Frequently Asked Questions – About Abortion
Is abortion legal?
Yes. Abortion was made legal nationwide in 1973. Some states and clinics have restrictions on abortion.
Where can I get a pregnancy test?
We offer FREE pregnancy testing 9am- 4:45pm Monday through Friday. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate and is enough verification to make an appointment.
How early in a pregnancy (how soon) can I schedule?
The pregnancy needs to be identified by ultrasound. This happens around 5 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP). That is the earliest a scheduled appointment is made. The medication abortion procedure can be taken up to 10 weeks.
How late in a pregnancy (how far) can I schedule?
The Dallas surgery site offers services through the 21st week and the Albuquerque clinic offers services through the 32nd week yet further on a case by case basis. The procedure for abortion during each trimester is different. You should contact the office to find out exactly what you should be prepared for based on the last normal menstrual period or ultrasound result you have had.
Do I have to see a doctor before making an appointment?
If you have no medical conditions, you do not need to see a doctor before scheduling here. We are able to do everything needed to serve you safely. If you have a preexisting medical condition (such as a heart condition), you may be required to see your physician. It is important to share any preexisting conditions and let us determine what we need to serve you safely.
Do I need to tell my doctor I am having an abortion?
There is no need to contact your doctor before scheduling with us unless you have a preexisting medical condition that requires a medical clearance. We will give you the information to a hospital near you, but we ask you call our office first if you have any concerns.
Do I need a ride?
If you are doing the surgical or induction abortion procedure, it is required that you have someone available to drive you home the day of surgery if you want mild sedation. You will not be able to drive for the rest of the surgery day. If you do not have a ride we can discuss other options for your appointment. At the Dallas location you are required to have a responsible adult to drive you home.
Do I need to bring my parents with me if I am less than 18 years old?
There are no parental consent or notification laws enforced in New Mexico and therefore no requirement to bring your parents. Since an abortion is a medical procedure we encourage any woman under 18 years old to involve her parents or other guardian or trusted adult in the decision.
In Texas there are parental consent laws. A parent must accompany you to the clinic to sign forms. There is a form that the health department requires to be filled out and signed by the patient and her parent, this form must also be notarized (we have notaries at the clinic to help with this process).
If you are unable to obtain parental consent, you may go before a judge to obtain a “judicial bypass”. This allows you to get an abortion without consent from a parent. There is an organization called Jane’s Due Process that provides pro bono (free!) legal services to minors needing a bypass. Please feel free to contact them for more information and help navigating this process.
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
Yes, especially if you feel their support will be helpful to you. There is a comfortable waiting room for anyone accompanying a patient. Additionally, we want to have someone drive you home.
Can my significant other be with me during the procedure?
The person you bring with you will not be able to be in the surgery room with you. We will include your companion in as much of the office process as possible. Our trained counselor and midwifes will be with you at all times to help keep you comfortable and assist the doctor.
Does it hurt?
Some sensations may be felt during and after a procedure. At both offices we use IV sedation, prescription and nonprescription pain medication, and relaxation therapies to support our patients in their comfort.
A counselor will accompany you during your visit. She is available to discuss any concerns and will assist you with relaxation techniques. Soft music and soft lighting also help, as does the supportive atmosphere within the clinic. The combination of all these ingredients – anesthesia, relaxation techniques, and a supportive, soothing atmosphere – has proven to be very effective in the management of pain.
Will I have cramping and bleeding?
Cramping and bleeding are a normal part of the abortion process. This can vary from no to your menstrual period. Depending on your activity, the bleeding and cramping can vary for a couple of weeks. You will be given written and verbal instructions about what is not normal. We want you to call us for any problems or concerns you may have.
Will I be able to have children in the future?
The National Abortion Federation has a publication on general abortion safety and other information on medical abortion safety. A surgical abortion is one of the safest types of medical procedures performed in the United States. Medical evidence shows that having an abortion with no complications will not affect your ability to get pregnant and have children.
Will I be able to go back to work/school right away?
The day of a surgical procedure you should rest; and the following few days you need to avoid strenuous activities, long periods of time standing without rest, and heavy lifting (over 10 lbs). The abortion pill process requires you to take a number of days off after the second set of pills and possibly longer depending on how that process affects your body. We can always provide a doctor’s note for work or school if that is something you may need.
Are there protesters at your clinic?
We experience protesters daily at each clinic. We ask that you, or anyone with you, do not talk to them or engage with them in any way. If you have concerns, please call us.
How do I pay for an abortion?
The cost of an abortion depends on how far into the pregnancy you are based on the ultrasound size. We can quote a fee based on the date of your last normal menstrual period or past ultrasound measurement. Some insurance companies cover abortion and we accept some insurance plans. New Mexico Medicaid covers medically necessary abortion procedures. We need to verify any insurance before you come in for an appointment. If you do not have insurance or New Mexico Medicaid, please contact the office for a discussion of cost and payment. Texas Medicaid does not cover abortion. If you are unable to pay for the procedure contact us regarding the possibility for financial assistance.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at our Dallas, TX or Albuquerque, NM office.