Do I need anyone else’s consent in order to get an abortion?

There are two types of parental involvement laws regarding abortion: notification and consent. If you are not an emancipated minor under 18, these laws apply to you. A “Parental Notification” law means that a parent or guardian must be notified before a minor undergoes an abortion procedure. A “Parental Consent” law means that a parent or guardian must give permission before a minor undergoes the procedure.

State laws vary on parental involvement for minors under 18 who are seeking abortion services. If you are under 18, the law in the state where you are seeking an abortion, not the state in which you live, will apply. If parental consent or notification is required, the consent or notification of any other person will not be accepted as a substitute.

In Maryland, the law states that if you are less than 18 years old, one parent (or legal guardian) must be notified of your decision to have an abortion prior to the procedure. Some minors may qualify for an exception in the professional judgment of the abortion provider.1

If you do not live in Maryland, here is a list of other states and their laws regarding parental involvement.

However, there is no parental involvement required for you to make an appointment at the Pregnancy Clinic. You can come to our clinic to get the facts, find out how to talk to your parents, and find out whether or not you’re pregnant and if the pregnancy is living. We can help!

Make an appointment today.

CALL US TODAY

 

1. Abortion Consent Laws. American Women’s Services Web site. http://www.americanwomensservices.com/faq/abortion_consent_laws.php Accessed August 6, 2013.

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I’m not sure if I want an abortion

When faced with an unexpected pregnancy, there are three options: Abortion, Adoption, and Parenting. You might have mixed feelings about all three options. You might feel totally alone, with doubts and fears about your choices. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, that’s ok. This is your decision, no one can make it for you, and only you know what’s in your heart. So take the time to get informed, know your options, and evaluate your decision without external pressures.

Factors to consider

Your plans for your reproductive health, your life experience, your beliefs, and your current medical condition are all factors to consider in your decision. Take the time to talk about these things, considering both the short and long term risks and consequences of each choice, with a trained counselor who can listen to you without judgment and without having a financial stake in your decision.
That’s why the Pregnancy Clinic offers our services entirely for free. We will not make money from your decision no matter what you choose, so you’re in a position to feel free to discuss your questions, concerns, and thoughts in a caring, comfortable environment.

3 Choices

1. Adoption: Placing a baby for adoption is not like it used to be. There are many options when it comes to how you want your child to be raised in another home. You can choose an adoptive family who meets your criteria, and you can have more or less involvement in the future based on your personal preferences.
2. Abortion: Have you considered what type of abortion you’ll be having? Do you know exactly how far along you are or if your pregnancy is living? Are you aware of the various risks and side effects of the procedures? Do you know what questions you’re going to ask the abortion clinic or abortion provider?
3. Parenting: What would parenting look like for you? Who would support your choice and how would you make it work for you and your child? What resources will you need and where can you look for them?

To make your decision, you need information. The first step is to find out whether or not you’re pregnant and if the pregnancy is living. We can help!

Make an appointment for your consultation today.

 

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What if I have an ectopic pregnancy?

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition in which an embryo implants outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes, which may cause the tube to burst.1 Ectopic pregnancy is a leading cause of death in first trimester pregnancies.2 Ectopic pregnancy requires specific medical intervention and cannot be terminated by a standard surgical abortion.3

Certain factors that increases your risk

The risk of ectopic pregnancy is increased by certain factors in a woman’s medical history. Sometimes these factors create a chain reaction which can lead to ectopic pregnancy. For example, if a woman has had a previous abortion or has an undiagnosed STD, she has an increased risk of developing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, also known as PID.4 Women who use an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control are also at greater risk for developing PID.4 PID is an infection of the reproductive organs and is characterized by inflammation of those organs.5 The inflammation created by PID then increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy.6 Women who have PID may or may not have any symptoms, so they may also not be aware that they are at greater risk for ectopic pregnancy.5

Signs of an Ectopic Pregnancy

It is important to know that an ectopic pregnancy cannot be terminated by either The Morning After Pill or the abortion pill, however, these medications can mask the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, causing it to go undiagnosed.7 Some of the signs of Ectopic Pregnancy include vomiting, lower abdominal pain, sharp abdominal cramps, dizziness or weakness.8 In the case of these symptoms, please contact your health care provider and immediately go to the emergency room.

Even if you do not have any symptoms, it is important to rule out ectopic pregnancy before you proceed with an abortion decision. A pregnancy test alone will not determine whether or not your pregnancy is ectopic. However, the Pregnancy Clinic offers pre-abortion ultrasounds, which may help to determine whether or not your pregnancy is ectopic.

We can give you the information you need. If you haven’t had a viability ultrasound, make an appointment with us today.

 

1. Ectopic pregnancy. What is ectopic pregnancy? Planned Parenthood Web site. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/ectopic-pregnancy-4259.htm. Accessed August 4, 2013.
2. Mignini L. Interventions for tubal ectopic pregnancy; RHL commentary (last revised: 26 September 2007). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization
3. http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/ectopic-pregnancy-treatment-overview
4. Blackwell, A. L Et. Al. “Universal prophylaxis for Chlamydia trachomatis and anaerobic vaginosis in women attending for suction termination of pregnancy: an audit of short-term health gains.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine Web site. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10471099?dopt=AbstractPlus.  Accessed August 4, 2013.
5. http://www.cdc.gov/std/pid/STDFact-PID.htm
6. Parazzini F, Ferraroni M, Tozzi L, Ricci F, Mezzopane R, La Vecchia C. Induced abortions and risk of ectopic pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 1995 Jul;10(7):1841-4.
7. Mifeprex Questions and Answers; Questions 21-23. Food and Drug Administration Web site. www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111328.htm. Accessed August 4, 2013.
8. “Ectopic Pregnancy: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment.” WebMD. WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-ectopic-pregnancy . Accessed Febuary 4, 2015.
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Should I get STD tested before an abortion?

At the Pregnancy Clinic, we recommend STD testing prior to abortion to prevent undiagnosed STDs from spreading farther into the reproductive system.1 At most abortion clinics, STD testing prior to an abortion is not a routine procedure.2 Also, the abortion clinic may charge additional fees for testing. We offer free STD testing for women in each of our three locations.

Could I have an STD?

STDs (sometimes called sexually transmitted diseases, STIs, or sexually transmitted infections) are infectious conditions that are passed from one person to another during sexual activity. In the U.S., 1 in 5 people has an STD. In fact, every year there are an estimated 19 million new STD infections in the U.S. alone.3 Nearly half of all new STD cases occur in people ages 15 to 24. If you’ve engaged in any type of sexual activity, you’re at risk for STDs. Condoms provide some degree of protection against the spread of STDs, but STDs – including HIV – can still be transmitted even when condoms are used perfectly.4 Condoms can also slip, break, or have defects. Also, since condoms do not cover the entire genital area, STDs that are spread by skin to skin contact can still be passed even when a condom is used. Some people who are infected do not experience any symptoms, so they may not know they have an STD. It’s important to be tested for STDs to be sure you’re not infected, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

STDs and Abortion

Before you undergo an abortion procedure, it’s important to be tested for STDs. Undiagnosed STDs may cause complications following your abortion procedure, including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Bacteria can enter the reproductive tract during an abortion procedure leading to a pelvic infection, which is the most common complication of abortion.5,6 Women who have abortions are more likely to develop PID after their procedure.7,8
PID can lead to serious consequences including infertility and ectopic pregnancy. When PID is caused by a chlamydia infection, a woman may be more likely to experience only mild symptoms even when serious damage is being done to her reproductive organs.9

If you are considering abortion and would like to have free STD testing done prior to your procedure, schedule a consultation with us today.

 

1. Stevenson, M. M., and K. W. Radcliffe. “Preventing pelvic infection after abortion.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine Web site. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8547409?dopt=AbstractPlus. Accessed August 4, 2013.
2. http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/abortion-exams-and-tests Accessed January 31, 2015.
3. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm Accessed August 4, 2013.
4. Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention [Workshop June 2000], Summary report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. DHHS. July 20, 2001.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. National Institutes of Health Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicinflammatorydisease.html. Accessed July 20, 2013
6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pelvic-inflammatory-disease/DS00402. Accessed July 20, 2013.
7. Patel S, Baxi RK, Kotecha PV, Maxumdar VS, Mehta KG, Diwanii M. Association between pelvic inflammatory disease and abortions. Indian J Sex Transm Dis. 2010 Jul-Dec; 31(2): 127–128. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3122592/. Accessed August 4, 2013. Pelvic
8. Inflammatory Disease. National Institutes of Health Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicinflammatorydisease.html. Accessed July 20, 2013.
9. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) – CDC Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/std/PID/STDFact-PID.htm Accessed August 6, 2013.


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