Understanding Abortion

If you think you might be pregnant, then The Women’s Clinic of Columbus can help you understand your options. Some women feel like now isn’t a good time to have a baby, or worry that they won’t be able to continue on in school. Abortion is a permanent decision, and it is a good idea to take a couple of days to get as much information as you can about all your options to make the best choice for you.

Before you start to worry, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re actually pregnant. Many women contact us because they are late for their period, but a late period is only one symptom of pregnancy. Stress, a change in diet, or a change in exercise can all have an effect on a woman’s period. To know for sure if you are pregnant, it’s always a good idea to test for pregnancy.

Pregnancy Test

Most pregnancy tests are generally accurate; however, it might be a good idea to have an ultrasound. An ultrasound can tell you if your pregnancy is viable. Please know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, so an abortion might not be necessary. Contact us and we will work with you to schedule an ultrasound and provide it at no cost to you.

Your right to know

No matter what your relationship is with the father of the baby, his family, or your family, this is your choice. It might be the biggest choice of your life. It is important to get all of the information you can to be sure about your decision. Your right to choose includes your right to know.

Abortion Procedures

Non-Surgical Procedures

*This is for education purposes.

This method of abortion is a 3 step process. The abortion pill is available up to 70 days from the first day of your last period.

Step 1) starts with a dose of medication that breaks down the lining of the uterus.

Step 2) the client then return to take another dose of medication, Misoprostol. This medicine makes your uterus contract in order to push everything from your body. Women should expect to experience lower abdominal cramping pain, vaginal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, during this experience. You may pass large clots and in some cases your symptoms can be severe.

Step 3) the client must return for a follow-up visit to be sure that the medication worked. An ultrasound is performed and blood work should be done at that time. If you are still pregnant, a surgical abortion is performed. If you don’t have a follow-up visit or a necessary surgical abortion can lead to serious complications.

*Abortion services are not provided by The Women’s Clinic of Columbus


Methotrexate is administered by an intramuscular injection instead of a pill. Then, a suppository of misoprostol is inserted in the vagina to trigger the expulsion of the baby from the uterus.

Surgical Procedures (first 3 months)

Suction Aspiration

This is normally performed up to 12 weeks, but some abortion clinics may provide this type of abortion through 16 weeks. A health care provider will give you a shot of anesthesia to your cervix. They will then open the cervix wide enough to insert a tube into your uterus and a curette (loop shaped tool) if needed. They use the tubing to break down and suction out everything from your uterus. The curette may be needed to remove any remaining tissue and make sure that your uterus is empty. Additional sedation may be available.

Dilation & Curettage (D&C)

Similar to the suction method except for insertion of a loop shaped knife (curette) which cuts the baby apart and scrapes the pieces out through the cervix. Used at up to 14 weeks after the last period.

Surgical Procedures (late term)

Dilation & Evacution (D&E)

The mouth (cervix) of the womb is dialated. A curette is then used to dismember the child, and the parts of the baby's body and its crushed head are removed by ring forceps. This method is used primarily at 13 to 20 weeks gestation.

Prostaglandin Abortion

Prostaglandins are hormones that induce labor. They are injected into the sac surrounding the baby. The mother then goes into labor, giving birth to a child too young to survive. This method is falling out of favor because it is not uncommon for babies to be born alive. Performed in the late second and third trimester.


As in cesarean section, the abdomen and the womb and opened surgically. The baby is then lifted out and the cord clamped. In a hysterotomy, however, the child, usually too young to survive without immediate medical treatment, is put aside to die.

Effects of abortion


As with any surgery or medical procedures, there are some risks associated with abortion. These risks can range from minor to severe and can increase depending on how far along you are, overall health, and other factors.


Cramping, bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and pain are possible with any abortion procedure. Other serious risks are rare and include hemorrhage (heavy bleeding), risk of perforation, infection, pre-term birth in later pregnancies, and death. Infections such as, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia increase your risk. Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer associated with abortion; others have not confirmed an abortion breast cancer link.


It’s common to have many different feelings after an abortion. Many women feel relief, anger, sadness, or guilt. Some women experience increased drug and alcohol use, difficulties in their relationships, long-term grief, or other severe difficulties. Your feelings about abortion can change over time too. Please contact us for abortion recovery support if you are anyone struggling emotionally from a past abortion.


Our beliefs and convictions are a part of who we are. It’s important to consider what your thoughts and beliefs were before an unintended pregnancy. Going against your own belief system can lead to spiritual difficulties. Please contact us if you would like to talk with someone about your spiritual needs.