Abortion is a serious decision. Only you can protect your health. Before committing to a termination procedure, make sure you know how to protect yourself. If you are considering abortion, this abortion safety checklist is helpful for ensuring your rights. It includes all the questions your abortion provider should ask you and questions you should ask them before they agree to perform an abortion.
- Have you had a second medical opinion to verify that you are pregnant? (False positives are rare but can occur).
- Have you learned about the possible physical and emotional side effects of abortion?
- Have you had a recent STD (STI) test? Some types of abortions move untreated sexually transmitted infections deeper into the reproductive system, so it is important to know if you have an STI before an abortion is performed.
- Have you had an ultrasound? Ultrasound is the more accurate method for dating a pregnancy. It can also help a medical provider identify potential health risks to the mother.
- If you have already had an ultrasound, were you allowed to see the image? It is your right to see any images produced by an ultrasound if you wish to see them.
- Is anyone pressuring you or forcing you to have an abortion? It is illegal for anyone to pressure you into having an abortion.
- Do you know about every kind of abortion procedure available? It is important to understand how procedures vary depending on the age of the fetus.
- Have you researched the before and after costs of having an abortion? It is important to understand what is included and who pays for treatment of complications if something goes wrong during the procedure.
- What if I change my mind and I am in the abortion clinic exam room? You have the right to stop at any point, even after initial preparation for the procedure. You can leave at any time. It is illegal for anyone to force you to abort, including medical staff.
- If you have an abortion appointment, will it be performed by a doctor? If not, what medical qualifications does the staff have?
- Does the abortion doctor have hospital admitting privileges? This is important in case there are complications during the procedure.
- What is the safety and legal record of the abortion clinic? It is important to ensure the clinic where the procedure is performed is safe, secure, and uses properly licensed medical staff.
- Does the abortion doctor have medical malpractice insurance? If a doctor is sued frequently, he or she may have difficulty obtaining malpractice insurance.
Abortion is a life-changing decision that can have serious and even life-threatening outcomes. Once completed, it cannot be undone, so it is important to have all the facts before you proceed. We are here to help you with our free pregnancy care options. There is no pressure or judgment, just help.
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The decision to end a pregnancy is never an easy one. Protecting your health and legal rights is part of the responsible decision-making process. Care Net cares about your health and safety and wants to make sure you fully understand the abortion process before moving forward with your decision to have one. As part of your pre-abortion support services at Care Net, our staff will review all your rights and responsibilities to ensure you are fully educated on your choice.
Know your abortion patient rights
Among the rights afforded to abortion patients:
- You have the right to a licensed physician. Only licensed physicians in the state of New Mexico are permitted to perform surgical abortions. Doctors can work for abortion clinics, hospitals, or in private medical practices.
- You have the right to know the physician’s history. This includes information about whether the physician performing your abortion has ever had his or her professional license suspended or revoked. You also have a right to the malpractice lawsuit history of any physician or medical provider involved with your abortion procedure. All of this is public information.
- You have a right to know the physician’s malpractice insurance standing. We strongly advise against allowing a physician or other medical practitioner to perform your abortion if they do not have medical malpractice insurance coverage. Under New Mexico law, physicians in the state are required to have the minimum level of medical malpractice insurance. If medical malpractice or negligence results in your injury or disability following an abortion, you have recourse.
- You have the right to demand quality care. This includes the right to immediately be transferred by ambulance to the nearest emergency room or trauma center for treatment if you suffer complications during an abortion procedure. It is best to work with a physician who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It can boost your chances of receiving prompt care in the event of an emergency during your abortion.
- You do not have to sign away your rights. Never sign a form or other statement that says you will not hold the doctor or abortion clinic liable for any serious injuries or death from the abortion procedure. Reputable clinics and providers would never ask you to sign these kinds of statements.
- You have the right not to have an abortion. It is illegal in Albuquerque to force someone to have an abortion. Regardless of your age, or your marital status, no one has the legal authority to force you to have an abortion if you do not want to have one. If someone is trying to force you to have an abortion, reach out to our pregnancy help center and one of our staff members can advise you on the next steps you must take to protect your right to choose.
- You have the right to change your mind. Sometimes women change their minds at the last minute about having an abortion. That is perfectly OK. You should never be shamed for making a last-minute decision not to terminate your pregnancy. Even if you are already prepped for the surgical procedure, you cannot be forced to go through with it if you change your mind. If you are having a medical abortion and have only taken the first dose of the two-dose regimen, you can use this abortion pill reversal method to try to stop the effects.
Do minors need parental permission for abortions?
Minors are not required to obtain parental permission before having an abortion. If they choose to have a medical or surgical abortion and experience complications, it is important to tell their parents or another trusted adult right away so they can receive follow-up treatment. Failing to treat complications from an abortion can be fatal.
Some of the complications you can experience after an abortion include:
- Anesthesia reactions
- Blood clots
- Cut or torn cervix
- Digestive system upset
- Heavy bleeding
- Holes or tears in the uterine wall
- Incomplete abortion
Check Care Net for your abortion rights
While Care Net can advise you about your rights and responsibilities on abortion, we do not perform abortion procedures in any of our offices. To schedule an appointment to discuss your pregnancy options, call any of our five locations.
Women who change their minds about terminating their pregnancy have options. The abortion pill, also known as a chemical abortion, requires two doses of separate medications to complete the process. It is only used in women who are less than 10 weeks pregnant. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report nearly 40 percent of all abortions are performed in this manner.
During the first phase of the process, a woman is administered Mifeprex orally. This drug blocks progesterone production, which is necessary for a growing embryo to develop. Within 48 hours, a second pill, Mifepristone, completes the process. This second medication causes heavy cramping and bleeding and forces the uterus to expel its contents.
A technique called Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) was developed as an emergency intervention for women who change their minds about having an abortion after starting the chemical abortion process. Our pregnancy help staff can discuss this option with you once the pregnancy is confirmed.
he chemical makeup of Mifepristone, one of two doses of chemical abortion pills. CCoil, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
How does Abortion Pill Reversal work?
APR is an option for pregnant women who reverse course on having an abortion after the process has begun. It works by using natural progesterone to counteract the effects of the Mifeprex dose. While it is not always effective in stopping a chemical abortion, one recent study indicated a 68 percent success rate.
For APR to work, it must be administered before the second medication (Mifepristone) is taken. Once a woman takes Mifepristone, APR will not work to stop the chemical abortion.
Is Abortion Pill Reversal safe?
APR works by flooding a woman’s body with the hormone progesterone. Medical professionals have safely used progesterone to help support women during pregnancy for more than 50 years. Your medical provider can discuss any potential side effects of using progesterone in this manner before receiving the APR treatment. Research suggests the birth defect rate in babies born to women who received APR is less than or equal to the rate for the general population.
Some medical insurance plans may cover the cost of abortion reversal medication.
How much does it cost?
The cost of Abortion Pill Reversal treatment varies depending on the amount of progesterone administered during the procedure. Some medical insurance plans may cover the treatment. Women who do not have medical insurance will need to discuss costs with their medical provider. Financial assistance is available for women in financial hardship who do not have medical insurance. Ask one of our pregnancy help staff about this option.
Where can I find more information on Abortion Pill Reversal?
Women who are considering APR treatment have a lot of questions. Some may include how to start the process and how they will know if it is working. The Abortion Pill Reversal Network is a valuable resource in finding the answers needed when considering APR as a pregnancy option. Visit the network’s web page or FAQ section to learn more about the APR treatment. Women can also reach out directly to the network by calling toll-free 877-558-0333.
Also, please feel free to call one of the Care Net Pregnancy Centers and our staff can help you.
There are several factors that determine the cost of an abortion. Some of those factors are the length of pregnancy, geographic region, medication needed, and procedure type.
Be aware that some abortion service organizations do benefit financially from your decision. Be sure to educate yourself on the specific organization as you engage their services. Care Net exists only to serve you and does not financially profit from any choice you make. Care Net does not perform or refer for abortions.
- The type of abortion procedure performed (medical or surgical).
- The location where the procedure is performed (costs vary by state).
- Insurance and income levels (financial assistance may be available for those who qualify).
- How far the pregnancy has progressed.
Cost of abortion by type
Chemical abortion is common for women who are less than 10 weeks along in their pregnancy. Two separate medications are administered as part of the procedure: Mifeprex and Mifepristone. You can learn more about how these two medications work together to end a pregnancy.
A surgical abortion is more expensive because it must be performed in a medical facility. There are three kinds of surgical abortion procedures. You can learn more about how surgical abortions are performed.
Most insurance plans do not cover elective abortions. The Mexico Supreme Court required Medicaid to cover the costs of medically-necessary abortions during a landmark ruling in 1998.
How much does an abortion cost in New Mexico?
Chemical abortions in New Mexico can cost around $600 out of pocket, while surgical abortions can cost up to $3,000 depending on which procedure you receive. Insurance companies do not have to pay for elective abortions, so it is important to keep that in mind if you choose to move forward with an abortion. You likely will be responsible for the full cost of the procedure unless there is a medically-necessary reason for it.
Abortion advice, education, and support
While Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque provides education and reviews the options available to you when you are pregnant, we do not perform abortions at any of our pregnancy centers. We do offer both pre-abortion and post-abortion support services.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also called sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. Roughly 1 in 4 women are infected with an STD. Having an undetected sexually transmitted disease at the time of an abortion procedure can lead to complications. Two of the most common STDs are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Both are bacterial infections that live in the vaginal opening. Sometimes people who are infected with these or other STDs are asymptomatic, so they are unaware they are carriers of the disease. This is a huge risk factor during an abortion.
How abortions cause serious STD health risks
Certain surgical abortion procedures have the potential of pushing chlamydia and gonorrhea infections deep inside the uterus, where they can cause serious problems. If left untreated, a chlamydia or gonorrhea infection can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is dangerous when left untreated. It can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and the formation of abscesses.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 4 women between the ages of 14 and 19 has at least one STD. If you receive an abortion without knowing your STD status, it can cause you serious health complications.
Most common STDs/STIs
Women are more likely than men to experience long-term health consequences from an STD/STI. Having an abortion while you have an STD/STI increases your chances of experiencing serious medical consequences.
The most common STD/STIs women should test for before having an abortion include: Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Gonorrhea, and HIV/AIDS.
Most STDs are treatable. Early detection and treatment are the key to recovery and for preventing further complications if you plan to seek an abortion.
How to get free STD/STI testing
While Care Net does not offer abortions at any of our locations, our Albuquerque pregnancy help center offices can test for common STDs/STIs. If you are considering having an abortion, you must get tested for STIs first. This testing is free when performed in our offices.
If you test positive for either, you will need to receive treatment before you can proceed with an abortion. While we do not offer other forms of STD testing in our Care Net offices, we can refer you for additional STD testing, which we recommend before having an abortion. We can help you locate the best options for testing.
You also must inform your abortion provider if you tested positive for any STDs, which includes the type of treatment you received. Having this information will help your abortion provider make the best decisions about surgical methods to use or avoid during your procedure.
All medical procedures have the risk of complications, including abortion. Before you have an abortion, make sure the medical provider or clinic staff where the procedure will be performed have reviewed the risks and possible complications with you. You have the right under New Mexico law to receive informed consent. This includes:
- Receiving an explanation of the abortion procedures available to you.
- Assessing the risks and side effects of each abortion procedure.
- Learning about other pregnancy options.
The further along you are in your pregnancy, the riskier an abortion becomes.
Abortion risks increase as pregnancy progresses
The risk for complications increases as a pregnancy progresses. Abortions that are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy (between 1 and 12 weeks) are considered minor surgery. You can learn more about the methods of abortion – both medical and surgical – on our abortion procedures page.
Some of the common risks associated with a medical abortion include:
- Anesthesia reactions
- Blood clots
- Cut or torn cervix
- Digestive system upset
- Heavy bleeding
- Holes or tears in the uterine wall
- Incomplete abortion (the abortion did not successfully remove the fetus)
If you experience any of these issues post-abortion, it is important to follow up with your medical provider immediately. Many of these complications can be life-threatening, so do not wait to receive treatment.
Know your abortion patient rights
Having an abortion is a serious step. Take your time to fully understand the procedure and all complications before you agree to have an abortion.
Before you have an abortion, there are several steps you can take to help safeguard your health. They include:
- Get a second medical opinion to confirm you are pregnant. False positives may be rare, but they do occur.
- Educate yourself about the possible emotional and physical side effects of abortion. Our pregnancy help center offers both pre-abortion and post-abortion support that includes dealing with abortion guilt.
- Get an STD/STI test to make sure you are free from sexually transmitted diseases before having an abortion. Some abortion procedures can transmit infections deeper into your reproductive system, which can cause infertility or other complications.
- Get an ultrasound. Not only will it pinpoint the age of the fetus, but it also can help identify any potential health risks to you before you have an abortion.
- Learn about available abortion procedures. They vary depending on the gestational age of the fetus and the clinic or healthcare provider you choose to perform the procedure.
- Know your rights. You have rights and protections, whether you choose to have an abortion, adopt, or keep your baby. Review your rights and responsibilities so you can help protect your health and well-being.
Care Net makes sure you know your rights
Remember, you are not alone, no matter which choice you make. Care Net is here for you! While we do not offer abortion services, our pregnancy help center provides pregnancy options that include pre-abortion education and post-abortion support. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our caring staff.
Choosing to have an abortion is not a decision most women make lightly when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. For some women, abortion can seem like the best option available at the time. Abortion is legal in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico without limitation at this time.
Before you pursue abortion as a pregnancy option, we encourage you to seek the support you need at Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque. Our caring staff goes the extra mile to make sure you know you’re not alone. We’re with you every step of the way. From pre-abortion care to after-abortion care and support, we provide the services you need to receive assistance and comfort during this difficult time.
Care Net offers free limited pregnancy ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. An ultrasound also might be required by an abortion provider to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Types of abortion procedures
The type of abortion you receive depends on how far along you are in your pregnancy at the time the procedure is performed. There are two kinds of abortion: chemical and surgical.
A chemical abortion is a common method used when a woman is less than 10 weeks pregnant. It involves the administration of two separate medications during a multi-step process. During the first phase, the woman is given Mifeprex orally. The drug blocks progesterone, the hormone necessary for an embryo to survive during pregnancy. Within 48 hours, the woman will be given a second medication called Mifepristone. It causes heavy cramping and bleeding to expel the contents of the uterus, which includes a fertilized egg or developing embryo.
There are side effects associated with a chemical abortion. They can include nausea, diarrhea, chills, fever, weakness, dizziness, and headache. Women also should expect to have a heavy period for 9 to 16 days. Some women may bleed for up to 30 days. If bleeding persists beyond this, consult your medical practitioner, who can examine you to ensure there are no complications from the procedure.
A surgical abortion is performed in women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant. During the procedure, the cervix is opened, and the uterus is suctioned out. Tools may be used to physically remove the fetus depending on the trimester of pregnancy and the baby’s level of growth. There are various levels and procedures associated with surgical abortions. They include:
- Aspiration or suction surgical abortion are common for pregnancies up to 13 weeks. Local anesthesia is administered to control pain. The cervix is opened, and a tube is passed inside. It is attached to a suction device that pulls the fetus out of the womb.
- Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) is used for pregnancies that are 13 to 28 weeks along. Local anesthesia and sedation are commonly used during the procedure. The differences between this and aspiration is the cervix must be opened much wider. Forceps are also used to grasp fetal parts and remove them in pieces from the womb. There is a much higher risk for complications for the mother with a D&E.
- D&E After Viability, also known as a late-term surgical abortion, is used in pregnancies of 24 weeks or more. It can take 2 to 3 days to perform the procedure and increases the risk of serious complications (even death) for the mother. Drugs are injected into the amniotic fluid to stop the baby’s heart before the procedure begins. Then, the amniotic sac is broken and forceps are used to remove the fetus in pieces.
Care Net offers after-abortion care support groups with other women who have shared experiences and can provide comfort to those struggling with their decision to have an abortion.
Other considerations before having an abortion
Having an abortion is not without risks. Even when performed correctly by a skilled abortion doctor, complications can arise afterward that require immediate medical intervention. Here are some of the things you can expect after having an abortion:
- Heavy bleeding can occur after an abortion and last for 9 to 16 days.
- 1 in 100 women need “surgical scraping” to stop the bleeding.
- Abortions of pregnancies that are 8 weeks or more along may include identifiable body parts. At 10 weeks, the baby is more than an inch in length and has formed arms, legs, hands, and feet.
- Methotrexate, an FDA-approved drug for treating some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, is also used to treat ectopic pregnancies to induce abortion. It works by stopping cell growth, which causes the embryo to die.
Choosing to go through with abortion doesn’t mean you won’t have regrets or other deep sadness following the procedure. Care Net offers after-abortion care support groups and other programs to help you overcome the trauma associated with abortion.
Reach out to Care Net Before Scheduling an Abortion
An unplanned pregnancy can be scary, but so can going through an abortion when you’re not sure what to expect. Care Net’s supportive and non-judgmental staff is here to ensure you have all the facts you need to make an informed decision about your pregnancy. Reach out today to schedule an appointment.
There are different types of Morning After Pills, which are not the same as the Abortion Pill that is taken after a pregnancy is confirmed. The Morning After Pill is taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex. It works to:
- prevent or delay ovulation
- prevent fertilization
- prevent implantation after an embryo is fertilized (thereby causing an early abortion).
Side effects from the morning-after pill
Just because it is available over-the-counter without a prescription from your doctor doesn’t mean the morning-after pill is without risks. There are side effects and health risks associated with using the morning-after pill. They can include:
- Breast tenderness
- Bleeding between periods or heavier than usual menstrual bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain or cramping
- Nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting
Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if using the morning-after pill is necessary. Using the morning after pill can delay your period by up to one week. Call your doctor right away if you experience any bleeding or spotting that does not resolve within a week.
Care Net provides education, support
Please note that Care Net does not provide access to the Morning After Pill. If you have taken the morning-after pill and would like information about the possibility of reversing its effects, please ask us about the abortion pill reversal procedure.