Before 14 weeks
this procedure you lie on your back with your feet in
stirrups, and the doctor applies a shot of anesthetic to
your cervix to reduce pain. Your cervical muscle is
stretched with rods until the opening is wide enough to
allow the abortion tools to pass into your uterus. Then the
doctor guides the suction device through the cervix and into
your uterus. A suction machine is used to pull the placenta
and baby into parts small enough to pass out of your body
through the tube.
Dilation and Curettage (D&C): The doctor opens your cervix, as described above, but in
this case the abortion is done with a loop-shaped knife
which he uses to scrape the wall of your uterus, cutting the
baby and placenta into smaller parts and pulling them out of
your body through the cervix.
This is an abortion pill that is taken
very early in pregnancy, most likely before the ninth week.
Your doctor would either inject you with mifepristone or
give an oral dose. Your body would begin to behave
hormonally as if you were not pregnant and you experience a
heavy period. Two days later you would return to the clinic
for an injection of prostaglandin to cause your cervix to
dilate, pushing the baby from your body, similar to labor.
This injection can cause serious cramping, bleeding, and
heart problems. If the injection of prostaglandin is not
used, RU 486 may result in a failed abortion. Then a doctor
would surgically extract the baby.
After 14 weeks
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E):
Because the bones of the baby are
larger and stronger by this time, the doctor uses a medical
instrument resembling pliers to pull the baby into smaller
parts and removes those parts from your body through the
cervix. This procedure requires that your cervix be opened
wider than with "Suction" or "D&C" methods, and there is
greater risk of harm to your reproductive organs. After 16
Saline or Prostaglandin:
This is injected into the amniotic
fluid which surrounds the baby in your uterus. The doctor
inserts a long needle into your abdomen until the tip
penetrates the uterus. Saline is a poisonous substance which
eventually kills the baby, and prostaglandin causes, the
muscle tissue of the mother to push the baby out of the
uterus. This procedure requires you to "give birth" to a
Partial Birth / Late Term Dilation
and Extraction (D&X): Laminar ( a type of seaweed that expands when moist) is used
to dilate the cervix over a two-day period. On the third
day, the membranes are ruptured, and an ultrasound is used
to locate the lower extremities. The doctor then uses large
forceps to grasp a leg, and pull it down into the vagina.
After the body is delivered, the skull is lodged at the
cervical opening. The doctor makes an incision in the base
of the child's skull. This technique may be safer than
"D&E" abortion because the baby is not dismembered in the
uterus, however, damage may occur due to extensive
stretching of the cervix during the procedure.