Can You Get an Abortion at a Clinic? Exploring Access and Availability

Abortion is the willing termination of pregnancy. It’s legal in some states and highly restricted in others. However, if the termination of pregnancy happens without intervention, it’s known as a miscarriage. Safe abortion is recommended to provide proper health care services; any interested mother must be careful when finding a reputable abortion clinic.

Ending pregnancy can happen in two ways; through medication or a surgical procedure. When using medication, a mother is given pills to ingest at the facility or at home. However, the surgical procedure happens in a clinic through the suction of the uterus to remove the fetus.

Can you get an abortion at a clinic? Yes, depending on the state laws and the resources and licenses of your preferred facility, you can.

How to Prepare for an In-clinic Abortion

It’s essential to determine if your state allows abortion if you’re considering the process. A clinic that offers the services will recommend counseling before undergoing the process in 24 hours. Check with your doctor about the options available beforehand.

Here are a few precautions to keep you comfortable:

  • Painkillers to take after the procedure if your doctor okays it.
  • Only take medication prescribed by your doctor, as it will allow them to keep track of the healing process.
  • Carry extra underwear
  • Sanitary pads and avoid menstrual cups and tampons.
  • If you wear spectacles, bring your case for glasses or contact, as you may need to remove them.

Find someone to drop you off and pick you up after the appointment, as you may experience drowsiness, affecting your ability to go home alone. The clinical procedure might involve sedation and pain relief medication that can impair judgment.

Types of Abortion

As mentioned, abortion can happen in a clinic or by swallowing pills.

  • Medication Abortion – Depending on your location, the medication can be agreed upon on video calls and have them mailed to you. Getting abortion pills like mifepristone or misoprostol and using them without the help of a health care provider is known as “self-managed abortion”. The medication is generally safe and effective, depending on the pregnancy’s stage.
  • Suction abortion – This is the most common in-clinic abortion that doctors will recommend for pregnancies under 14 weeks. The procedure is short and safe depending on where it’s happening, and the doctor can use deep, mild, or moderate anesthesia.
  • Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) – The procedure is standard with advanced pregnancies (14 – 16 weeks). Doctors use medications to dilate the cervix and suction tools to empty the uterus.

How to Identify and Avoid Fake Clinics

Some facilities are labeled as crisis pregnancy centers but are established to stop people from going through the process. They quickly come up after searching for abortion-related information.

Here are the characteristics of fake clinics.

  • Replicate genuine clinics by using their names, logos, and signs.
  • They will be located near health clinics that perform abortions.
  • Receive funds from organizations that oppose abortions.
  • Give false information to pregnant mothers considering abortion.
  • Provide misleading information about how far along they are.
  • Profess to provide free services like counseling, ultrasounds, and pregnancy tests.
  • Have low costs of resources offered to pregnant mothers
  • Most facilities rarely offer other medical services since they aren’t licensed as health care providers.
  • They are not obligated by the law to keep patient information private.

What Does an In-Clinic Abortion Procedure Look Like?

Depending on how far along you are, the doctor will recommend what’s appropriate. During the procedure, doctors use various tools to operate. You might get an injection for anesthesia or oral medication to numb your pain.

After a surgical abortion, people experience cramping, which can become intense because everyone’s body reacts differently to medications. Dilation and evacuation abortions leave the patient with more muscular cramps than in the surgical option. The cramps and discomfort happen after the fetus is removed from the uterus, often hours after the abortion.

Risks Associated with Abortion

In-clinic and medication abortions are safe but have a few short-term risks:

Surgical Abortion

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infections
  • Pregnancy tissue left behind in the uterus
  • Injuries to the uterus, cervix, or other nearby organs
  • Allergic reactions to medication

Medical Abortion

  • Infections
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Partial abortion, meaning you must undergo a surgical procedure to get it done.

Clinical abortions are safe and accessible to mothers who need them. The accessibility is mainly dependent on the state you live in; if your state has legalized abortion, then it is likely to be a straightforward process. Watch out for fake clinics that provide untrue or exaggerated information to sway mothers’ decision-making. You can abort a pregnancy through medication or surgically in a clinic. Your physician will inform you of the best method based on your pregnancy’s stage.