Types of Abortions

Pregnancy can be a hard thing to go through, especially if it is unplanned. You may be considering abortion, but before you make any decisions, I want to make sure you know all the details so you can make the best informed and educated decision for yourself and your baby.

The type of abortion you end up having will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy (also meaning how many weeks gestation the baby is). To find out how far along in your pregnancy you are, you need a pregnancy test and an ultrasound. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland can do both of those things for you for free.

The Abortion Pill/RU-486 can be used anytime in a pregnancy before 10 weeks. The abortion pill is considered a “chemical or medical abortion”. The pill is a combination of two drugs. These two drugs work together to first stop the pregnancy hormone that is needed to make a pregnancy progress and then to make you cramp and bleed to expel the uterus and baby inside. The FDA states that you should only obtain Mifeprex, the Abortion Pill, through a licensed physician and then to follow up with the physician that prescribed the medication 1-2 weeks after taking the pills. With any medications and procedures, you should always be aware of side effects. Some side effects from Mifeprex that the FDA [1]warns about are nausea, vomiting, fever/chills, weakness, dizziness, and headaches. Bleeding and cramping are expected after completing the abortion pill regimen, however, heavy bleeding could occur and may need to be stopped surgically.

The next type of abortion is a surgical abortion. A surgical abortion is a procedure done to end your pregnancy and will be performed when a medical abortion is not appropriate (either after 10 weeks gestation or if deemed necessary by the physician). Each clinic or hospital will have its own guidelines as to when you can no longer receive an abortion. Each state has its own abortion law and will determine when abortion can no longer happen. For example, Maryland’s abortion law states that abortions are legal up to the point of the pregnancy viability (when a baby can survive outside of the mother’s womb). Each facility within Maryland will also determine at what point they will stop offering abortions within the state’s legal parameters; some facilities will do abortion up to 22 weeks and some will do abortions only up to 14 weeks. An ultrasound is the best way to determine how far along you are and thus determining what type of abortion would be performed for you. The type of surgical abortion will also be determined by gestational age (how far along you are and how big your baby is measuring). Either surgical suction or surgical extraction using forceps is what your physician will choose for a surgical abortion. No matter what type of abortion your physician deems necessary, make sure to ask appropriate questions prior to any procedure. Examples of questions are as followed: Why did you choose this procedure? What are the side effects? What are any complications I should look for?

There are many decisions that have to be made once you find out you are pregnant. This is why Care Net Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland is here. If you are overwhelmed by all the above information, confused as to what to do, or even scared about the next step, let’s talk. You can call or text us at 301-737-4604 or email anwers@carenetsomd.org. Care Net SoMD does not offer or refer for abortions, but we can provide you with a safe place to talk through all of your options and get the information you need. If you would like to schedule an appointment for our free and confidential services, you may complete our appointment request form and a member of our team will contact you.


[1] https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170722033518/https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323.htm

Kara Turing RN, BSN is the Nurse Manager at Care Net Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland. You can reach Kara at 301-737-4604.

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