What to Know About Abortion

There are several different abortion procedure types as well as potential risks. Empower yourself with information by understanding these risks prior to scheduling an appointment at an abortion clinic.

What Should I Do First?

Take a deep breath. An unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming, and it’s important not to make a decision based on fear, but one based on facts. Remember that there are plenty of resources available to help you and that you are not alone in this. To ensure you don’t miss any steps as you consider your options, take a look at our Abortion Safety Checklist.

What are the different types of abortion?


Also known as a medical abortion or the abortion pill, RU-486 is a two-pill medication prescribed by a doctor. It is only an option for women up to their ninth week of pregnancy. The first pill, Mifepristone, is typically taken at the doctor’s office. This drug inhibits the flow of progesterone, which is a hormone necessary for a pregnancy to continue. Misoprostol is the second pill, which is usually taken between 24 and 48 hours after Mifepristone. This begins uterine contractions to expel the embryo, and the process is usually quite painful.

Surgical Abortion

There are a few different surgical abortion procedures: Aspiration and Dilation & Evacuation. Both utilize surgical instruments to perform the procedures, however, the Dilation & Evacuation method is reserved for later term pregnancies and requires a few additional steps. The Aspiration procedure is available for pregnancies from 6 to 16 weeks gestation, while Dilation & Evacuation is performed after 16 weeks.

What Are the risks?

There are several risks associated with each abortion procedure type. Following RU-486, you may experience an allergic reaction, an infection, blood clots, heavier bleeding than anticipated, and a failed abortion resulting in the need for a surgical procedure. RU-486 does not work between 2 and 8 percent of the time.

Risks following a surgical procedure include cramping, nausea, sweating, lightheadedness, blood clots, bleeding that is heavier or more prolonged than anticipated, and damage to the cervix or perforated uterus.

Abortion is a serious medical procedure, and it’s vital to understand the procedures in depth before scheduling an appointment. To learn more about abortion, the potential risks, and to get any questions you have answered, contact us today.


American Pregnancy Association: Abortion Pill

American Pregnancy Association: Surgical Abortion

Abortion or Baby: Before You Decide

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