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Abortion

In the United States, there are two different types of abortion: in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill. The method you choose will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy, your health and your personal preference. Both methods are safe and effective.

In-Clinic Abortion

In-Clinic Abortion

There are two kinds of in-clinic abortions: aspiration and D&E (dilation and evacuation).  

  • Aspiration is usually performed up to 16 weeks after a person’s last period.  
  • D&E is usually performed after that 16-week period has passed.

In-clinic abortions are effective and safe. However, the procedure is riskier the later in the pregnancy it is performed.  You can learn more about the safety, effectiveness, and actual steps of the procedure by reading these frequently asked questions about in-clinic abortions.

The Abortion Pill

The Abortion Pill

A medication abortion with the abortion pill can be done up to 11 weeks of pregnancy. There are three steps to a medication abortion. 

  1. You take the first medication, mifepristone, with your health care provider. It works by blocking a hormone called progesterone that is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. 
  2. You take the second medication, misoprostol, which will cause the uterus to empty. 
  3. A follow-up appointment with your health care provider. He or she will make sure the procedure went smoothly. There will either be an ultrasound or a blood test to make sure the pregnancy has been terminated.

Medication abortion is safe and effective—the abortion pill works 97 percent of the time. To learn more about the safety considerations and steps of medication abortion, read these commonly asked questions about the abortion pill.

Why the abortion pill?
  • Available early, up to 11 weeks of pregnancy
  • The abortion pill is a more private and less invasive method of ending pregnancy
  • Anesthesia is not necessary.
  • It might feel more natural to you; some believe medical abortion is similar to a miscarriage
Why an in-clinic abortion?
  • If it is past 11 weeks of pregnancy
  • If you are nervous or concerned about side-effects of a medication abortion
  • If you feel more comfortable having a health care professional there to direct the procedure
  • If you are taking medicine that should not be combined with the medications used in medication abortion
  • If you are taking anti-clotting medication or have a blood-clotting disorder
How do I decide?

Have a conversation with a spouse, partner, or loved one. Find someone supportive who can help you explore your needs and discuss your options.  Our health care professionals can give you more information to help you make the best decision for you and your physical and emotional health.

If you have decided that adoption or parenthood is best for you, pre-natal care should start as soon as possible. If you've decide abortion is the best for you, then the risks are lower the earlier the procedure is performed.

When is it legal to have an abortion in Missouri?

You can get an abortion in Missouri up to 21 weeks and 6 days after your last menstrual period. After that time, abortion is available only if the woman’s life or health is threatened.

Is there a mandatory waiting period before I can have an abortion in Missouri?

Yes. Missouri requires a mandatory delay of 72 hours between the time informed consent is given and the procedure is performed. As of October 2017, the physician performing the procedure must also perform a portion of the consenting process. Our staff can guide you through the process to make it as easy to understand as possible.

Does my partner have any legal say in my decision regarding my pregnancy?

No. Under Missouri law, your partner cannot legally interfere with your decision-making regarding a pregnancy. If you wish, your partner or other loved ones can offer much needed support before, during and after your abortion. Our staff is available to assist and support you throughout the process.

If I'm Medicaid eligible, can Medicaid pay for my abortion?

In Missouri, Medicaid may only pay for abortion in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. If you think you may qualify for abortion coverage under Medicaid, please speak with our staff.

Does Missouri state law require parental consent?

If you are 17 years old or younger, Missouri requires the consent of a parent, legal guardian or judge to obtain an abortion. If the consent is given by a parent or guardian, they must accompany the minor to the health center on the day of the procedure. Please review the important information for minorsprior to your appointment.

If you need permission from a judge, please call 314-652-3114 or 314-652-3111 for more information. Both numbers connect to the ACLU. Please mention "judicial bypass" when calling.

If you have another custodial parent (in addition to the parent providing consent) who has been awarded joint legal custody or joint physical custody by a court, the consenting parent may have to provide written notification to the other parent BEFORE your first appointment. The consenting parent can complete the following form before the first appointment or complete it at the health center. It MUST be reviewed and any action taken, if necessary, prior to the first appointment. 

Can health care providers (doctors, hospitals, nurses, clinics) refuse to perform abortions or refuse to give me information about them?

Yes. Missouri law allows individuals and institutions to refuse to provide abortions in many cases, and those individuals or institutions are not required to give you information or referrals. We are committed to giving you all the information you want and need to make the best decisions for you.

Where can I get an abortion and how much does it cost?

In Missouri, the only location providing abortion is Reproductive Health Services in St. Louis.  Across the river in Illinois, medication abortion is available at the Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights.

Facilities that do not provide abortions may refer you to a health center that does.  

Both methods can cost between $470 to $1320 depending on how early in the pregnancy the procedure is done, the type of procedure, and whether additional tests, visits, or exams are needed.

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