Abortion Methods

Medical Abortion
(“The Abortion Pill” or RU-486)
Used up to 63 days from LMP

First, your health care provider will give you an oral dose of mifepristone. This drug will interfere with the natural function of your body by softening and breaking down the lining of your uterus. Two days later you will need to return to the clinic for a check-up. If the fetus hasn’t been expelled, you are given another drug, misoprostol, to make your uterus contract to push the fetus from your body, in a process similar to labor.

Surgical (In-Clinic Abortion)
Suction Aspiration
6-14 weeks LMP

For this procedure, you lie on your back with your feet in stirrups, and the health care provider applies a shot of anesthetic to your cervix to reduce pain. Your cervical muscle i stretched, or “dilated,” until the opening is wide enough to allow the abortion tools to pass into your uterus. Next, the health care provider will guide one end of a tube through the cervix and into your uterus. The tube is either attached to a suction machine or a device called a “manual vacuum aspirator” or MVA. After suction is initiated with the machine or MVA, you will feel the suction, which is used to pull the placenta and embryo into parts small enough to pass out of your body through the tube.

D & C (Dilation and Curettage)
4-24 weeks LMP

The health care provider opens your cervix, as described above, but in this case a loop-shaped tool to scrape the wall of your uterus. This reduces the embryo and placenta into parts small enough to pull them out of your body through the cervix. Anesthesia is usually used for this procedure.

D & E (Dilation & Evacuation)
Because the fetus is larger by this time, the health care provider must use a medical instrument called a forceps. This tool, similar to a set of pliers, ised used to pull apart the fetus into small enough parts that are able to be removed from your body through the cervix.

It’s tough to imagine the future and the impact this one decision will have on your life. Despite the pressure you feel, you need to weigh your options. Before you choose to have an abortion, carefully consider all of the risks.

Content taken with permission from the following informational pamphlet:
Unpregnant is not a word | © Frontlines Publishing 2011