“My mind was swirling. I knew this queasy feeling wasn’t going away. And the question, ‘Am I pregnant?’ was always on my mind. ‘I CAN’T be pregnant. What am I gonna do?’ I needed to sort it all out.” – Rachel
An abortion is a hard decision and a deeply personal decision. It is a decision which can have a long-term effect on you. All of the controversy and debate can’t predict how this decision will impact you. More than the physical effects, it is important to consider the emotional, relational and spiritual impact of an abortion. How will this decision impact your mental health and well-being? At the LPC you can talk to your advocate about these important areas of your life.
Whether a medical abortion or a surgical abortion, it is a medical procedure which like any medical procedure carries physical risks. Making an informed decision is your right. A provider cannot perform an abortion without your informed consent. Get the facts about the possible physical risks. Before you consent, ask all your questions. You deserve to truthful, accurate and straight-forward information.
NOTE: The LPC offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services or emergency contraception. The information presented on this website is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.
Medical Abortions - Up to 9 weeks LMP
The Abortion Pill (also known as Mifeprex™, mifepristone, or RU-486) uses two drugs and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in women up to 49 days (7 weeks) after their last menstrual period (LMP). However, it is commonly used “off-label” up to 63 days (9 weeks LMP) and beyond. The abortion pill is the most common form of medical abortion.
Methotrexate was a drug that the FDA approved for treating certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, but is used off-label to treat ectopic pregnancies and to induce abortion. The FDA classifies it as a “category X” medication meaning that it has been shown to be harmful to the fetus, and the risks outweigh potential benefits.
Misoprostol is a prostaglandin and was FDA-approved to reduce risk of stomach ulcers in people taking anti-inflammatory drugs, but is used off-label to cause abortions. This drug is also classified as “category X” by the FDA with regard to pregnancy.
Medical Methods for Induced Abortion - 2nd and 3rd Trimester
This procedure induces abortion by using drugs such as mifepristone, misoprostol, or pitocin to cause labor and delivery of the fetus and placenta. Ten to 24 hours in a hospital labor and delivery unit are often required. Some are doing these procedures in an outpatient setting, despite considerable risks if complications occur. This procedure may be selected because the provider doesn’t do late term dilation & evacuation (D&E), patient preference, or so an autopsy of the baby may be done afterwards.
Aspiration/Suction – Up to 13 weeks LMP: This surgical procedure is used throughout the first trimester of pregnancy. Most first trimester surgical abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia is typically offered to reduce pain, however sedation may also be available.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) – 13 weeks LMP and up: Most second trimester abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia, oral, or intravenous pain medications and sedation are commonly used. General anesthesia may be used, if available.
D&E After Viability – 24 weeks LMP and up: This procedure typically takes 2–3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. General anesthesia is usually recommended, if available, otherwise intravenous sedation will often be used.
Some women experience strong negative emotions after an abortion. Sometimes this occurs within days and sometimes it happens after many years. An abortion can be a traumatic event for some women. Several factors which impact the likelihood of this traumatic experience include: a woman’s age, the abortion circumstances, the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion occurs, and a woman’s religious beliefs.
If you think you might be suffering from the negative effects of a past abortion decision, you are not alone, our After Abortion Care and Education (AACE) program might be able to help.
What About Adoption?
Adoption isn’t a simple or easy choice. However, it can be a healthy and meaningful choice for you and your baby.
An adoption plan isn’t about failure; parents who place a child for adoption are not failures. When there is secrecy or judgment surrounding an adoption, then feelings of toxic shame can be overwhelming. That’s no good. You can be a good and loving parent AND choose to place your child with an adoptive family.
Do you have the facts about your adoption options? What would your adoption plan look like? The LPC can help you make an informed, empowered and wise adoption plan. An experience which works for you and your child.
Adoption Planning Tips
You have the right to…
- place your child for adoption through an adoption agency or through private adoption;
- approve the parents who will adopt your child, know their names, religious preference, or other factors, and even meet them if you want;
- make a written adoption agreement, which allows you to share pictures, letters and maybe even agree to future contact;
- see or not see your child before you place her for adoption;
- change your mind;
- make a choice for counseling.
Is Keeping My Baby Right for Me?
Maybe getting pregnant wasn’t in the cards for you right now, but now that you are facing the prospect of being pregnant, raising a child seems possible. Parenting is a life-long journey with your child, beginning now – it can be challenging and rewarding. It is important to think about what kind of family you are creating for you and your child. Explore your parenting options. Where can you find support to take of your needs and your child’s needs? Who will help you raise your child? The LPC can equip you as you begin your parenting adventure.
The LPC is here to help educate you about your parenting choices. Learn more about our individual coaching experience and Parenting 101. (Although the LPC is not an adoption agency, we can provide referrals to adoption agencies upon request.)