Decisions

A woman has many decisions to make when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. There are several options when considering abortion.

  • Many women seeking an abortion consider the abortion pill, also known as RU 486 or Mifeprex. The FDA approves this method up to 7 weeks (49 days) from the last menstrual period.1 Although the failure rate and complications increase, some abortion providers will administer the pill up to 9 weeks after the last menstrual period.2
  • Surgical abortion with suction and curettage can be done between 4-13 weeks after the last menstrual period. This is done in an abortion clinic using varying degrees of pain control.
  • Surgical abortion during the second trimester, weeks 13-24, involves dilation and evacuation or D&E. This procedure typically involves 10-24 hours in an abortion clinic.
  • Late term abortions, from about 24 weeks until the end of the pregnancy, take about 2-3 days. This procedure is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother.

Up to 30% of early pregnancies may end in miscarriage3 so a sonogram is an important first step before scheduling an abortion. The sonogram can help in determining the viability or capacity for life of the pregnancy, how far along the pregnancy is, and what type of abortion you would be eligible for. Sonograms are available free of charge at the Pregnancy Clinic.

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1. Mifeprex medication guide. How should I take mifeprex? Food and Drug Administration Web site. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm088643.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2013.

2. Mifepristone questions and answers. Food and Drug Administration Web site. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111354.htm April 17, 2002. Accessed August 4, 2013.

3. Wilcox AJ, Weinberg CR, O’Connor JF, et al. Incidence of early loss of pregnancy. N Engl J Med. Jul 28 1988;319(4):189-94. Petrozza, John C. “Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss.” Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. Medscape Web site. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/260495-overview Accessed August 6, 2013.

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