Abortion Procedures


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.


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.

(5-9 weeks)


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."

Click here to see a diagram drawing of this procedure.

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.


Sources: Family Planning Associates brochure and Planned Parenthood website.

"There are two main types of procedure; the medical type, which kills the baby via medication, meaning that the woman miscarries a stillborn. If the baby is 22 weeks or older, it will be given a lethal injection in the womb, to ensure it is not born alive. Alternatively the surgical procedure uses instruments to remove parts of the dismembered body from the uterus, limb by limb. It is hard to describe how it feels to pull out parts of a baby, to see arms, and bits of leg, and finally the head."

Dr. Vincent Argent,

abortionist, consultant gynaecologist,

and former medical director of the

British Pregnancy Advisory Service