In-depth: Abortion

by Taji Owens

There are two ways of ending a pregnancy, with an in-clinic abortion or the abortion pill.

(Photo: Yaqeen Institute)

Both in-clinic and medication abortions are very safe. In fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures out there.

Overall, three three in ten women in the U.S. will have an abortion by the time they’re 45 years old.

Planned Parenthood leads the country with the most up-to-date medical standards and guidelines for health care, including abortion, its site says.

They regularly review new medical research and get updates from groups like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Planned Parenthood). It is not common for a serious problem to occur after abortion.

How does the in-clinic abortion work? A doctor, nurse, or other health care provider uses medical instruments and gentle suction to remove the pregnancy from your uterus. How do the pills for abortion work? You take pills that cause your pregnancy to end and your uterus to expel the pregnancy, like an early miscarriage.

How well does the in-clinic abortion work? It almost always works over 99% of the time. The  medication for abortion works at eight weeks or less 98% of the time, at eight to nine weeks 96% of the time, and at nine to ten weeks 93% of the time.

How long does the abortion take if it was done within the clinic? The abortion procedure usually takes around 10 minutes. On top of that you’ll need to meet with health center staff to talk about whether abortion is the right decision for you and what your abortion options are. You should have an exam, lab tests, and prepare for the procedure. You’ll also need to read, sign forms, and stay in the recovery room after. The full visit usually takes a few hours to complete.

In some cases, state law requires you to come to the health center on a separate visit before the abortion.

Abortions later in pregnancy may take longer and require more visits to the health center. How long does it take when taking the pill for abortion? You take one pill at the health center, and the second pills one to two days later, usually at home. Most of the time the abortion is over within 24 hours after taking the second pills.

Before you take any medication you’ll also need to meet with health center staff to talk about whether abortion is the right decision for you and what your abortion options are, have an exam and lab tests, and read and sign forms. The full visit usually takes a few hours to complete.  You will need to follow up to make sure the pills worked.

 

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