Abortion Procedures

Considering Abortion


Many people choose to have an abortion without knowing anything about the procedures.

Here are the facts:

Abortion Procedures

Dilation and Evacuations (D&E) (Most common)

This procedure is done within 6 to 14 weeks after LMP (Last Menstrual Period) and onward. The doctor opens the cervix with a dilator (a metal rod) or laminaria, (thin bundles made from seaweed) and is inserted several hours before the procedure. The doctor inserts tubing into the uterus and connects the tubing to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus' body apart and out of the uterus. Sometime the doctor may use a curette, (a loop-shaped knife), to scrape the fetal parts out of the uterus.

After 16 weeks, much of the procedure is done with forceps to pull fetal parts out through the cervical opening, as suction alone will not work due to the fetus’ size. The doctor keeps track of what fetal parts have been removed so that none are left inside. Lastly, a curette, and/or the suction machine is used to remove any remaining tissue or blood clots, which if left behind could cause infection and bleeding.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration

This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy up until 7 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). The cervical muscle is stretched with dilators (metal rods) until the opening is wide enough to allow the abortion instruments to pass into the uterus. A hand held syringe is attached to tubing which is inserted into the uterus and the fetus is suctioned out.

Abortion Pill (also known as RU-486; MIFEPREX / MIFEPRISTONE)
This drug is FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved for use in women up to 70 days after their last menstrual period. The FDA-approved procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills (mifepristone) that cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug (misoprostol) which causes cramping that expels the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure has been completed.

Medical Methods for Second Trimester Induced Abortion

When the abortion occurs at a time when the fetus could have otherwise been born alive, injections are given to cause fetal death. The medications are either injected into the amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord, or directly into the fetus’ heart. This is done in order to comply with the federal law requiring a fetus to be dead before complete removal from his/her mother’s body.

(Partial Birth) Dilation and Extraction (D&X)

This procedure is done from 20 weeks after LMP to full-term This procedure takes three days. During the first two days, the cervix is dilated and medication is given for cramping. On the third day, the woman receives medication to start labor. After labor begins, the abortion doctor uses ultrasound to locate the baby's legs. Grasping a leg with forceps, the doctor delivers the baby up to the baby's head. Next, scissors are inserted into the base of the skull to create an opening. A suction catheter is placed into the opening to remove the skull contents. The skull collapses and the baby is removed.

Contact Us

Call 716.800.2306 or email northtownpc@northtownpc.com to make an appointment or to speak to someone confidentially.

This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling and/or medical advice.