Abortion is a big decision. We are here to help you sort through all of your questions and concerns. There is a lot to educate yourself on before you make a decision, and we are here to help you every step of the way. All services are free and confidential.
Abortion can have side effects. Abortion has been associated with preterm birth, emotional and psychological impact.
Heartbeats offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, our centers do not offer abortion services or abortion referrals. We have nurses available to answer your medical questions.
Types of Abortions
Click on a topic below to learn about that abortion method.
Plan B One-Step®
The Plan B One-Step® pill is a large dose of oral contraceptive. Known as the “morning after pill”, it is used after unprotected intercourse or suspected contraceptive failure (like a broken condom) to prevent pregnancy. It is NOT the same as RU-486.
How does it work?
Plan B One-Step® is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In addition, it may inhibit implantation of a fertilized egg. It is not effective once the process of implantation has begun.
Like Plan B One-Step®, ella® is used after unprotected intercourse or suspected contraceptive failure (like a broken condom) to prevent pregnancy. It cannot be purchased over-the-counter and is only available by prescription in the United States.
How does it work?
ella® may act to reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by preventing or postponing ovulation. It may also change the lining of the uterus so that the embryo cannot implant in the uterus. It is important to know that ella® is a chemical cousin to RU-486 and could be effective once the process of implantation has begun.
Things to consider
- Emergency contraception is not effective if a woman is already pregnant.
- Plan B does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- The most common side effects in the Plan B One-Step® clinical trial were nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, and menstrual changes.
- The manufacturer warns that Plan B One-Step® is not recommended for routine use as a contraceptive.
For more information on the risks and side effects go to optionline.org
Manufacturer's Prescribing Information for Plan B One-Step® (Levonorgestrel) tablets, 0.75 mg. Mfg. by Gedeon Richter, Ltd., Budapest, Hungary for Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Subsidiary of Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pomona, NY 10970. Revised Feb 2004. BR-038 / 21000382503
ella® package insert.” Mechanism of Action.” Package insert available at http://pi.watson.com/data_stream.asp?product_group=1699&p=pi&language=E (Accessed December 20, 2010)
Note: Plan C is another name for these same medications when purchased from an on-line dealer. Using RU-486 and Mifepristone without medical supervision is not FDA approved and can be life-threatening to the woman. If purchasing on-line seems your only option please contact Heartbeats first and obtain a pregnancy test and ultrasound prior to ordering. As a reminder all our services are free.
RU-486, Mifepristone: Within 4 to 7 weeks after LMP
This drug is only approved for use in women up to the 49th day after their last menstrual period. The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug which causes cramps to expel the embryo. The last visit is a follow-up ultrasound to determine if the procedure has been completed.
RU-486 will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.## Morning After Pill - (Plan B One-Step® & ella®)
Before taking a Morning After Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you're pregnant and advise you on your options.
Before taking RU-486, or Abortion Pill, you should understand what it is, what it could mean to your health and how it works. Call for an appointment and one of our staff will be happy to discuss it with you, confirm if you're pregnant and advise you on your options.
What is it?
RU-486, also known as “the abortion pill,” is actually a combination of two drugs -- mifepristone and misoprostol -- that cause early abortion. It should not be used if it has been more than 7 weeks since your last period. It is NOT the same as the “morning after pill.”
How does it work?
The first pill, mifepristone, is taken orally and blocks the hormone progesterone needed to maintain the pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is given two days later later, causing the uterus to contract and expel the placenta and embryo.
Things to Consider
An RU-486 abortion requires 3 visits to a health care provider.
- Most medical abortions using mifepristone are completed within 2 weeks, but some can take up to 3 or even 4 weeks.
- Side effects include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
- If this method fails, a surgical abortion will be required.
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Issue Update: Mifepristone: An Early Abortion Option,” July 2001. Mifeprex® Medication Guide, Danco Laboratories, LLC, revised 7/19/05
If you are thinking about abortion, please contact us before you make a final choice. We are here to help you sort through all of your questions and concerns. There is a lot to educate yourself on before you make a decision, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: up to 7 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy up until 7 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. A long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube and the embryo is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage: between 6 to 14 weeks after LMP
This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the baby is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, and then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus' body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped knife called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. (The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the “products of conception”).
Abortion is not just a simple procedure; it may have many side effects. Abortion has been associated with preterm birth, emotional and psychological impact, and spiritual consequences. Please contact our center so that you can make an informed decision.
Our centers offer peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, our centers do not offer abortion services or abortion referrals.