Manual Vacuum Aspiration
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 that is inserted into the uterus and the fetus is suctioned out.
The doctor opens the cervix with a dilator (a metal rod) or laminaia (thin sticks derived from plants and inserted hours before the procedure). The doctor inserts tubing into the uterus and connects the tubing to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus apart and out of the uterus. One variation of this procedure involves a Curette (a loop shaped knife) to scrape the fetal parts out of the uterus.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
Because the developing fetus doubles in size between weeks 11 and 12, it is now too large to pass through the suction tubing. Therefore, the cervix must be opened wider than in the first trimester abortion, by inserting laminaria a day or two before the abortion. After opening the cervix, the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus’ skull is crushed to ease removal.
Dilation and Extraction (D&X)
From 20 weeks to Full-Term
This procedure takes 3 days. During the first 2 days, the cervix is dilated and medication is given for cramping. On the 3rd day, you receive medication to start labor, after which the doctor uses ultrasound to locate the fetus’ 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, where a suction catheter is used to remove the skull contents. The skull collapses and the baby is removed completely.
10 weeks (70 days)
Also called “medical abortion,” this procedure is used for women who are within 70 days after their last menstrual period. This procedure usually requires 3 different office visits. The RU-486 or Mifepristone pills are given 2 days prior to a second medication, called Misprostol. The combination of these medications casuses the uterus to expel the fetus.
Be sure that you are pregnant; it is possible to receive a false indication of pregnancy.
Abortion is a medical procedure and involves the risk of physical harm. You have the legal right to be informed of the type of procedure you will receive, as well as any potential complications. Ask as many questions as you need, to make sure you understand all that is involved, physically and emotionally.
Find out the name of the doctor who will perform your abortion procedure. Confirm that he or she is a licensed physician and a board-certified obstetrician-gynaecologist. Does the doctor have privileges to admit you to a hospital in the event there is an emergency? Check public records for past medical malpractice judgments and settlements for the physician involved. Be certain a medical license is held by the physician in the state in which you live. Texas Department of Health Mandated Disclosure
You have the right to anonymously access information concerning an abortion facility. Inquire toll-free (888) 973-0022
If you make a call to the number, your identity will remain anonymous. The toll-free telephone line can provide you with the following information:
The facility is required to provide you with a copy of the Texas Department of Health’s “A Woman’s Right to Know” booklet and resource directory. You may call the Department of Health at (888) 973-0022 if a facility does not provide you with this information.
Complaints about a facility may be registered with:
Director, Health Facility Compliance Division
Texas Department of Health
1100 West 49th St.
Austin, TX 78756
Abortion providers may not provide any follow-up or emergency care, should complications arise. Verify the doctor has admitting privileges to a nearby hospital in case of emergency.
Abortion is your choice. You can change your mind at any time. If you feel pressured by staff, family, friends or a partner, it’s OK to say, “I need more time to consider my decision.”
Use the following personal decision guide to help you weigh your options and possibilities.
Click here to visit our Post Abortion page for more information.