In order to make informed choices, you have a right to complete information on what those choices are. Abortion is a surgical procedure with definite risks and consequences for you and your future family. Take time to get the facts before you choose.

Types of Abortion          Abortion Facts          Abortion Risks


Before 14 weeks

Suction Aspiration: For 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.

RU 486: 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 weeks

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 dead baby.

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.