If you saw two pink lines on a positive pregnancy test and were not trying to get pregnant, you were likely caught off guard. Abortion may have come to mind.
Abortion is currently legal in Florida up to 15 weeks of gestational age. This means that both surgical and medical abortion procedures are available in our state.
What are Florida’s Current Abortion Restrictions?
While abortion is legal for up to 15 weeks, there are some restrictions to be aware of. For example, a woman must receive an ultrasound as well as wait 24 hours after an initial doctor’s visit before undergoing an abortion procedure.
If you are under the age of 18, you must have the permission of a guardian or parent to have an abortion.
After 15 weeks of gestational age, abortion is only legal if the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman, prevents serious injuries to the woman, or the fetus has fatal abnormalities.
How Does the Abortion Pill Work?
The abortion pill, also known as medication abortion, is the most common abortion procedure. It requires two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol.
The first drug, mifepristone, is used to end the pregnancy by blocking progesterone, a hormone necessary for fetal growth and development.
Once the pregnancy has ended, the second pill, misoprostol, is taken to induce uterine cramping so the woman’s body can expel the fetus and pregnancy tissue.
What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?
According to the Mayo Clinic, potential risks of medical abortion (pregnancy ended by medication) include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
How Does a Surgical Abortion Work?
A surgical abortion first requires an in-person visit to a clinic, where your cervix must first be dilated. A physician will then use surgical tools and suction to remove the fetus and pregnancy tissue.
What are the Risks of a Surgical Abortion?
Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, the types of possible complications can vary. If your pregnancy is less than 14 weeks gestational age, the main risks are:
- Incomplete abortion: this happens to about 35 out of 1,000 women
- Heavy bleeding
- Damage to the womb (which can affect future infertility according to Cleveland Clinic)
- Sepsis: this happens to about 1 out of 1,000 women
This is a lot of information, so it’s perfectly normal if you are feeling overwhelmed or are wondering what the best next step is.
At our center, we offer no-cost limited ultrasounds where you can learn just how far along your pregnancy is, which can affect your eligibility for certain procedures. Ultrasounds can also alert you to health complications such as an ectopic pregnancy.
We also offer complimentary consultations in a compassionate and confidential environment. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!