Aside from the different viewpoints surrounding abortion, the basic definition of abortion is the termination of pregnancy to avoid the birth of the child. Many women consider or choose to abort pregnancies for various reasons, which we’ll discuss in this article. We’ll cover various aspects, including its legality, types, risks, and others. Alongside the knowledge this article will equip you with, you can visit Ava Health website, a reliable source that offers non-judgmental insights into reproductive health, to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. That being said, let us get started with unraveling the complexities surrounding abortion.
The Legality Of Abortion
The legal status of abortion is contested in many countries as well as in the United States. In the US, only three states offer an explicit right to abortion as the law recognizes a woman’s right to make decisions about her body and reproductive health. Nonetheless, other states allow abortion under certain circumstances, like when the pregnant person’s life is threatened, in cases of fetal abnormalities, or if there are other health concerns. Abortion in these states is only permissible before the pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks, which is the second trimester, though there are some exceptions.
There are also some states, about 14 of them as of January 2023, that outrightly ban abortion with very few exceptions. As such, women residing in these states have no right to abort their pregnancies within the state. This doesn’t interfere with their right to travel to a pro-abortion state to abort a pregnancy.
Reasons People Consider Abortion
Several circumstances might prompt a person or a couple to choose to abort a pregnancy; some of them include
- Age or maturity considerations
- Financial constraints
- Unplanned or unintended pregnancy.
- Health risks to the mother during pregnancy or childbirth.
- Concerns about the mother’s physical or mental well-being.
- Fetal abnormalities or serious medical conditions.
- Lack of emotional support
- Relationship issues or instability.
- Educational or career aspirations.
Types Of Abortion
● Medication Abortion
Medication abortion involves taking abortion pills to end pregnancies at their early stages. The medications used are FDA approved and are mostly mifepristone and misoprostol. These medications are combined to facilitate effective abortion.
The patient is given the first pill, mifepristone, under the supervision of a healthcare provider. The pill blocks the hormone progesterone, which resultantly stops the pregnancy from growing. Mifepristone also weakens the embryo’s attachment to the uterine lining and gradually causes detachment of the embryo. About a day or two later, the patient will be given a second pill, misoprostol, at home or the health center. Misoprostol causes uterus contraction and cramping as the fetus naturally evacuates from the uterus.
Medication abortion is typically effective and suitable for pregnancies within the first eleven weeks (77 days) of gestation. The success rate of medication abortion is very high, ranging between 87% to 98%, depending on the gestation period.
● In-clinic Abortion
In-clinic abortions are surgical procedures performed at healthcare facilities or clinics and are available for pregnancies at various stages. Two common methods include:
● Suction Abortion /Vacuum Aspiration
This procedure is often used for pregnancies within the first 6 to 16 weeks. A healthcare provider gently uses a suction device or vacuum to remove the pregnancy from the uterus. It is a safe and effective method for early terminations.
● Dilation and Evacuation D&E Abortion
D&E is used to terminate a pregnancy that’s up to 24 weeks. A physician often conducts the procedure after the patient is placed under a general anesthetic to reduce pain sensations. Alongside the doctor, you’ll have a nurse and an anesthetist by your side, monitoring you during surgical procedures. The physician, with the aid of dilators, will stretch your cervix to make sure it’s properly dilated, and with a suction alongside other medical instruments, the fetus will be evacuated from the womb.
Dilation and evacuation are not only used for consented abortion but it is also used to remove remnant pregnancy tissues following a miscarriage.
How To Prepare For Abortion
Consult with a Healthcare Provider:
Schedule an appointment with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss your options, medical history, and any questions you may have.
Understand the Procedure:
Learn about the chosen abortion method, its process, and potential risks to be well-informed and prepared.
Seek emotional support from a partner, family member, or friend who can accompany you during the process if desired.
Ensure you meet the criteria for the chosen abortion method, such as gestational age and overall health.
Follow Pre-Procedure Instructions:
Adhere to any specific guidelines your healthcare provider provides, such as fasting requirements or medication adjustments.
Plan transportation to and from the healthcare facility on the day of the procedure.
Bring necessary items, such as identification, insurance information, and any required paperwork.
Make sure you also understand the aftercare instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure a smooth recovery.