Abortion

It's your choice!
But, you may not need an abortion.

At this difficult time, we care about you and your abortion decision. You may not need an abortion -- your period may be late or your pregnancy may end naturally. About 25% of all pregnancies end naturally in miscarriage. A good way to confirm pregnancy is through an ultrasound exam. Come in for a free medical consultation and ultrasound, so you can make an informed decision. You may not need to experience the pain and cost of an abortion.

If you have just found out for sure that you are pregnant, and this isn't part of your plans right now, you may be feeling alone and scared.  You may be having a hard time admitting that you really are pregnant.  Eventually you will need to decide what to do.  

At this time, despite the stress, you need to think through all your alternatives.  This is one of the biggest decisions you may make in your life.  Before you choose, carefully weigh your options based on information rather than just emotion.  Use your head, use your heart, and use your soul.  A First Choice staff member is waiting to help you think through all your thoughts and fears.

For your information, listed below are some facts regarding an abortion procedure and the risks involved.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact First Choice at 1-888-3-CHOOSE.


What is Abortion?

Abortion refers to the artificial (meaning not natural as in miscarriage) ending of a pregnancy, for whatever reason. Most people call the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy a miscarriage rather than an abortion. When abortions were legalized in the United States in January 1973, even doctors began using the term abortion for the pregnancy that a woman terminated and the term miscarriage for a pregnancy that a woman lost spontaneously.

Abortions may be performed either surgically or medically.

Surgical Abortion - implies the use of surgical instruments to remove the fetus from the uterus or the placing of instillations in the uterus to stop the fetus from developing.

Medical Abortion - implies the administration of drugs to the pregnant woman to stop the fetus from developing and expel it from the uterus.

The method of abortion is determined by how far along a woman is in her pregnancy. Because it can be difficult to know exactly what day a woman conceived, medical professionals will usually refer to pregnancy in terms of the time since the last menstrual period (LMP).

Before an abortion procedure can take place, gestational age must be determined. First Choice can provide an ultrasound to determine gestational age free of charge. Call 1-888-3-CHOOSE for an appointment.  

Pregnancy Termination Patient Safety and Consent

You have a right to know all of your options and other information that might affect your decision, but if you don't ask for this information you may forfeit that right.  Here are some important issues you will want to discuss before you sign a medical consent form.

  1. Will it hurt?
  2. What options and supportive services are available to me if I choose not to abort?
  3. What is the fetus like right now?  What can it do?  What can it feel?
  4. How much bleeding will I have?
  5. If I bleed too much, who should I call or where should I go?
  6. Will you treat me for complications?
  7. If I need to be hospitalized, at which hospital do you have privileges?
  8. What are the chances that I will experience any of the following problems?
PhysicalPsychological
Damage to the Cervix and Uterus [1] Clinical Depression [7]
Hemorrhage (heavy bleeding) [2] Post-traumatic Stress Disorder [8]
Infection [3] Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors [9]
Anesthesia [4]

Drug and Alcohol Abuse [10]

RH Sensitization [5]  
Death [6]  

If you decide to have an abortion, you will want to have a permanent record of what the care provider told you. Take this check list home with you and keep it in a safe place. Some of the effects associated with abortion may not show up for several years. If anything does happen to you during or after the abortion you will have evidence of what you were told

FIRST CHOICE DOES NOT PERFORM OR REFER FOR ABORTIONS.

This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.


[1] Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion or Dilatation & Curettage. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlets; November 2008.
[2] Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet; November 2008.
[3] Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Antibiotic prophylaxis for gynecologic procedures. Practice Bulletin No. 104; May 2009. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion or Dilatation & Curettage. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlets; November 2008.
[4] Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007.
[5] American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Management of alloimmunization during pregnancy. Practice Bulletin No. 75; August 2006.
[6] Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007. Paul M, Lichtenberg S, Borgatta L, Grimes DA, Stubblefield PG, Creinin MD, eds. Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care. UK:Wiley-Blackwell; 2009.
[7] Cougle JR, et al. Depression associated with abortion and childbirth: a long-term analysis of the NLSY cohort. Med Sci Monit. 2003;9(4):105-12.

[8] Thorp JM, Hartmann KE, Shadigian E. Long term physical and psychological health consequences of induced abortion: review of the evidence. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2003;58(1):67-79.

 [9] Fergusson DM,. et al. Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006;47(1):16-24.
[10] Fergusson DM,. et al. Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006;47(1):16-24.

 

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