What is Abortion?
Clearly, this is a hot topic and it can be difficult to find the abortion information you really need. So let’s take a look at what a federal government agency has to say. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “a legal induced abortion is defined as an intervention performed by a licensed clinician (e.g., a physician, nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.” That said, there are several types of possible abortions. While there are different ways to break these types down, we’ll simplify it here.
Miscarriage, also known as spontaneous abortion, can be defined as “a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.” This is the most common way a pregnancy is lost, with 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies ending in miscarriage. This usually occurs during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and is obviously quite different from the other information about abortion covered here.
The Guttmacher Institute states that “medication abortions accounted for 39% of all abortions in 2017, up from 29% in 2014.” The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the drug mifepristone in 2000. This is a first trimester abortion, something that occurs within the first 10 weeks of gestation. The intent with this pill is to end a pregnancy in women who have experienced their last period in the past 10 weeks, or 70 days.
One method of surgical abortion is called an aspiration abortion. This is another type of abortion that occurs in the first trimester. Normally, the patient will need to be dilated well before the procedure takes place. The abortion practitioner then uses either a plastic cannula or a hand-held syringe to pull the baby out of the uterus. Early-stage aspiration abortions are done between 5-9 weeks, but can be done between 10-14 weeks if using a machine-operated pump.
Another method of surgical abortion is known as dilation and evacuation. This is the method used during the second trimester. It involves vacuum aspiration as well as utilizing forceps to remove the baby from the uterus. If it’s been more than 13 weeks since your last menstrual period, a dilation and evacuation is most likely the type of abortion you’d be having. While this is a typically an outpatient procedure, risks increase as your pregnancy progresses.
Risks Associated with Abortion
We just mentioned the fact that risks increase as your pregnancy progresses. That brings up an important topic many women are looking for when seeking abortion information. So what are the risks?
- According to the Mayo Clinic, “Women who have multiple surgical abortion procedures may also have more risk of trauma to the cervix.” This can pose problems for future pregnancies.
- Studies have listed “induced abortion” as a breast cancer risk factor.
- One study concluded that abortion can pose a serious threat to the mother’s life. Again, we look to the CDC for statistics: “The national legal induced abortion case-fatality rate for 2008–2013 was 0.62 legal induced abortion-related deaths per 100,000 reported legal abortions.”
- There may be emotional side effects related to abortion, whether the abortion was planned or not. There may be increased risk of mental health problems following an abortion.
- Another infrequent yet serious complication of induced abortion is pulmonary thromboembolism.
So What’s Right For You?
- It’s important for you to gather accurate pregnancy and abortion information so you can make an informed decision. You hold the key insights as to what’s going on in your life and what your future will look like. But people are here waiting to help. Do you need someone to talk to?
- Just pick up the phone to call or text us at 336.760.3680 to schedule an appointment at your convenience. You’ll get a thoughtful, non-judgmental response on the other end. Please note, our office doesn’t provide or perform abortions but can provide the abortion information you need. We’re here to help you choose the best next steps for your life.
Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from this website is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general understanding only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.