Abortion Facts and FAQ’s
According to Guttmacher, 51% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, there are 3 options that a woman can decide to do:
- Continue the pregnancy and raise the child until adulthood.
- Continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption.
- Terminate the pregnancy and have an abortion.
Abortion is a very personal decision, and one that should be made with the woman’s full consent. Making a decision can be hard. Learning about your options and confiding in a loved one can help you to make the best informed choice for you.
- Abortion is common.
- 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by age 45.
- Abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States.
- Fewer than 0.5% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication.
- 58% of women having abortions are in their 20s.
- 61% have one or more children.
- 85% are unmarried.
- 69% are economically disadvantaged.
- 73% report a religious affiliation.
- 36% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic.
- 30% are black non-Hispanic.
- 25% are Hispanic.
- 9% are of other racial backgrounds.
Will an abortion affect my chances of having a baby in the future?
Most likely not. Having an abortion (or multiple abortions) does not affect fertility, or your chances of getting pregnant when you’re ready. It is important to talk to your doctor about starting birth control, to prevent getting pregnant again right after your abortion. Source
Will an abortion make me more likely to have a miscarriage later?
There is no scientific evidence linking previous abortions and miscarriages in later pregnancies. In instances of “unsafe” abortions, typically done where abortions are illegal, the abortion could cause an infection or damage the walls of the uterus or cervix, increasing the chance of a subsequent miscarriage. Source
Do abortions increase your chances of breast cancer?
Scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute of the United States, ” These newer studies examined large numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered medical history information from medical records rather than simply from self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced abortions and breast cancer risk.”
What are the different types of abortion?
Medical Abortion – Mifepristone (Mifeprex), commonly known as Medical Abortion / “Abortion Pill” / “At home” Abortion / RU486, provides women with a safe medical alternative to the traditional surgical abortion. With this method, the patient receives the initial mifepristone medication at the Dr.’s office, and then completes the abortion procedure in the comfort and privacy of her own home. The non-surgical abortion method of pregnancy termination accounts for approximately 30% of all procedures performed prior to 9 weeks gestation. A follow- up appointment is required to confirm the abortion was successful.
D&C – A “D&C” abortion procedure, also known as a “1st Trimester Surgical Abortion” is a gentle “in-clinic” procedure used to terminate pregnancies of 5 to 14 weeks. In contrast to the “Non Surgical Abortion” or “Abortion Pill” method, the D&C surgical abortion is performed under the direct supervision of a physician and requires only a single visit. Most D&C procedures are completed in a matter of minutes, during which time the patient is completely asleep.
D&E – A “D&E” abortion procedure, also known as a “2nd Trimester Surgical Abortion” is a surgical abortion procedure that is used to terminate pregnancies greater than 14 weeks gestation. Following completion of initial paperwork, receiving an ultrasound, and getting lab work, a pre-op examination and screening will be performed to determine your number of required pre-operative visits. Next, small synthetic dilators will be inserted in the cervical canal by a highly skilled member of our medical staff. This initial “insertion” procedure does not require you to be asleep and you are able to drive immediately following the visit. You are released to the comfort of your home where you can rest until returning for your next pre-operative visit or for your scheduled D&E procedure.
For your second appointment, your D&E surgical procedure is performed in a safe and secure operating room by a highly skilled and licensed OB/GYN surgeon. General anesthesia is provided under the supervision of a highly trained and licensed CRNA, which allows you to be completely asleep for the short surgical procedure. Following your procedure, you are taken to a general recovery room where licensed nurses and medical assistants monitor your recovery. Prior to discharge, post-operative instructions, medications, and birth control are provided for your continued recovery at home.
Will an abortion hurt?
The feelings after an abortion typically feels like menstrual cramps- but stronger. You can usually treat these symptoms with over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen, or relaxing with a heating pad. Some women may experience nausea or headaches because of the changes in hormones.
Are abortions safe?
Out of every 100 women that do medical abortions, 2 or 3 women have to go to a doctor, first aid center, or hospital to receive further medical care. In countries where childbirth is safe, 1 in every 10.000 women dies during childbirth. Less than 1 in every 100,000 women who use a medical abortion die, making medical abortions safer than childbirth and about as safe as naturally occurring miscarriages.
Should I choose a medical or surgical abortion?
Personal preference and how far along you are in your pregnancy, can determine whether you choose to have a medical abortion or surgical abortion.
|Medical Abortion||D&C Procedure||D&E Procedure|
|5-9 weeks pregnant.||5-14 weeks pregnant.||14-22 weeks pregnant.|
|Requires 2 office visits.||Requires 1 office visit.||Requires 2 office visits.|
|Is completed in the privacy of your home.||Uses anesthesia- you will be asleep through the surgery.||Uses anesthesia- you will be asleep through the surgery.|
|Can feel more like a “natural miscarriage.”||Women usually have light bleeding at home after the procedure for up to two weeks.||Women usually have light bleeding at home after the procedure for up to two weeks.|
|Women usually have heavy bleeding for several hours and bleed like a period for an average of two weeks.||Requires someone to pick you up from your appointment.||Requires someone to pick you up from your appointment.|
How long until I’m at risk of getting pregnant again after my abortion?
None of these methods affect fertility, so you are at risk of getting pregnant again right after your abortion. It is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse for at least 1 week after your abortion, and to immediately start some type of birth control and condoms. With so many different methods to choose from, you’re sure to find one that right for you.
Can I bring someone with me?
Yes, many women choose to bring their partner, friend, or relative with them to their appointment. Although they can’t be in the same room as you during your procedure- you may find comfort in knowing that they are there supporting you. During a surgical abortion, you are required to have someone pick you up from your appointment because of the anesthesia. If arranging a ride isn’t possible, we recommend bringing extra money for a taxi to take you home.
I’m not 18 yet, can I still get an abortion without telling my parents?
Yes. In the state of California you are not required to inform, or get consent from your parents. Minors have the same abortion rights as adults, meaning you can give consent to, and receive an abortion on your own.
How will an abortion make me feel afterwards?
There isn’t a right or wrong way to feel after an abortion. The majority of women express feelings of relief after an abortion. Some women may experience feelings of guilt, sadness, shame, or depression. These feelings are usually stronger if the woman has strong personal feelings against abortion, has little, or no support, or if the woman felt strongly pressured into the decision.