What do I need to know?
1. Am I Pregnant?
Pregnancy tests are not always accurate. Get your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional. An ultrasound can tell if the baby has a heartbeat and how far along you are.
2. Do I Understand The Potential Risks?
Every medical procedure, including abortion, carries the risk of complications. You have the legal right to give fully informed consent. You also have the right to:
1. get an explanation of the abortion procedures available,
2. assess their risks and side effects, and
3. learn about other options for your pregnancy.
3. Have I Considered Alternatives to Abortion?
Abortion may seem like the best fit for your current circumstances, but learning about other options you have is a good idea. Some women who initially consider abortion are ultimately delighted to be parenting a child. Others who are not comfortable choosing abortion but are not ready to raise a child, make an adoption plan.
4. Do I Know What To Do If I Change My Mind?
Abortion is your choice - you can change your mind at any time before the procedure starts. Women have gotten off the exam table and left. Some have changed their minds after taking the first set of pills for a medical abortion. This is a decision that you will live with the rest of your life. Don't allow anyone to pressure you.
5. Do I Know How the Clinic Handles Complications During the Procedure?
Ask if the abortion doctor has admitting privileges to a hospital nearby should you have an emergency. Make sure the clinic has a plan to provide any follow-up or emergency care, should complications arise during or after the procedure.
6. Have I Gotten Information About The Abortion Provider?
When you call to schedule your abortion, ask for the name of the doctor in charge. Find out if the doctor is licensed and board-certified. Also, find out if there are any malpractice cases or disciplinary actions against the doctor. You can check online at: bit.ly/malpractice1
7. Ask: Will I Feel Pain?
People have different levels of tolerance for physical pain. One survey of women who had local anesthesia revealed that about half experienced "moderate to severe pain" and the other half, "none to mild pain." 153 Pain relief options available during the abortion usually include local anesthesia, sedation and sometimes, general anesthesia. 154
8. Ask: What Feelings Can I Expect After The Abortion?
Many women experience initial relief, but months and even years later, some struggle with their decision. If this is you, please call us at (309) 797-3636 and ask for Pam or Susan regarding PAS. We are trained and compassionate people, ready to help.
9. Do I Know My Rights As A Minor?
No one can legally force you to have an abortion, including your parents. 155 The decision you make must be free, voluntary, independent, and non-coerced. 156 If you are being pressured to get an abortion you don't want, contact the police and one of our centers (309) 797-3636/ (563) 386-3737.
10. Have I Been Tested?
Have I been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)? Any surgical procedure can be complicated by infection. You may be carrying an STI and not know it because they often do not have symptoms. 157 These infections can cause damage to your pelvic organs and lead to problems such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy. 158
References available at BeforeYouDecide.info