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What is an abortion?

Abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. In-clinic abortion procedures are safe and effective. In-clinic abortions are also called surgical abortions.

What are the types of in-clinic abortions?

In-clinic abortion works by using suction to take a pregnancy out of your uterus. There are a couple of kinds of in-clinic abortion procedures. Your doctor  or nurse will know which type is right for you, depending on how far you are into your pregnancy.

Suction abortion (also called vacuum aspiration) is the most common type of in-clinic abortion. It uses gentle suction to empty your uterus. It’s usually used until about 14-16 weeks after your last period.

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is another kind of in-clinic abortion procedure. It uses suction and medical tools to empty your uterus. You can get a D&E later in a pregnancy than aspiration abortion -- usually if it has been 16 weeks or longer since your last period.  

How effective are in-clinic abortions?

In-clinic abortions are extremely effective. They work more than 99 out of every 100 times. Needing to get a repeat procedure because the abortion didn’t work is really rare.  

When can I get an in-clinic abortion?

How early you can get an abortion depends on where you go. In some places, you can get it as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test. Other doctors or nurses prefer to wait until 5-6 weeks after the first day of your last period.

How late you can get an abortion depends on the laws in your state and what doctor, abortion clinic, or Planned Parenthood health center you go to. It may be harder to find a health care provider who will do an abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy, so it’s best to try to have your abortion as soon as possible.

Why do people choose an in-clinic abortion?

Which kind of abortion you choose all depends on your personal preference and situation. Some people choose in-clinic abortion because they want to to have their procedure done at a health center, with nurses, doctors, and trained support staff there the whole time. (With the abortion pill, you have the abortion at home.)

In-clinic abortions are also much faster than the abortion pill: most in-clinic abortions only take about 5-10 minutes, while a medication abortion may take up to 24 hours to complete.

Your nurse, doctor, or health center counselor can help you decide which kind of abortion is best for you.

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