Emergency Contraception (also known as “The Morning After Pill”): is a non-surgical abortion method used to prevent pregnancy up to 5 days (120 hours) after having unprotected sex or when another contraceptive fails. There are 3 types of emergency contraception: Paragard IUD, Ulipristal Acetate (brand name: Ella), and Levonorgestrel (brand name: Plan B, One Step, Take Action, My Way, After Pill etc). Depending on which type of emergency contraception you choose, pregnancy will be prevented by either preventing ovulation or fertilization and/or inhibit implantation. A pregnancy test is recommended to determine if you’re already pregnant.
RU-486, Mifepristone also known as the “Abortion Pill”: is a non-surgical abortion method used up to 10 weeks (70 days) after your last menstrual period (LMP). RU-486 requires a 3 step process and at least 2 office visits. At your first visit you will receive a pill called Mifepristone. 24 hrs later, but no more than 48 hrs, you will take the second pill called Misoprostol at your home. The combination of these drugs causes the fetus to die and be expelled from your uterus. You will return for a follow-up visit 7-14 days to ensure the pregnancy has ended.
First Trimester Abortion:
Suction (Aspiration) Dilation & Curettage: is a surgical procedure used 5-13 weeks of pregnancy. After administering anesthesia, a speculum is inserted into the vagina. A series of medal rods, called dilators, are used to open the cervix. A suction catheter is then inserted through the cervix into the uterus and the vacuum is turned on (10-20 times more powerful than a home vacuum). The fetus is rapidly torn apart and is squeezed through the tubing into the collection container. A curette (a long curved blade) is then used to scrape the inside of the uterus to ensure all products of conception are removed. Failure to remove all parts could lead to infection or hemorrhage.
Second Trimester Abortion:
Dilation & Evacuation: is a surgical procedure used between 13 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. After administering anesthesia, a weighted speculum is inserted into the vagina. Late term abortion requires that the cervix be prepared 24-48 hours in advance with Laminaria. Laminaria is a type of sterilized seaweed that absorbs water over 8-12 hours and swells to several sizes its original diameter. Once removed, medal rods, called dilators, are used to further open the cervix. A suction catheter is then inserted through the cervix into the uterus and the vacuum is turned on (10-20 times more powerful than a home vacuum). A pale yellow liquid, the amniotic fluid, is drained through the catheter. The fetus is too large and its bones and skull are too strong to be torn apart by the suction catheter. A sopher clamp, made of stainless steel, is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and is used to pull the fetus’ limbs apart from its body. A curette (a long curved blade) is then used to scrape the inside of the uterus to ensure all products of conception are removed. The abortionist will reconstruct and count all body parts to ensure everything came out. Failure to remove all parts could lead to infection or hemorrhage.
Third Trimester Abortion:
Induced Abortion: is a surgical procedure used between 25 weeks pregnant to term. Because the fetus is so large and developed at this stage, the procedure takes 3-4 days to complete. On day 1 the abortionist uses a large needle to inject Digoxin through the woman’s abdomen or vagina into the fetus’ heart, torso, or brain. Digoxin at a low dose is used to treat heart problems. Digoxin at the higher dose used in abortion, causes fatal cardiac arrest in the fetus, causing the fetus’ heart to stop and the fetus to die. The fetus feels pain at this stage of development and will feel the needle injecting its body. The abortionist will insert multiple sterilized sticks of seaweed, called Laminaria, into the woman’s cervix. The woman will carry her dead fetus within her body over the next 2-3 days as she waits for the Laminaria to absorb water and dilate her cervix. On day 2 the abortionist replaces the Laminaira and may perform an ultrasound to ensure the fetus has died. If the fetus is still alive, another dose of Digoxin will be administered. Once the woman starts to feel contractions she will deliver her stillborn child. If her uterus does not empty completely a D & E abortion will be completed. Clamps and forceps will be used to dismember the stillborn child piece by piece. The abortionist will reconstruct and count all body parts to ensure everything came out. Failure to remove all parts could lead to infection or hemorrhage.
Side Effects of Abortion
Common Physical Side Effects
Side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, bleeding, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, back pain, and breast tenderness.
More Serious Physical Effects
Serious physical effects may include heavy or prolonged bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, allergic reaction to drugs, damage to the cervix, scarring of the uterine lining, perforation of the uterus, and damage to internal organs. Women who have had an abortion may also be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Post-Abortion Emotional Effects
Women who have had an abortion may also experience an increased risk of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, alcohol use, and suicidal behavior.