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Morning After Pill, Plan B, and ella®
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Medical Abortion (non-surgical)

These abortion procedures involve the use of drugs or chemicals to end the life of the developing baby during the early stages of human growth.

  • RU-486- This method is used for women who are within 30 – 49 days (7 weeks) of their last menstrual period; it involves 2-3 different office visits. Although not approved, many abortion providers continue to dispense the abortion pill up to 63 days (9 weeks) after a patient’s last menstrual period. On the first visit, the woman is given mifepristone pills that cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she will take misoprostol which causes cramping that expels the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure was completed. If the procedure did not work, a surgical abortion will have to be performed.
  • Methotrexate- This drug is FDA approved for treating certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, but is used “off-label” to induce abortion. It works by stopping the growth of rapidly dividing cells. It is used up through 49 days of pregnancy and given orally or by injection. Three to seven days later, misoprostol is used vaginally to expel the embryo.
  • Misoprostol Only- It is typically inserted vaginally, requires repeated doses and has a significantly higher failure rate than the RU-486 method.

Surgical Abortions

These abortion procedures involve the use of a mechanical device, surgical instruments, and/or long needles. Surgical abortions are performed on babies at any stage of their human development (first through third trimesters). The specific technique selected depends upon the baby’s gestational age. Listed below are the most common types of surgical abortions:

  • Vacuum Aspiration: Performed between 3 – 12 weeks since the last period (LMP).
  • Dilation & Curettage (D & C): Performed up to 16 weeks since the last period. It is also referred to as suction curettage.
  • Dilation & Evacuation (D & E): Performed between 14 – 24 weeks since the last period.
  • Heart Attack Method: Performed between 20 – 40 weeks. A lethal injection is inserted into the baby’s heart to produce a fatal heart attack. Then a D&E abortion is performed. This technique takes place over three days, using local anesthesia, and is associated with increased risk to life and health of mother.

Late Term Abortion
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