How Does the Abortion Process Work?


Abortion is still a touchy and taboo topic till this day. It’s not only the complexity of your personal decision regarding it but also conflicting opinions of friends and families.

This guide will help you with the basics of the abortion process should you consider it. Please remember to check with your country/state laws and healthcare services to get the maximum support available.

What to do if you want an Abortion

An abortion is the medical procedure for terminating a pregnancy so that it doesn’t result in a baby and 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. What should you do if you are considering an abortion?

In the UK, there are several routes to go through:

a) Directly to the abortion provider such as BPAS, NUPAS or Marie Stops UK. They will be able to tell you eligibility and services in your area.

b) See your GP – they can provide you a referral to an abortion provider or another GP if they have any objections.

c) Family planning and contraception clinics can also provide a referral to an abortion provider.

All these routes can provide impartial advice on making your decision however if you decide to go through with it, there is full confidentiality. Even if you are under 16, your parents don’t need to be told and an abortion will not go on your medical record.

Abortions are covered by the NHS in the UK but you can also get it done privately.

If you are outside the UK, you can still see a doctor or a family planning clinic that can advise the next steps.

Abortion Types and Methods

There are two types of abortion:

1. Abortion Pill

This can be taken from up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and another one for up to 24 weeks. This medicine inhibits progesterone causing the lining of the uterus to break down and then causes release of the fertilised egg, similar to a miscarriage.

2. Abortion Surgery Procedure

Vacuum Aspiration

This is carried out with local anaesthetic at up to 14 weeks and removes the pregnancy with a gentle suction. If you wish to do this at 15 weeks, stronger aneasthetic needs to be used.

Dilatation and Evacuation
This is carried out at 15 to 24 weeks of pregnancy, whereby the the pregnancy is removed by surgical equipment from the cervix.

How Early Can you Abort?

An abortion can be done as early as 3-4 weeks, once the pregnancy has been confirmed. It is advised you get an abortion sooner rather than later to help you recover faster, to reduce chances of complications and stay well within the law in certain states in the USA.

Latest Time you can have an Abortion?

In the UK, the latest you can legally have an abortion is 24 weeks. But these vary depending on country and state however it is illegal in most states (in the USA) to have an abortion in the third trimester. 15 states allow no later than 20 weeks. Often, the legal limit is set at 24 weeks since it is accepted by the medical community that the fetus can survive outside the womb at this point, so it is considered intent to murder.

How Many Abortions Can you Get?

Having an abortion takes a massive toll on your body. The physical changes the body goes through to have a baby can exhaust a person, taking many months to recover, but an abortion on top of that leaves hormonal and physical damage since the medicine used to abort a pregnancy inhibits certain hormones essential for female biology. This is provided that there are no other complications during the process, which cannot be guaranteed given the nature of the procedure.

Therefore the number of abortions you can get very much depends on the individuals level of health. Some women have had two abortions and managed to live a reasonably healthy life following it whilst certain women suffer from complications following one abortion which may affect them for the rest of their life.

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