Almost half of
all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned according to the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC). If you become pregnant unexpectedly, looking at all of the options and
deciding on what to do can be very overwhelming. Make sure to talk with a
spouse, partner, or people close to you and consult with a doctor to help guide
parent your child is a big decision. As a prospective parent, you must accept
the responsibility of raising a child. Deciding if you and your spouse or
partner can financially and emotionally handle this life-changing decision is
important. There are many resources available regarding childcare,
child support, and education for new parents. Using the available resources will
help you with your decision.
Many emotions can
come into play throughout the adoption process. If you are thinking about
adoption, contact local adoption agencies and they can guide you in starting
this process. It is important to remember that you can set guidelines that work
for you throughout this process. You can decide what kinds of parents are right
to raise your child. The adoptive parents can be involved with the pregnancy or
not based on what you’re comfortable with. The positive side to having the
adoptive parents involved from early on is that you will get to know them and,
therefore, you will be able to determine if they will provide an upbringing
that you support.
Abortion is a
procedure to terminate a pregnancy. In the United States this procedure is
legal, but restrictions vary from state to state. Most abortions are performed
during the first 13 weeks of a pregnancy. In some states, parental consent is
required for people under the age of 18. Abortion costs range from a couple
hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on how far along you are in
the pregnancy. Many medical insurance providers cover the procedure. Consult
your doctor to find out if they perform abortions. If not, they can direct you
to another medical provider, or to a local clinic like Planned Parenthood.
A dilator is used to physically
open the cervix after numbing it with a local anesthetic. Medications may also
be used to soften and open the cervix. A thin tube is then eased into the uterus through the cervix. The tube is attached to an
electric or manual pump, which applies suction to the uterus, creating a vacuum
that removes the contents of the uterus, thus terminating the pregnancy.
Abortions normally take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes, and are safe. A woman
can go home the same day the procedure is done.
A woman can have some cramping after
an abortion. She shouldn’t have sex or insert a tampon for up to two weeks to
let the uterus heal properly without infection. Heavy menstrual-like bleeding and blood clots are common. The clinic will
give specific instructions about the amount of bleeding and how long it may
Abortion Pill (RU-486)
A drug-induced abortion
can be done up to 63 days after conception. The abortion pill, mifepristone
(also known as Mifeprex or RU-486), works by blocking the hormone progesterone.
Without this hormone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, and a pregnancy
cannot continue. A second pill called misoprostol (Cytotec) is used in
conjunction with mifespristone. Misoprostol is taken within three days after
taking mifespristone. Misoprostol helps in emptying the uterus. In addition to
the medications, antibiotics are given to reduce the risk of infection.
With a drug-induced abortion,
bleeding is common for up to four weeks. A doctor visit is required, and
an ultrasound is usually performed to ensure the abortion
is complete and that all contents in the uterus have been removed.