If you are considering the option of abortion for an unplanned pregnancy, you need to understand the medical procedures involved with each type of abortion. Learn about abortion procedures and the risks involved as many women experience emotional and physical effects of abortion.
We are here to give you the facts about abortion so you can take your next step confidently. Get confidential medical support at no cost from our team at BsideU.
Two Types Of Abortion
Medical Abortion (The Abortion Pill)
Also known as the abortion pill, medical abortion is only for women up to 70 days of gestation, according to the FDA. Medical abortion typically involves two types of drugs prescribed in the process to terminate an existing pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. Often, the first drug is taken at an abortion clinic and the second drug is taken at home around 24-48 hours later.
First, mifepristone blocks the womb from absorbing progesterone—a pregnancy hormone—and causes the lining of the uterus to thin. This prevents the pregnancy from staying implanted or progressing. Next, misoprostol is taken, causing the body to go into birth-like contractions which remove the pregnancy through the vagina.
Risks Of Medical Abortion
With any medical procedure comes serious physical risks. The risks of medical abortion may include:
- Incomplete abortion—which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
A surgical abortion ends a pregnancy by removing the fetus and placenta from the womb (uterus). This type of medical procedure is done at an abortion clinic. Surgical abortion procedures are more invasive with later gestational age.
Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) and Dilation & Curettage (D&C) are two types of surgical abortion. Each surgical procedure dilates the cervix and uses a suction device along with other surgical tools to remove the pregnancy from the uterus.
Risks Of Surgical Abortion
As each surgical abortion is similar, they come with similar physical risks, including…
- Perforation of the uterus (when a surgical instrument pokes a hole in the uterus)
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
Abortion Clinics in Louisville, Kentucky
Each state now has the power to decide its own abortion laws due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, including the state of Kentucky.
The June 2022 decision by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has opened the door for state governments to enforce specific abortion restrictions.
Does the Overturning of Roe v. Wade Affect Kentucky Abortion Clinics?
Yes. Kentucky law provided for completely banning abortion since the overturning of Roe, with the exception of the risk to the life of the woman. If the current bans are not upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court, restrictions that pre-date the Dobbs decision would remain in place. Other restrictions might also be instituted, because of the change in the federal landscape regarding abortion rights. If abortion is available in Kentucky at some point in the future, the following laws would presumably again apply:
- Patients seeking an abortion must be provided Informed-consent counseling either in-person or by video conference 24 hours in advance of an abortion procedure
- Medication abortion must be provided in person (because telehealth and mail-order pills for abortion are banned)
- Parental consent or judicial by-pass ruling must be obtained for a minor seeking an abortion
- The provider or his qualified tech must perform an ultrasound and must describe what is shown, as part of the informed consent process for abortion patients
Since the Dobbs decision, the status of Kentucky’s abortion laws has changed as all levels of the state’s court system have stepped into the fray. A circuit court judge showed his willingness to block the abortion bans, only to be reversed at the appellate level. The state Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear arguments on the abortion bans in November. Kentucky’s abortion providers, EMW Women’s Surgical Services, and Planned Parenthood are currently not providing abortions. Abortion laws are always changing so it is necessary to stay up to date on your local abortion laws to determine what your options are.
Before Planning to Travel for Abortion
You may be determined to have an abortion, and never think you would visit BsideU. If you’re considering traveling out of state for an abortion procedure, however, you may wish to re-think that. We can help you with certain safety precautions first.
Get an Ultrasound
An ultrasound will provide critical health details about your pregnancy, such as:
- How far along you are (gestation)
- The location of your pregnancy
- If the pregnancy is viable and progressing
First, because the FDA has only approved the abortion pill within the first ten weeks of pregnancy, knowing your pregnancy’s gestation will reveal your eligibility for certain procedures. It’s also important for knowing whether abortion is legal in surrounding states because many have restrictions based on the gestational age of the pregnancy.
Second, if your pregnancy is located outside the uterus, it is an ectopic pregnancy. This can develop into a life-threatening condition if left untreated. An ultrasound will rule out this complication or inform you to seek medical intervention locally and not through an abortion clinic.
Finally, an ultrasound will determine if your pregnancy is viable or if you miscarried. Miscarriage means your pregnancy has naturally ended. You may need to visit a doctor following a miscarriage to determine whether further treatment is necessary.
To keep you safe, we provide limited ultrasounds for qualified clients at our center.
Get an STI Test
All women considering abortion should receive STI testing and any necessary treatment.
Since abortion disturbs the normal barrier created by the cervix, the presence of an STD during an abortion raises the risk of spreading it further into your reproductive system. This can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can cause permanent damage to the reproductive organs.
We offer free STI testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis, three of the most common STIs.
Confidential Care in Louisville, Kentucky
Schedule a free and confidential appointment today to confirm your pregnancy and receive critical health screenings.
We are here to support you and answer any questions you have during this time. You are not alone in your pregnancy journey.