Top 10 Abortion Questions
- How far in the pregnancy can I get an abortion?
A few states, like New Mexico, do not restrict abortions based on gestational age, allowing physicians to assist patients later in pregnancy both in circumstances of their health and those of the fetus. Abortions later in pregnancy, sometimes called “late-term abortions”, are only performed by a few physicians in the country. For Example, at Southwestern Women’s Options office in Albuquerque, NM abortion services are available through 32 weeks. Exceptions after 32 weeks are provided on a case-by-case basis.
- How much does abortion cost/Does insurance cover?
The cost of an abortion is based on how far you are into pregnancy. Insurance coverage for abortions varies, depending on the specifics of your policy. In some states, Medicaid will cover abortions. If you do not have private insurance or Medicaid coverage, there may be other financial assistance available. At Southwestern Women’s Options, (SWO) and Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center (SWSC) in Dallas, Texas, we are able to assess you for National Abortion Federation (NAF) funding. To address your financial needs, contact your local abortion provider.
- What are the risks?
The risks involved are much less than pregnancy and delivery. Abortion complications are rare; they depend on where you are in pregnancy and the procedure being performed. You will be fully informed of the risks during your initial visit at the medical facility.
- Can I get pregnant in the future?
Studies have shown that abortion does not affect future fertility. Even in the rare event of an abortion complication, it would be highly unusual for your future fertility to be affected. Your concerns can be discussed with a medical staff member.
- What do I need to schedule an appointment?
To schedule an early appointment, most offices need a last menstrual period (LMP) or an estimated due date, and some information regarding medical history. Scheduling abortions later in pregnancy often requires additional information. When calling Southwestern Women’s Options, it is useful to have a BPD measurement from an ultrasound, a recent hemoglobin (or hematocrit), and blood pressure. If you do not have this information, we will help you obtain it.
- How long does it take?
An abortion is a medical procedure that involves health history, consent forms, and a discussion with clinic staff and physicians. The entire office visit takes a number of hours. There may be more than one visit required. The length of a procedure can be minutes (early in pregnancy) to hours (late in pregnancy). The number of appointments and times and can also depend on the restrictive laws in each state. The clinic will give you the information you will need to plan your appointment(s).
- How is it done?
Medication abortions use two medications, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, to induce the expulsion of an early pregnancy (similar to a miscarriage). Surgical abortions are done using the body’s natural opening, the cervix, and do not require cutting or stitching. Depending on gestation and the clinic, you may be scheduled for an aspiration procedure (first trimester), a dilation and evacuation procedure (second or third trimester), or induction procedure (late second or third trimester). Contact your local provider to learn more about what your procedure will require.
- Does it hurt?
Every person experiences the abortion differently. Cramping (slight to intense) is a normal part of an abortion, and it is possible to experience other sensations. At the offices owned by Curtis Boyd M.D. P.C., we use a combination of IV sedation, prescription and nonprescription pain medication, relaxation therapies, and doula support to assist our patients in their comfort. An experienced counselor is available to discuss all concerns.
- Are epidurals or C-sections used?
“Ninety-five percent of abortions are provided in clinics and other office-based settings; most abortions can be safely provided in office-based settings” according to the research done by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.SWO, as an outpatient office, and SWSC, as an ambulatory surgery center, do not provide hospital based services such as epidurals or cesareans for patients.
- Do Abortions Cause Breast Cancer?
There is no medical evidence of a link between abortion and breast cancer. Despite this, a number of states require that you be told that a connection exists. This politically motivated “state mandated information” requires providers to tell patients this as well as other misinformation.