Maybe you’re thinking about abortion as you face an unexpected pregnancy. We’re here to help you sort through all your questions and concerns. Abortion is not a simple procedure, and has various potential side effects.

While we don’t provide abortion services, we do provide facts about each type of procedure so you can make an informed decision.

Types of Abortion

First Trimester

The first trimester is the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. How far you are into your pregnancy is determined by using the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

Medical Abortion (The Abortion Pill)

Also known as a “medical” abortion, the abortion pill can be used up to 7 weeks from LMP. (This is NOT Emergency Contraception/Plan B/Morning After Pill.)

Mifepristone prevents the hormones needed for the pregnancy to grow. The drug causes the placenta or attachment of the baby to the womb to separate, ending the pregnancy. The second drug, misoprostol, is given to cause the womb to contract and expel the pregnancy.

A return visit to the doctor is required for follow-up to make sure the abortion is complete.

NOTE: If you have already started the Abortion Pill Abortion and have changed your mind, there is a process that may be able to save your pregnancy.  The reversal process must be started as quickly as possible, and there is still a chance that you will abort—but there is also the possibility that the effects of the Abortion Pill can be stopped. For more information call:  877-558-0333.  Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Possible Complications:

  • Incomplete abortion
  • Allergic reaction to the medications
  • Painful cramping
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Heavy Bleeding

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

This type of abortion procedure can be done up to 14 weeks after LMP. A local anesthetic is applied or injected into or near the cervix to prevent discomfort or pain.

Conscious sedation and/or general anesthesia are also commonly used. The opening of the cervix is gradually stretched with a series of dilators. The thickest dilator used is about the width of a fountain pen. A spoon-like instrument (curette) is used to scrape the walls of the uterus to remove the baby, placenta, and membranes.

A follow-up appointment should be made with the doctor.

Possible Complications:

  • Incomplete abortion requiring vacuum aspiration
  • Pelvic infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Torn cervix
  • Weakened cervix
  • Perforated uterus

Second Trimester

The second trimester is the next 13 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

Dilation and Evacuation Abortion (D&E)

This abortion procedure can be done from 14 weeks after LMP to Birth. Sponge-like pieces of absorbent material are placed into the cervix. This material becomes moist and slowly opens the cervix. It remains in place for several hours or overnight.

Following dilation of the cervix, medications may be given to ease pain and prevent infection. After a local or general anesthesia has been administered, the pregnancy and placenta are removed from the uterus with medical instruments such as forceps and suction curettage.

Possible Complications:

  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Cut or torn cervix
  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Weakened cervix
  • Pelvic infection
  • Incomplete abortion
  • Anesthesia-related complications

(Information taken from “Abortion: A Woman’s Right To Know” pamphlet from the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health. This information can be found at