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Abortion Facts

What Is Abortion?

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are two types of induced abortion: Chemical and Surgical.

What are some of the possible side effects / risks of abortion?

What are the risks of abortion?

Abortion Procedures

If you are considering an abortion, you should be fully informed about all aspects of an abortion. Abortion is a procedure with the possibility of serious risks to the mother.

If you would like to speak to someone regarding abortion and alternatives, please contact us to make an appointment. We provide free and confidential services to ensure that you have all the information when making your decision.

Chemical Abortion Procedures:

A Chemical abortion causes the termination of a pregnancy by using a combination of medications. The protocol approved by the Food and Drug Administration allows this type of abortion up to 49 days after the last menstrual period. It is usually used up to seven weeks, but sometimes up to nine weeks from the last menstrual period. The current regimen approved by the FDA includes one dose of mifepristone (RU-486). This causes the blockage of progesterone, a hormone needed for the baby to grow and develop. After taking the mifepristone, a woman will return to the doctor and be administered misoprostol to make the uterus contract and empty. It normally takes about 6-24 hours after taking the misoprostol for the abortion to be complete. If the chemical abortion is incomplete, a surgical abortion will be necessary, as well, to avoid complications like excessive bleeding or infection. Bleeding may occur for weeks after a Chemical abortion.

Surgical Abortion Procedures:

Suction Aspiration (Also called Manual Vacuum Aspiration)

This method is used early in the first trimester. The cervix is stretched open with dilators (metal rods). A hollow plastic tube is inserted into the uterus. The fetus and the remaining contents of the uterus are removed using a handheld suction device.

Dilation & Curettage (D&C) with Vacuum Aspiration (Also called Suction Curettage)

This is a surgical procedure usually used in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor opens the cervix with dilators (metal rods) and then removes the baby and the remaining uterine contents with a hollow plastic instrument connected by tubing to a suction machine. After suctioning, the doctor may scrape the walls of the uterus with a curette, a loop-shaped knife, to ensure all the parts of the fetus, placenta, and contents of the uterus have been completely removed.

Dilation & Evacuation (D&E)

This surgical procedure is generally performed from 13-24 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor must first insert laminaria sticks into the cervix for 1-2 days to start the dilating process. These dried seaweed sticks absorb moisture and expand, causing the cervix to enlarge. On the day of the procedure, the physician will use dilating rods to further enlarge the cervical opening. Then the fetus is dismembered and removed with forceps, along with the placenta and other tissue. A curette may then be used to scrape the uterus to make sure that all tissue has been removed.