At AVA Care of Harrisonburg, we understand the difficulty of facing an unintended pregnancy. We believe that information empowers. We strive to provide you with objective pregnancy and sexual health education so you can make a confident and informed decision. If you are considering abortion, your first step is to learn more about your options.
Medication abortion (also called the abortion pill or RU-486) can be taken up to 70 days (10 weeks pregnant) after the start of your last menstrual period.1
- It’s called RU-486 and was approved in 2000; it is also called a medical or chemical abortion.
- The pill is actually two drugs, mifepristone (MifeprexTM) and misoprostol (CytotecTM), taken in two separate doses.
- It is usually taken between 4-6 weeks but can be taken up to 10 weeks in most cases.
- It is not an option for women with certain medical conditions.
- The abortion pill is not the same as the emergency contraceptive, The Morning After Pill or Plan B One Step.
- The abortion pill can be reversed if action is taken after the first dose. More information available at abortionpillreversal.com or 877.558.0333.
Action – The first medication, Mifeprex blocks progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is necessary for the pregnancy to survive. Without progesterone, the embryo dies. The second medication, Misoprostol , causes cramping, expelling the embryo and uterine contents.2
Side effects – Cramping and bleeding are expected. Bleeding may be like a heavy period and can last 9 to 16 days, even possibly up to 30 days. Other possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, weakness, dizziness, and headache.3
Complications – Possible complications include heavy bleeding requiring surgery to stop the bleeding, and serious infection. Before taking any medication, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and know what do to if complications arise.4
Follow-up – It is important to follow-up with your doctor 1 to 2 weeks after taking this medication regimen to see if an abortion has occurred and to assess for complications.5
Surgical abortions are done by opening the cervix and inserting instruments into the uterus to suction, grasp, pull, and scrape the pregnancy out. The exact procedure is determined by the baby’s fetal development.
Aspiration/Suction6,7 – Up to 13 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP). Most early surgical abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia is typically offered to reduce pain. The abortion involves opening the cervix, inserting a tube inside the uterus, and attaching it to a suction device, which pulls the embryo out.
Dilation and Evacuation8,9 (D&E) – 13 weeks LMP and up. Most second trimester abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia, oral, or intravenous pain medications and sedation are commonly used. Besides the need to open the cervix much wider, the main difference between this procedure and a first trimester abortion is the use of forceps to grasp fetal parts and remove the fetus in pieces. D&E is associated with a much higher risk of complications compared to a first trimester surgical abortion.
D&E After Viability10,11 – 21 weeks LMP and up. This procedure typically takes 2–3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. General anesthesia is usually recommended, if available. Drugs may be injected into the fetus or the amniotic fluid to stop the baby’s heart before starting the procedure. The cervix is opened wide, the amniotic sac is broken, and forceps are used to dismember the fetus. The “Intact D&E” pulls the fetus out legs first, then crushes the skull in order to remove the fetus in one piece.
Abortion Procedure Costs in Virginia
ABORTION PILL COST
Medication abortion also called the abortion pill, can be taken up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Prices for the abortion pill in Virginia can range from $400 – $600 depending on the provider.
SUCTION ABORTION COST
Suction aspiration, also called suction curettage, or vacuum aspiration abortion, is performed between 5 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The cost in Virginia starts around $575 on average.
D&E ABORTION COST
D&E abortion (dilation and evacuation procedure) is performed between 9-20 weeks of pregnancy. The typical cost for D&E abortion in Virginia starts at $640 and increases in price the further along you are in your pregnancy.
Abortion Laws in Virginia
IF YOU'RE A MINOR
If you are under the age of 18, Virginia state law requires you to have one parent or legal guardian to be notified of and consent to an abortion procedure.
LATE ABORTION RESTRICTIONS
Third trimester abortions are prohibited unless the mother’s life or health is endangered by her pregnancy.
Often women facing an unintended pregnancy feel they just want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible. Sometimes abortion seems like the answer that will make the problem go away, but this is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. For your own health and safety, you should make every effort to be completely and accurately informed.
Think it's positive? Be positive.
- Are you sure you are pregnant?
- Are you sure you have a viable, uterine pregnancy? (meaning a heartbeat has been detected via ultrasound and that the pregnancy is in the uterus)
- How informed are you about fetal development?
- What do you know about abortion procedures?
- What do you know about physical complications associated with abortion procedures?
- What do you know about emotional complications associated with abortion procedures?
- Do you know if the abortion clinic will treat you if you have complications during or after the procedure?
- If you need to be hospitalized, does the doctor have hospital privileges?
If you are unsure about any of the above questions, a medical professional from AVA Care will provide you with information and answers that will help you.
Dr. Teresa Klansek
The content on this page has been reviewed and approved by our Medical Director Dr. Teresa Klansek.