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What Happens During an Abortion? Answers in QUEENS & BROOKLYN, NY

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

The type of abortion often depends on how far along you are (gestational age), patient preference, cost, and availability. If you are considering an abortion, your first steps can include:

  • Confirming your pregnancy

  • Verifying how far along you are

  • Talking to a nurse about your health history and your options

  • Learning about the risks and side-effects of the abortion pill and abortion procedures

Take the first step and make an appointment today to confirm your pregnancy.

Request an appointment

The following is an explanation of the different abortion procedures and their requirements by trimester. (Note: We do not perform or refer for abortions.)

First Trimester Abortions

RU486, Mifepristone (The Abortion Pill): Within 70 days after last menstrual period (LMP) This method uses a pill to end the life of the embryo. If the abortion has not occurred within two days, the mother is given a second drug to induce cramps and expulsion of the fetus. The mother will then have a final doctor's visit to verify the procedure's completion.

The abortion pill will not end an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the Embryo implants outside of the uterus). An undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening to the mother. For this reason, you should always have an ultrasound done before choosing the abortion pill.

Manual Vacuum Aspiration: up to 7 weeks after LMP This procedure begins by inserting a long, thin tube into the uterus. The Embryo is then suctioned out with a large syringe attached to the end of the tube.

Fetal Development at This Time (4 weeks - 7 weeks)

The Embryo is the size of a pinhead and has its own unique genetic code that is different from the mother. By the end of the 5th week, the embryos heart will be pumping blood (1), and the first electrical brain activity begins to occur (2). By the end of the 6th week, the Embryo is the size of a pea. The heart is beating at about 110 beats per minute. During the 7th week, the mouth, face, hands, and feet are forming, and the heart is beating at about 120 beats per minute.

Suction Curettage: between 6 to 14 weeks after LMP The doctor will first widen the cervix with metal rods to make room for the larger fetus. Local or general anesthesia is typically administered to combat pain for the mother. (No pain medication is given to the fetus.)

A tube attached to a suction machine is then inserted into the uterus and used to dismember and extract the fetus piece by piece. Finally, a loop-shaped knife is utilized to sweep the uterus of all fetal remains.

Fetal Development at This Time (8 weeks - 14 weeks) The Embryo is about the size of a bean. The Embryo begins to make spontaneous and reflexive movements. At 9 weeks, the Embryo is now referred to as a Fetus. The heart is beating about 170 beats per minute, and fingerprints are being formed. At 11 weeks, thumb sucking begins. The face, hands, and feet can sense light touch. (3) Bone cells are replacing cartilage. At 14 weeks, the gender can be seen.

Second Trimester Abortions

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): between 13 to 24 weeks after LMP The fetus is now too large to be broken up by suction alone and must be removed with forceps and other instruments. The provider will first dilate the cervix by inserting laminaria sticks (thin rods made of sterilized seaweed) a few days before the procedure. When the cervix is ready, the fetus' skull will be crushed, and its body will be dismembered and removed through forceps, suction, and a sharp tool known as a curette. Following the procedure, the patient may be given medication to contract the uterus and reduce bleeding.

Fetal Development at This Time (15 weeks - 24 weeks)

The Fetus is about 7.1 inches long and weighs about 5.2 ounces. By 18 weeks, the inner ear is developing. By the end of the 22nd week, the inner ear is fully developed, and the fetus can respond to a growing range of sounds; Braxton Hicks contractions occur, and survival outside of the womb is possible.

Second and Third Trimester Abortions

Dilation and Extraction (D&X) (partial-birth abortion): from 20 weeks after LMP to full-term

D&X and D&E abortions share the same steps leading up to and after the procedure. In a D&X procedure, the abortionist will grasp the fetus' legs using forceps and deliver it up to the head. Next, an opening is created in the base of the skull using scissors, and the brain is removed with a suction catheter. The skull will then collapse, and the fetus is removed.

Fetal Development at This Time (25 weeks Full-Term) Due to the increased health and safety risks during or after a late term abortion, it's important to first talk about these risks prior to scheduling an appointment. You owe it to yourself to learn more about how each option can impact you, your health, and your future.

Next Steps

If you are pregnant and considering abortion, you owe it to yourself to get answers and learn your options before you decide. An empowered decision is an informed decision.

We provide free pregnancy services through our onsite partner, My Choice Pregnancy Services. Some of these services include self-administered pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds to verify that your pregnancy is occurring within your uterus, the embryo/fetus heart activity and measurements to let you know how far along you are in your pregnancy. We provide evidence-based information on abortion and pregnancy options. We do not perform or refer for abortion.

Please call (718) 808-9735 and speak with one of our C.A.R.E consultants today, we look forward to serving you.


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