Abortion Education

If you are thinking about abortion, please contact us before you make a final choice. We are here to help you sort through all of your questions and concerns. There is a lot to know before you make a decision, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

If you are experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (a life-threatening condition where the fetus is developing outside of the uterus), abortion procedures will not be effective at removing the fetus from your body.  Our free and confidential ultrasound scan can determine if the fetus is properly located in the uterus.

Know your options, make an informed choice. More information on abortion can be found here

Methods of Abortions

Medical Abortion: Abortion by pill or Chemical Abortion

Before you consider Abortion by Pill, you should understand what it is, how it works and how it might affect your health. The abortion pill, also known as RU 486, is actually a combination of pills. One type is taken in a clinic, and the other  is taken at home without supervision.

The first pills are given orally during an office visit. The initial chemical, Mifepristone (200 mg), blocks your natural progesterone from sustaining the pregnancy, thereby ending an early pregnancy[1].

The second chemical, Misoprostol (800 mcg) is taken 48 hours later. The misoprostol (a prostaglandin) is meant to be taken orally and causes strong contractions which expel the remains. This effect does not occur in the medical office – it may happen within a few hours, or up to two weeks after taking the second pill.

An exam by the health provider should be done 7 to 14 days later to ensure the abortion is complete and to check for early complications. Incomplete abortions or unrecognized ectopic pregnancy are serious health risks for a woman seeking abortion.

RU486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.

Risks and Side Effects:

  • 2-7% of women will need a surgical procedure to end the pregnancy or stop heavy bleeding.[2]
  • Women may also experience cramping, heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, infection and in rare cases, death.
  • Medical abortion is not advised for women who have anemia, acute inflammatory bowel disease, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease, seizure disorder, use an intrauterine device (IUD), or are unable to return for the follow-up visit.

Abortion Pill Reversal

Have you taken the RU 486 pill within the last 24-48 hours and wish to reverse the effect? You may still have a choice.

If you have taken the first dose of the abortion pill, but changed your mind, it may not be too late to reverse the effect of RU 486. For more information go to www.abortionpillreversal.com, or call the abortion pill reversal hotline at 877-558-0333

[1] U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2016). “Mifeprex Medication Guide.” U.S. Department of Health. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM088643.pdf

[2] Danco Laboratories (2016). “What Can I Expect.” Retrieved from: http://www.earlyoptionpill.com/what-can-i-expect

Surgical Abortion: Suction Dilation and Currattage: between 7 and 24 weeks after LMP

In Virginia, an ultrasound is required before abortion as part of informed consent. (You can schedule a free ultrasound here.)

Local anesthesia, numbing of the cervix or (less commonly) general anaesthesia is administered. The doctor then inserts a series of dilators through the cervix to enlarge the canal. The cannula, a hollow plastic tube, is attached to a suction machine and inserted into the uterus. The machine is turned on and suction continues until the pregnancy and placenta are removed. The uterus is then scraped with a loop-shaped instrument called a curette to ensure it has been emptied completely.

Antibiotics are given, and if the woman is Rh negative, a Rhogam shot should be administered.

Risks and possible side effects include:
-Cramping and nausea
-Heavy or prolonged bleeding
-Damage to the cervix

Informed Consent Before Abortion

An ultrasound is the best way to get all the information you need before making a decision about your pregnancy. The ultrasound establishes the gestational age which is necessary to assess risks for the woman before a method of abortion is considered. For more information about the information provided by an ultrasound, read here. If you wish to set up an appointment, see free Ultrasound services for details. 

Abortion procedures may have various side effects including bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, uterine scarring (which raises the risk of future infertility), and damage to the cervix. It has been associated with preterm birth and emotional and psychological distress after the fact. For more information please contact the Front Royal Pregnancy Center so that you can make an informed decision.

The Front Royal Pregnancy Center offers confidential and accurate pregnancy testing, ultrasound, and options education; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion or provide birth control.

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