Top Abortion Questions You May Be Asking

Making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy can feel like the scariest thing you have ever faced. Whether you are considering abortion or have already decided on your next steps, there may still be questions spinning around in your mind. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand that education is empowering, and we want to provide you with the answers to your abortion questions so that you can make confident decisions!

What Are the Different Kinds of Abortions, and Does It Hurt?

Abortions can be medical or surgical. Here is what you need to know about each type of abortion.

  1. Medical Abortion
  • Abortion pill (previously called RU-486): The abortion pill is a medical abortion that is actually a combination of two pills. A woman takes the first pill (mifepristone) in a physician’s office or clinic. She usually takes the second pill (misoprostol) at home 6-48 hours later. Typically, cramping and bleeding start 1-4 hours after taking the second pill. The abortion is typically completed in 5 hours, although cramping usually continues for a couple more days. The abortion pill is usually an option if the first day of a woman’s last period was 70 days earlier or less. If the medical abortion fails, a surgical abortion will be required.

2.  Surgical Abortion

  • Aspiration (vacuum) abortion: The most common surgical abortion is the aspiration abortion. This method can usually be performed up to about 14 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure lasts about 5-10 minutes. Pain and numbing medication is given, and sometimes a sedative to relax is also given. Women typically experience cramping while the physician is using the suction to empty the uterus.
  • Dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion: A D&E abortion is done after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It is similar to the aspiration abortion, but additional instruments are used.

How Much Does an Abortion Cost?

There are financial, physical, and emotional costs to consider. The financial cost of an abortion varies depending on the method and timing of the abortion.

  • The cost of a medical abortion depends on the following: lab work, office visit, types of testing, region of the country, and will ultimately depend on which provider is chosen. In some cases, a medical abortion can cost more than a surgical abortion.
  • A surgical abortion will vary in cost range from $500-$15,000+.

Rachel Jones, a principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that studies reproductive health policy states, “Nobody really knows what it costs to provide abortions. The numbers change from facility to facility within the same state or even the same city.”

Do I Need My Parents’ Consent Before I Have an Abortion?

Abortion laws vary from state to state. Missouri abortion law requires one parent to give consent for a medical or surgical abortion for minor patients aged 17 and under. A parent will be required to accompany the minor for an abortion as well. The new Missouri law is set to go into effect in late summer, 2019, and will require the consent of two parents.

However, parental permission is not required for education, a pregnancy test, ultrasound, or STD testing. These are all no-cost, confidential services we provide you at Willowbrook Women’s Center in a compassionate and judgment-free environment.

You Deserve Answers to Your Abortion Questions

You deserve thorough, unbiased answers to all of your abortion questions. Make an appointment at Willowbrook Women’s Center today. Our professional licensed medical providers are here to empower you with the information and no-cost services you need to make informed decisions for yourself. We will compassionately walk with you every step of the way!


Are There Risks When Taking the RU486 Pill?

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are probably feeling like your world has been turned upside down, and it’s hard to know what to do or who to talk to. Often the first thought is about abortion, and you might be wondering what the risks are when taking the RU486 pill, also known as the abortion pill.

About Medical Abortion

Medical abortion is the procedure that uses the RU486 (abortion) pill to terminate a pregnancy using two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol.

Mifepristone is the first pill taken, and it blocks progesterone, a hormone necessary for the embryo to remain attached inside the uterus. Misoprostol, the second pill taken, stimulates contractions to expel the pregnancy.

The pills are taken on separate days, and the abortion can take several days to complete, followed by two to three weeks of bleeding and spotting. A follow-up visit one to two weeks later is a crucial step to help avoid some of the risks associated with the pills.

Risks When Taking RU486

Failure or Incomplete Abortion: Medical abortion failure means the pregnancy was unresponsive to the drugs and can result in heavy bleeding, hemorrhage, anemia, and/or a drop in blood pressure. This requires a second procedure—a surgical abortion—in order to complete a failed medical abortion; otherwise, the pregnancy could continue.

Infection: Infection and sepsis are risks associated with the abortion pill and, together with hemorrhage, are the most frequent causes of illness and death due to mifepristone. This can occur due to pregnancy tissue remaining in the uterus.

Severe Pain: This is due to the uterine cramping generated by the Misoprostol pill. This pain is both necessary and expected as the pregnancy leaves the woman’s body.

Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea: These can occur but are generally mild.

Damage to the Uterus: Misoprostol has been reported to cause rupturing or tearing of the uterus when RU486 is administered after the eighth week of pregnancy. This can cause severe bleeding, the need for a hysterectomy, or death.

Come for a No-Cost Screening

At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we know how hard an unwanted pregnancy is for you. We are here to offer you a variety of services, including a no-cost pregnancy test to confirm your at-home results, a no-cost ultrasound to tell you how far along you are and if your pregnancy is viable, and STD testing at no cost to you as well.

Just as important as the screening is our confidential, non-judgmental environment. We are here to support you, to empower you, answer your questions, and to give you the critical information you need so that you can make the best possible decision for you.

Let us help you. Call Willowbrook Women’s Center today and make an appointment to come see us.


How Many Weeks Do I Have to be to Have an Abortion?

There are many symptoms that may lead you to suspect you’re pregnant, such as fatigue, cravings, aversions, frequent urination, missed periods, nausea, and more. Of course, all of these symptoms alone don’t point directly to pregnancy but several of them together may be an indication of a potential pregnancy. Some women experience some less common signs including bloating, headaches, backaches, mood swings, or dizziness, all which can be attributed to other factors as well. With so many potential signs, it’s difficult to know if you’re pregnant and what to do about it.

Suspecting Pregnancy

A general rule is to take a pregnancy test after a full week after your missed period to receive the most accurate result. Even though a pregnancy test can be helpful, it isn’t always accurate, especially when it comes to confirming a viable pregnancy. There is only one way to confirm viability and it’s via an ultrasound.

Confirming Viability

Ultrasounds are the only way to accurately confirm pregnancy and its viability. Viability is the likelihood the pregnancy will continue to full term. Nearly 30% of pregnancies end naturally either by miscarriage or due to a non-viable pregnancy such as an ectopic pregnancy. Not only does having an ultrasound confirm viability, but it also allows you to date your pregnancy which helps you narrow down all legal abortion and pregnancy options available to you.

First Steps

After you’ve had a positive pregnancy test result and received an ultrasound, it’s time for one last test. A limited STD test for the two most common STDs, gonorrhea and chlamydia, is more important than you know. If you are considering an abortion and have an unidentified and untreated STD, you open yourself up to the possibility of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. PID can develop after infected STD cells travel into the uterus during an abortion procedure. PID can lead to a lifetime struggle with reproductive health and potential infertility.

When Can I Have an Abortion?

There are different abortive procedures offered at different times during a pregnancy. During weeks 0-10, the abortion pill may be an option, but after that and until 21 weeks and 6 days, a surgical abortion may be an option. Be sure to get an ultrasound prior to an abortive procedure so you won’t pay for and undergo a procedure you don’t need. Be sure to Request a pre-abortion ultrasound and discuss all your options during your pre-abortion screening at Willowbrook Women’s Center.

There are hundreds of scenarios that may lead you to Willowbrook Women’s Center, but you can be sure of the excellent care and service you’ll receive from us. Our doors are always open to women from all walks of life dealing with an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy. We provide professional services to help arm women with all the information they need to help make the best decision for them. To schedule your no-cost appointment today, call us today.


How Early Can I Get an Abortion?

When you suspect you’re pregnant, logic and clarity go right out the window. You may want kids, but maybe this isn’t when you want them. There is no way to prepare for an unexpected or untimely pregnancy. But when the stick turns pink, there’s somewhere you can go to get answers: Willowbrook Women’s Center. 

Pregnancy Signs

There are a variety of symptoms you may experience before you take a pregnancy test. You may have missed your period, felt extra tired, been moody, gassy, nauseous, or felt like you had to pee every few minutes. All of these symptoms separately can be caused by a host of other things, but put together, they often point to early signs of pregnancy. In fact, there are quite a few symptoms for early pregnancy that can often be dismissed as “just not feeling good.” If you suspect you’re pregnant, an at-home pregnancy test can help put your mind at ease, unless it says, “pregnant.”

First Steps

So now what? Before panic sets in, you should know that a positive pregnancy test can be false. It’s not frequent, but if the test is expired or isn’t administered properly, it can lead to a false positive. The only way to confirm a viable pregnancy is to have an ultrasound. In fact, 33 percent of all pregnancies naturally terminate before the twentieth week.  Or you may have an ectopic pregnancy which means the embryo implanted in the fallopian tubes instead of in the uterus. This requires immediate medical attention to remove.

When Can I Have an Abortion?

Depending on how far along the pregnancy is, there are several different abortion methods. Though not recommended, both medical and surgical abortions could be performed without confirming a pregnancy. Checking pregnancy placement and viability would be your first step in determining if abortion is an option.  

Why Willowbrook?

Willowbrook Women’s Center provides a pre-abortion screening and accurate, unbiased pregnancy and abortion information at no cost. We know how confusing and tempting it can be to hide from the truth when you’re hurting, but we help equip and guide you through your decision-making process, so you can feel comfortable and empowered in your decision. You have nothing to lose with your pre-abortion screening from Willowbrook Women’s Center. If you’re looking for answers and don’t know where to go or who to trust, make your free and confidential appointment today.