Abortion is an option many women consider–and choose when feeling like it is their only or best choice–during an ill-timed pregnancy. The best you can do if you think you may be pregnant and thinking about abortion is to learn more about the various procedures and talk to people who have your best interests at heart. You shouldn’t feel pressured to make a decision, but rather, feel empowered and confident that you make the best decision for you.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE AN ABORTION
If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering abortion in Kansas, visit LifeCare to review abortion procedures, learn your legal rights, find resources, meet Kansas requirements, and get answers. Our staff is dedicated to helping you understand medical abortion, surgical abortion, your legal rights, and the options available to you at this point in your pregnancy.
All services are completely confidential and no charge.
Before your abortion, you’ll need to ensure you’ve met the requirements of the Kansas Women’s Right to Know Act. Our registered nurse can complete this education for you. In addition to a medical consultation, we provide a lab-quality pregnancy test, ultrasound and abortion education, we also can help with additional questions you may have.
MORNING AFTER PILL
The Morning After Pill(also known as Plan B, Plan B One Step, or Ella) is not the same as RU486. The Morning After Pill is emergency contraception that is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It works by delaying ovulation, interfering with fertilization and/or preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.
OTHER TYPES OF MEDICAL ABORTION
Medical or non-surgical abortion uses RU486 or other types of chemicals to terminate your pregnancy. This method of abortion is used for women who are within 49 days of their last menstrual period and can involve 3 different office visits.
- Mifeprex/Mifepristone (RU-486): ): This drug is FDA-approved for use in women up to 49 days after their last menstrual period. The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills that stop the embryotic heartbeat. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug which causes cramping that expels the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure has been completed. Risks associated with the medication are bleeding, infection, undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, failed abortion, and risk of fetal malformations. fda.gov
- Methotrexate (MTX): This drug is FDA-approved for treating certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, but is used “off-label” to treat ectopic pregnancies and to induce abortion. It works by stopping the growth of rapidly dividing cells. It is given orally or by injection. Three to seven days after methotrexate is taken, misoprostol (the second medication used in RU-486 abortions) is used vaginally. Side effects of methotrexate include mouth ulcers, low white blood cell count, nausea, abdominal distress, fatigue, chills, fever, dizziness, decreased resistance to infection and anemia. Severe, sometimes fatal, bone marrow suppression and intestinal toxicity have been reported. Liver toxicity and cancer may occur (usually after prolonged use). Severe, occasionally fatal, skin reactions have been reported. PDR.net
- Misoprostol Only: This form of medication abortion uses only the second drug given in the RU-486 method. It is typically inserted vaginally, requires repeated doses and has a significantly higher failure rate than the RU-486 method. It is associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and with potential birth defects (central nervous system and limb defects) in pregnancies that continue. PDR.net
- Suction/Vacuum Aspiration: This surgical abortion is done throughout the first trimester. Varying degrees of pain control are offered ranging from local anesthetics (typically) to full general anesthesia. For very early pregnancies (4-7 weeks after Last Menstrual Period), a long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus which is attached to a manual suction device and the embryo is suctioned out. Late in the first trimester, the cervix needs to be opened wider because the fetus is larger. The cervix may be softened the day before using medication placed in the vagina and/or slowly stretched open using thin rods make by seaweed inserted into the cervix. The day of the procedure, the cervix may need further stretching by metal dilating rods. This can be painful, so local anesthesia is typically used. Next, the doctor inserts a plastic tube into the uterus and applies suction by either an electric or manual vacuum device to remove the fetus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped tool called a curette, to scrape any remaining fetal parts out of the uterus. (Katz V, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th Edition. Philadelphia: Mosby-Elsevier; 2007) (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) (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Induced Abortion. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet; November 2008) (Rock J, Thompson J. TeLinde’s Operative Gynecology. 8th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1997) PubMed.gov
- Dilation & Evacuation (D&E): The majority of second trimester abortions are performed using this method. The cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion because the fetus is larger. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made by seaweed a day or two before the abortion and/or giving other oral or vaginal medication to further soften the cervix. Up to about 16 weeks of gestation, the procedure is identical to the first trimester one (mentioned above). After the cervix is stretched open and the uterine contents suctioned out, any remaining fetal parts are removed with forceps. A curette may also be used to scrape out any remaining tissue. After 16 weeks, much of the procedure is done with the forceps to pull fetal parts out through the cervical opening, as suction alone will not work due to the fetus size. The doctor keeps track of what fetal parts have been removed so that none are left inside as this can potentially cause infection. Lastly, a curette, and/or the suction machine are used to remove any remaining tissue or blood clots, which if left behind could cause infection and bleeding. (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) PubMed.gov
- Dilation and Extraction (D&X): This procedure typically takes 2-3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. Because a live birth is possible, injections are given to cause fetal death. The medications (digoxin and potassium chloride) are either injected into the amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord, or directly into the fetal heart. The remainder of the procedure is the same as the second trimester D&E. Fetal parts are reassembled after removal from the uterus to make sure nothing is left behind to cause infection. An alternative technique called “Intact D&E” is also used. This procedure requires the cervix be opened wider. (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)
We do not perform or refer for abortion, but we provide medical consultation, education and other services at no charge.