Also known as a "Medical Abortion" or the "Abortion Pill".
STEP ONE. THE ABORTION PILL: After completing a lab test, physical exam and paperwork, the "Abortion Pill" also known as RU-486 is taken orally by the patient at the clinic.
The process begins immediately. This drug works by blocking the hormone
progesterone which breaks down the lining of the uterus and the embryo or fetus dies.
STEP TWO. MISOPROSTOL:
The second drug is taken up to 3 days after taking the
abortion pill. This drug causes cramps and heavy bleeding in order to "empty the
uterus." Patient may see "large blood clots or tissue" at the time of the abortion. This process can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Bleeding or spotting will occur for up to 4 weeks.
STEP THREE. FOLLOW UP: In-clinic follow up is done withing two weeks to make
sure the abortion is complete. If the medication abortion did not end the pregnancy,
an aspiration abortion will be performed.
ASPIRATION (SUCTION) ABORTION: The Most Common In-Clinic Abortion.
After completing paperwork, lab work and examination, pain medication is
administered. A speculum (first tool from left to right) is inserted and the opening
of the cervix is stretched with dilators; or patient will have absorbent dilators
called laminaria inserted a day before the procedure. They work by absorbing fluid,
expanding and slowly stretching open the cervix. After the cervix has been dilated,
a cannula is inserted and a suction machine "empties the uterus."
DILATION & EVACUATION ABORTION (D & E): Second Trimester Procedure (13-24 weeks).
After completing paperwork, lab work, and an examination, laminaria are inserted to
begin dilation of the cervix. The following day, patient returns and metal forceps are used
to break up and remove fetal parts. An instrument called a curette may be used to scrape the
lining of the uterus, and a cannula is used to suction and empty the uterus of any "remaining
tissue." In later second-trimester procedures, a toxic solution is injected to ensure "fetal
demise" before removing it from the uterus.