Abortion

If you think you might be pregnant and are considering an abortion, it is important to know all the facts before taking any action. Abortion may have many side effects, and can have significant emotional and psychological consequences. There is also a spiritual side that deserves to be considered.

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Lighthouse PRC offers the most important first step in making an informed decision: medical confirmation of pregnancy via ultrasound, plus accurate information about all of your options provided free of charge. Because abortion is irreversible and impacts several lives, it is important to carefully evaluate it as well as your alternatives.

 

What is Abortion?

Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. A pregnancy that ends naturally (on its own, with no artificial inducement) is referred to as a “spontaneous abortion” or miscarriage. Approximately 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is why it is important to medically confirm your pregnancy before obtaining an abortion.

There are two types of induced abortion: Chemical and Surgical.

  • Chemical or Medical: Implies the administration of drugs to the pregnant woman to stop the fetus from developing and expel it from the uterus. This method includes the Abortion Pill (also known as Mifeprex/Mifepristone or RU-486). Note: These products are not the same as emergency contraception (sometimes referred to as the morning-after pill). Click here for information regarding emergency contraception.
  • Surgical: Implies the use of surgical instruments to remove the fetus from the uterus or the placing of instillations in the uterus to stop the fetus from developing. The method of abortion is determined, in part, by how far along a woman is in her pregnancy. Because it is difficult to know exactly when conception occurred, medical professionals often refer to pregnancy by length of time since the start of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP).

Before an abortion procedure can take place, gestational age must be determined. Lighthouse uses an ultrasound to determine gestational age.

Contact our center for free, confidential help.

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What are the potential risks?

Abortion, like all medical procedures, carries risks. Serious medical complications occur infrequently in early term abortions, but increase over time.1 There is evidence that induced abortion can be associated with significant loss of both emotional and physical health long-term.2

Complete information on the risks associated with surgical abortion is limited due to incomplete reporting and lack of record-keeping. Available information reports the following physical risks:

  • Heavy bleeding (hemorrhaging), if cervix is torn or uterus is punctured 3
  • Infection, from insertion of medical instruments or from incomplete removal of fetus
  • General anesthesia complications
  • Damage to organs; risk to cervix or uterus increases with length of pregnancy 4
  • RH Sensitization 5
  • Death – in extreme, rare cases, related to complications from the above, risk increases later in pregnancy 6
  • Increased risk of premature birth in future pregnancies 7

Sources:


  1. Paul M, Lichtenberg S, Borgatta L, Grimes DA, Stubblefield PG, Creinin MD, eds. Management of Unintended and Abnormal Pregnancy: Comprehensive Abortion Care. UK: Wiley-Blackwell; 2009.
  2. Thorp JM, Hartmann KE, Shadigian E. Long term physical and psychological health consequences of induced abortion: review of the evidence. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2003; 58(1): 67-79.
  3. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet; November 2008.
  4. Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007.
  5. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Management of alloimmunization during pregnancy. Practice Bulletin No. 75; August 2006.
  6. Guttmacher Institute. Facts on induced abortion in the United States. January 2011. Available at: http://www.guttmacher.com/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.pdf. Accessed February 9, 2011.
  7. Stang P, Hammond AO, Bauman P. Induced abortion increases the risk of very preterm delivery, results from a large perinatal database. Fertility Sterility. September 2005; S159.
BE INFORMED…
You have the right to be fully informed about your pregnancy options and other concerns that might affect your abortion decision and your health.

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