Abortion is one of four options a woman may take if she becomes pregnant. An abortion is the process of ending a pregnancy by the removal of an embryo or fetus. Abortions are not generally performed after 24 weeks from the start of the last period so women who are thinking about an abortion you must make a decision as soon as possible. If you or someone you know has become pregnant and you are considering an abortion, you can find more information below.
600.7 A minor of any age may consent to health services which he or she requests for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of the following medical situations: (a) Pregnancy or its lawful termination;
- You have the right to receive confidential health services.
- A minor who wishes to obtain an abortion may do so without any legal requirement that she involve her parents or that she seek a court order exempting her from forced parental involvement requirements. (No Parental Consent Law in DC)
- You have the right to enter a health care facility safely. The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act prohibits “intentional property damage and use of force or threat of force or physical obstruction to injure, intimidate or interfere with someone entering a health care facility.”
What is an abortion?
An abortion is when a pregnancy is ended so that it doesn’t result in the birth of a child.
If You Need An Abortion, here are the steps you should take now:
- Speak to someone. Ask Questions. Make an appointment. Choose an option below:
- You can ask questions to Carafem via live chat here by clicking on the link that says “Got Questions? Live Chat”
- Call the Latin American Youth Center Counseling, Treatment, Referral and Linkage Program (CTRL) for a pregnancy test and pregnancy options counseling at 202-319-2273
- Message TAYA (Teen and Young Adult Health Connection) on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAYAHealthConnection/or call at 301-565-0194
- Call the Washington Surgi-Clinic at 877-659-9403
Sample Questions to Ask: How do I know if I’m really pregnant and how far along I am? What kind of abortion can I get now? Do I need to make an appointment or can I just walk in? How much does it cost? Is there someone, I can talk to about all of my options? What will the appointment be like? What will I need to bring with me?
- Follow the medical provider’s directions and go to any appointments you schedule.
- If possible, ask someone to attend your appointments with you and support you through the process. It is possible that people will be protesting outside of the abortion clinic with signs and they may be shouting. Stay calm. Do not respond to them and walk quickly into the clinic. Before your appointment, you can ask if there are usually protestors and if they have any advice. You can also ask if they have an escort or someone who can walk you into the clinic.
Things you should know
You have to be pregnant in order to get an abortion. The medical provider will perform a pregnancy test to make sure that you are pregnant before moving forward with the abortion.
Abortions are legal and safe ways to end a pregnancy.
There are two types of abortion in the United States, medical abortion and surgical abortion.
Medical abortion: You can only have this kind of abortion up to 10 weeks after your last period. This is commonly known as the abortion “pill.” The abortion “pill” is actually two different pills. The first one is taken while you are in the office for your appointment. The second pill is taken the same day (at the earliest) up to 72 hours (at the latest) at home. –Carafem DC
Surgical abortion: This kind of abortion is completed in-clinic and is usually done for women who are beyond 10 weeks of pregnancy. There are three kinds of surgical abortion: vacuum aspiration, dilation and evacuation and dilation and extraction .
Vacuum aspiration: Usually performed 6-14 weeks after the last menstrual period. During this type of abortion, patients are educated on the procedure, tests (including a pregnancy test) are run and then pain medicine is given to the patient. After that, the cervix is dilated (opened) and then the contents of the uterus is suctioned out. –Planned Parenthood
Dilation and Evacuation: Usually performed between 12 and 26 weeks of pregnancy. This is a two day procedure On the first day, you will be given paperwork and you will complete some medical tests (including a pregnancy test). A clinician will then dilate (open) the cervix. You will go home and then you may not eat drink, chew or smoke anything before your surgery. You MUST come back the next day. When you return, you will receive anesthesia and then the doctor will remove the contents of the uterus using medical instruments and suction.
After about 24 weeks of pregnancy, abortions are usually performed only for serious health reasons. If you are considering an abortion, you should begin discussing your options as early in the pregnancy as possible.
The abortion pill can be taken as soon as you find out that you are pregnant up to about 10 weeks after the start of your last period.
Here are more places where you can learn about abortion:
Here’s where you should go, if you are having issues with paying for an abortion:
If you want to get involved in our reproductive justice fight:
Contact the Department of Health