and adoptive family. Contact us to discuss your options.
Note:Centers listed on this site offer consultations and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, they do not offer or refer for abortion services. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.
1. Paul M, Lichtenberg E S, Borgatta L, Grimes DA, Stubblefield PG, Creinin MD, Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy, Comprehensive Abortion Care; 2009 Wiley-Blackwell.
2. Induced Abortion. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. June 2007.
3. Rock J, Thompson J. TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology, 8th edition, Lippincott-Raven, 1997.
4. Stenchever M, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology, 4th edition, Mosby, Inc., 2001.
5. Paul M, Lichtenberg Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy, Comprehensive Abortion Care
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7. Rock J, Thompson J. TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology
8. Paul M, Lichtenberg Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy, Comprehensive Abortion Care
9. Boulder Abortion Clinic, P.C.; http:www.drhern.com/medicalprocedures.asp; (Accessed June 16, 2008)
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11. Mifeprex (mifepristone) Information. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/mifepristone/ (Accessed June 16, 2008).
12. Mifeprex Package Insert (U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved label), July 2005.
13. Gary M, Harrison D. Analysis of severe adverse events related to the use of Mifepristone as an abortifacient. The Annals of Pharmacology 2006; 40.
14. Medical Management of Abortion. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 67. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists October 2005.
15. Paul M, Lichtenberg Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy, Comprehensive Abortion Care
16. Medical Management of Abortion. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 67
17. Katz Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th Edition, 2007 Mosby-Elsevier
18. Katz Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th Edition, 2007 Mosby-Elsevier
19. Rock, J and Thompson J; TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology, 1997; 8th edition Lippincott-Raven
20. Stenchever, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 2001, 4th edition, Mosby, Inc
21. Mifeprex Package Insert FDA-approved label, July 2005.
22. Katz Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th Edition, 2007 Mosby-Elsevier
23. Stenchever, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 2001, 4th edition, Mosby, Inc
24. ACOG Practice Bulletin, Antibiotic Prohyllaxis for Gynecologic Procedures”; No. 74, July 2006
25. Dilatation and Curettage. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists December 2005
26. ACOG Practice Bulletin, Medical Management of Abortion; No. 67, October 2005
27. Meich R. Pathophysiology of mifepristone-induced septic shock due to Clostridium sordellii. Ann Pharmacother 2005;39:xxxx. Published online, 26 Jul 2005, www.theannals.com
28. Rock, J and Thompson J; TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology, 1997; 8th edition Lippincott-Raven.
29. ACOG Patient Education Bulletin, Dilatation and Curettage; December 2005
30. Rock, J and Thompson J; TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology, 1997; 8th edition Lippincott-Raven.
33. Katz Comprehensive Gynecology, 5th Edition, 2007 Mosby-Elsevier
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36. Behrman, R and Stith Butler A. Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention 2006. Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.
37. Swingle HM, et al. Abortion and the risk of subsequent preterm birth, a systematic review with meta-analyses. J of Repro Med 2009 Feb; 54(2):95-108.
38. MacMahon, et al. Age at first birth and breast cancer risk. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 1970. 43:209-221.
39. Trichopoulos, D, et al. Age at any birth and breast cancer risk. Int J of Cancer 1983; 31:701-704.
40. Carroll, P. The breast cancer epidemic: modeling and forecasts based on abortion and other risk factors. J of Am Physicians and Surgeons. 2007; Vol 12(3).
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47. Templeton S-K, “Royal College Warns Abortion Can Lead to Mental Illness,” The Sunday Times, March 16, 2008, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3559486.ece (Accessed June 16, 2008); “Position Statement on Women’s Mental Health in Relation to Induced Abortion,” March 14, 2008, Royal College of Psychiatrists, http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/members/currentissues/mentalhealthandabortion.aspx (Accessed June 16, 2008).
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49. Fergusson DM, et al. Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2006; 47(1):16-24.
50. Coleman P, Reardon D, Rue V. Prior history of induced abortion in relation to substance use during subsequent pregnancies carried to term. Am J of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2002; 187:1673-78.
51. Coleman PK, et al. Predictors and correlates of abortion in the fragile families and well-being study: paternal behavior, substance use, and partner violence. Int J Ment Health Addiction 2008.
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54. DM, et al. Reactions to abortion and subsequent mental health. Brit J Psych 2009;
55. Yang C-Y. Association between parity and risk of suicide among parous women. Can Med Assoc J Apr 2010; 182; 569-572.
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57. Gissler M, et al. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland: 1987-1994: register linkage study. British Medical Journal 1996; 313:1431-4.d
58. Shadigian EM et al. Pregnancy-associated death: a qualitative systematic review of homicide and suicide. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey 2005; 60(3):183
http://abortionpillrisks.org/health-risks/deaths/ ( 7/25/2012)
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute (Fact Sheets) www.bcpinstitute.com
www.marchofdimes.com › Baby (January 2009/April 2010)
http://www.lifenews.com/2011/07/12/new-fda-report-abortion-drug-kills-14-women-injures-2200/ (April 30, 2011 by Food and Drug Administration)
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/fda-issues-health-warning-after-reports-abortion-pill-deaths (reported by CNSNews.com> on 7/7/2008)