What is Abortion Tourism?  
Woman sitting on hospital bed

With Roe v. Wade being overturned, abortion tourism is already becoming a topic of conversation in the media. Real women facing unplanned pregnancies will need to understand what is meant by this new catch phrase.

Abortion Tourism

Abortion tourism refers to the practice of traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion in the event that some or all abortion procedures may not be available in a woman’s state of residence. Abortion tourism occurs for a number of reasons:

  • In some cases, the abortion clinic(s) in closest proximity are across state lines.
  • Some states have prohibited abortions, while bordering states may offer abortions throughout the entire pregnancy.
  • Some states have prohibited certain types of abortions while other states have allowed them, so women travel to get the type of abortion they want.

Abortion Policy

A state’s abortion policy has an impact on abortion tourism. It’s important to note that abortion has not become illegal in the United States. In addition to knowing critical information about her pregnancy, it will also be important for a woman to know her state’s laws.

Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, states will make their own decisions about abortion. It is likely no two states will look exactly same. What can we expect as a result of different state laws?

  • Women who live in states that have banned abortions will need to be proactive in receiving a pre-abortion screening to determine if an abortion is necessary. (Usually access to these screenings is readily available, and often, there is no cost for these services.)
  • States with abortion clinics may be overwhelmed, and it may take longer to get an appointment.
  • Women seeking abortions will need to research more carefully what procedures they would be eligible to receive; centers that provide pregnancy options information will become more vital than ever before.

Even though state laws differ throughout the country, states where abortion is not available will still be providing treatment for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and miscarriage. These states also have exceptions for incest, rape, and life of the mother.

How Abortion Tourism is Dangerous

Abortion tourism comes with consequences.

Just like any medical or surgical procedure, abortion comes with inherent risks. Following a medical (pill) or surgical abortion, risks can include incomplete abortion, blood clots, heavy bleeding, complications from anesthesia, pelvic infection, perforation of the uterus, and torn cervix. These complications can arise during travel home or after you’ve arrived home – when you are many miles from the provider who performed the procedure. It is in your best interest to schedule, and keep, a follow-up appointment with the abortion provider after receiving a medical or surgical abortion. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we believe that all women deserve to be equipped with facts in order to make informed decisions when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Facing an unplanned pregnancy? Schedule an appointment at our Cameron or St. Joseph, MO, location today.

Looking for How to End an Early Pregnancy? Here Are Some Considerations
how to end early pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant unexpectedly can be scary, and the flood of fears and emotions that come next can make it challenging to weigh out your options and make an informed decision about your future. As you begin to evaluate next steps, there are a few things to consider. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the most important considerations for women facing unwanted pregnancy.

What is Your Greatest Fear or Worry?

It’s important to know which aspect of an unexpected pregnancy is causing you the most anxiety, so you can work through those feelings and ensure the path you choose addresses your concerns. The greatest worry varies from one woman to the next. Some of the most common fears and worries include:

  • Fear of judgment. In some households and religions, there is a level of shame attached to sex outside of a committed relationship or marriage, and women who grew up in these settings might worry about being judged by their friends and family.
  • Fear of being pregnant. Some women either don’t want to be pregnant or believe there are medical reasons that could make a pregnancy more difficult.
  • Fear of giving birth. For some women, the fear of giving birth is the most overwhelming part of an unplanned pregnancy. They may have witnessed a traumatic birth in the past, experienced a traumatic birth themselves, or formed perceptions about what childbirth is like that have caused them to worry about the event.
  • Fear of having a child. For other women, having a child is more daunting than being pregnant or giving birth. These women may not be ready for that level of responsibility, may not have envisioned having children, or might not believe they have what it takes to be a good mother.
  • Fear of consequences. For many women, an unplanned pregnancy can come with consequences. A child conceived during an affair may lead to divorce, for example, or a child conceived while living in poverty may leave the mother believing she is unable to buy groceries or pay the electric bill. Teen mothers might worry that they’ll get kicked out of their homes or have to drop out of high school.

Understandably, the worries and fears that have you feeling concerned about your pregnancy will determine what kind of support you need and which options might be a fit for your unique situation.

What are Your Core Values?

Digging deep and considering your core values will help you make a decision that you feel good about in the future. To expand, if you believe that life begins at conception and hold pro-life values, terminating the pregnancy can lead to feelings of regret and remorse that are difficult to overcome. On the other hand, if you feel strongly about a woman’s right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy or not, terminating a pregnancy may not be accompanied by the same long-term negative effects for you.

What Kind of Support is Available?

Our patients often say, “If only I had known there were so many options available, I may have made a different choice.” It’s common to feel like you’re alone in the world when you’re facing an unwanted pregnancy, but in almost every case, there are agencies, loved ones, and adoptive families who would love to step up and provide the support you need to move forward with the pregnancy.

In order to access support that’s available, you have to share that you’re expecting and that you need support. In many cases, that’s the most difficult step – especially for women who are still considering all options, including termination. You may be surprised to find that when you share your news, you have friends and family members who want to support you through a pregnancy and who want to help you raise a child in whatever way makes sense for you. If not, you’ll learn that there are non-profit agencies and donors who are passionate about helping women just like you.

Connecting with a clinic that specializes in providing unplanned pregnancy resources and options can help you learn more about support in your area.

What are Your Options?

When facing a great deal of stress, it’s common to resort to all-or-nothing thinking. This thought pattern can lead you to believe you have fewer options than you have in reality. For example, you might think your only option is becoming a teen mom and dropping out of high school when, in reality, you can choose to place the child with a family through adoption or raise the child and finish school as many teen moms do. It’s important to pause and reflect on all of the options that are available to you.

In most cases, women facing unplanned pregnancy have three options:

  • continuing the pregnancy and keeping the child, raising him or her.
  • continuing the pregnancy and placing the child with a family through adoption or alternative care.
  • terminating the pregnancy through medical or surgical abortion.

These options don’t apply in every case. Women who are facing an ectopic pregnancy will not be able to continue the pregnancy, while women who are past the legal gestational limit for abortion may not be able to terminate the pregnancy. In those situations, a pregnancy options clinic can help you understand which options remain and the risks and benefits of each.

If you’re facing an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy, Willowbrook Women’s Center can help. Our compassionate team members understand what you’re going through and know which options and resources are available. They can provide information to empower you to make the best decision. To learn more, visit us at Willowbrook Women’s Center. We offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, community resources, STD testing, and more, so you don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. We have helped thousands of women in your shoes, and we can help you.

Best Pregnancy Home Test: Digital vs. Analog
best pregnancy home test

When it comes to pregnancy, knowing whether you are or aren’t feels urgent when your birth control failed, your period is late, you notice the subtle signs, or you’re trying to conceive. Luckily, most pregnancy tests can detect the pregnancy hormone, hCG, as early as the first day of a missed period (or sooner).

So how do you know which tests are most accurate and where to start? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how home pregnancy tests work, how to choose a home pregnancy test, and how timing impacts efficacy.

How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

All home pregnancy tests do the same thing: detect hCG in urine. Enough hCG is present to trigger a positive test by or before the first day of a missed period in most cases, but there are some exceptions.

Digital and analog home pregnancy tests both look for hCG in urine using a paper strip, but digital pregnancy tests include technology that “reads” the paper strip and produces a digital result like ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ to simplify the process for users.

How to Choose the Best Pregnancy Home Test

While any home pregnancy test  you buy at a pharmacy should produce accurate results after the first day of your missed period, you have the option to choose between digital and analog tests. As discussed above, digital tests are sometimes easier to use because you don’t have to interpret the results yourself – you’ll get a simple ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’ result. Other factors to consider when choosing a test are cost and brand name.

The Best Pregnancy Home Tests: Accuracy & Timing

Again, any home pregnancy test found at a pharmacy should provide accurate results, but most experts put First Response brand tests at the top of their list because of their ability to detect pregnancy earlier than other brands. Clearblue and EPT are also reputable brands often recommended by experts.

It’s important to note that even tests that claim they detect pregnancy early are most accurate after you’ve missed your period. If you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy, the team at Willowbrook Women’s Center is here for you. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about your options and the support that’s available to you during this challenging phase.

What Options Do I Have for My Pregnancy in and Near Cameron, Missouri?

You didn’t plan to be pregnant. And now you feel like you’re facing the most daunting decisions you have ever had to cope with. At Willowbrook Women’s Center, we understand the feelings of shock and disbelief when you’re looking at your positive home pregnancy test, and you weren’t expecting to be pregnant. Your thoughts are overwhelmed with questions like “What do I do next?” and “What are my options?” You need answers to your questions, and we are here to help you take one step at a time towards an informed and confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy.

Make a Pre-Abortion Screening Appointment

Your first step to exploring your options is to make a pre-abortion screening appointment at our licensed medical clinic to confirm you’re pregnant and get the critical information you need to make the right decision for you and your future. We have a new Missouri location if you live in Cameron, Hamilton, Maysville, Gallatin, or any of the surrounding communities.

You’re probably wondering what happens at a pre-abortion screening appointment. At your appointment, you will meet with compassionate advocates and licensed medical professionals.

Your no-cost appointment will last about an hour and includes:

  • Lab-grade pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy
  • Pre-abortion ultrasound: If your pregnancy test is positive, we provide you a no-cost limited ultrasound. An ultrasound confirms your pregnancy is viable, so you don’t have an abortion you don’t need. About 1 in 3 pregnancies do not carry to term, and 80 percent of miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. An ultrasound also determines the location of your pregnancy; a pregnancy implanted outside of your uterus would need medical attention.
  • Pre-abortion sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing: With a positive pregnancy test, our licensed medical personnel also provides no-cost STD testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. STD testing is important whether you choose abortion or to continue your pregnancy.

We offer STD testing to protect you from infection and future complications. If you have an abortion with an untreated STD, you can be at risk for developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can lead to chronic pain and infertility in the future.

  • Information about abortion and procedures available: It’s important to us that you have reliable and accurate facts, so acritical component in the pre-abortion screening appointment is sharing information about abortion and the different procedures available at different stages of pregnancy. We’ll answer all your questions about medical abortion (also known as RU486 or the abortion pill) and surgical abortion.
  • Information about other options available: We’ll also help you explore other options available to you if you choose to continue your pregnancy. We’ll provide information and resources you need about parenting or various forms of adoption.  
  • A safe place to explore your options without pressure: One of the many benefits to a no-cost women’s center is that we don’t financially benefit from your decision in any way. Our only agenda is to empower you with accurate information so you can make a confident decision. We are a safe place, which means you will always be respected here, and you will never be pressured or judged about your choices.  

What Options Do You Have For Your Pregnancy?

Even if you’ve already determined that one pregnancy option is the best choice for you, it’s crucial to explore all aspects of each option as thoroughly as you can. It will empower you and allow you the opportunity in the future to look back on this difficult time and know you made the best decision with all the needed information.

You have options for your pregnancy: abortion or continue your pregnancy. If you choose to continue your pregnancy, you then have time to decide between parenting or adoption.

1. Abortion

Abortion is the process of ending your pregnancy. Our trained medical staff will give you information appropriate for your stage of pregnancy since different procedures are available for different stages of pregnancy. We’ll also provide resources that will help you ask yourself clarifying questions so you can decide if abortion is the right choice for you.

There are medical abortions and surgical abortions.

  • Medical Abortion

A medical abortion (sometimes called the abortion pill or RU-486) is an option if the gestational age of the pregnancy is 10 weeks or less and if your pregnancy is confirmed to be viable; both of these criteria can only be confirmed by ultrasound.

You take the first medication (mifepristone) at a clinic. You take the second medication (misoprostol) at home 6-48 hours later, depending on the clinic instructions. Typically, you will start cramping and bleeding about 1-4 hours after taking the second pill, and the abortion is often completed within about 5 hours. Afterward, you’ll want to rest, and the cramping and bleeding will lessen. If the medical abortion fails, a surgical abortion will be required.

  • Surgical Abortion

If the gestational age is shown to be greater than 10 weeks, you will need a surgical abortion performed at a clinic. Aspiration (vacuum) abortion and dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion methods are used depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

2. Continue your pregnancy

For various reasons, some women feel abortion is not an option for them, but they aren’t sure if they are ready to parent a child. If this resonates with you, discuss it with one of our advocates, and they can help you look at the benefits of parenting and adoption. If you choose to become a  parent, we can provide you with community resources, or read about what to expect at a pregnancy screening appointment which is designed to help women in situations just like yours to reach their goal to parent successfully.

Sometimes, women want to continue their pregnancies, but don’t feel ready to become parents yet. We hear women say, “I could never give a child up for adoption,” but after they discover the benefits of open adoption, they change their minds.

There’s no doubt about it; deciding about an unexpected pregnancy is really tough, but we at Willowbrook Women’s Center are here to provide critical information and guide you through breaking it down into one step at a time. If you live in or near Cameron, Missouri, make your pre-abortion screening appointment at our newest location, or you can call 816-244-7824.