How Late Can You Have an Abortion in Missouri

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, a lot of things go through your mind—denial, shock, fear, or nothing, you just feel frozen, unable to do much of anything. Every woman’s reaction in this situation is different.

Because pregnancy options don’t usually change for several weeks, you have time to get all your information lined up. It’s important that you feel confident in your pregnancy decision. In other words: don’t panic.

Tests are Critical

You might be thinking, “I already took a test. It said I’m pregnant. So why do I need more?”

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we give free, medical-grade pregnancy tests to make sure the home result was accurate. Sometimes tests have expired or weren’t administered properly and they can result in false positive results.

Once that has been done, and a positive result verified, an ultrasound needs to be administered to make sure the pregnancy is viable. One in three pregnancies self-terminate during the first trimester. If the pregnancy isn’t viable, or if it’s ectopic and requires immediate medical care to remove it from the fallopian tubes, there is no point in further decision making as it’s unnecessary.

If the pregnancy is deemed viable, then testing for STD/STIs is in order. Left untreated, STD/STIs present when an abortion is done, can result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and also affect long-term reproductive health and fertility. If a positive result comes back, treatment will be needed (antibiotics).

How Far Along Am I

When the ultrasound is performed, the technician also checks to see the gestational age of the fetus. This is important because that is how they determine if an abortion can be done (if desired), and which procedure would be necessary as it’s based on gestational age. As the gestational age increases, the procedures become more involved and costlier. Learn more about abortion in Missouri.

Currently, abortions in Missouri can only be performed up until 21 weeks and six days gestational age. A house bill has passed this year, seeking to change it to 20 weeks, but it has failed in the Missouri Senate.

There was a different change approved that went into effect May 1, 2018. One of the provisions requires women to receive counseling meeting the state’s informed consent laws, then waiting 72 hours before having the procedure done. The counseling must be done in person, before the waiting period begins, and administered by the same doctor who will perform the abortion.

Missouri’s informed consent law requires women, during the counseling session, to view an active ultrasound and sign a form pledging that they’ve read the Missouri Informed Consent Booklet.

In part, the booklet states, “Missouri law requires that the information provided in this booklet be given to women considering an abortion. The law also requires the women to be informed that ‘The life of each human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.’”

Make an appointment with us at Willowbrook Women’s Center. We will help you cut through all the noise and provide you with clear, unbiased facts so that you can make the best possible choice.

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