FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The frequently asked questions below are all abortion related

You’ve decided to have an abortion…now what?

What should I wear and bring to my surgical abortion appointment?

  • Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and flat shoes/sneakers with a pair of socks.
  • Patients are advised to bring a sanitary napkin/pad with them.
  • You’ll be receiving a local anesthesia, therefore, you are welcome to come to our office by yourself.
  • Please do not bring any children to the office.
  • We ask you to bring payment in full or identification and your insurance card (and co-pay, if applicable) for the procedure.
  • Please plan on being in the office for at least two to three hours, depending on the number of patients.

How long will my appointment take?
The average office visit is two to three hours, however, on some occasions it can take longer. This does include time for completing paperwork, medical history review, intake, lab work, ultrasound, counseling session, exam and procedure, and recovery period. The surgical procedure itself takes approximately five minutes.

How soon can I get an appointment?
You can receive an appointment within one week of your call, usually sooner.

How much does it cost?
Our fees for abortion services vary by number of weeks pregnant, office location and procedure. Abortion Pill fee is $500. Surgical procedures in the first trimester cost between $380 and $480. You can call the office that is most convenient to you to find out specific fees.

Our fees include the cost of all services associated with the abortion procedure.

Will insurance cover the procedure?
Most insurance companies will cover some, if not all, of the surgical procedure when done in the first trimester. You should call your insurance company to find out what your plan will cover.

If you are interested in using insurance or medical assistance, please have this information handy and call the office you are interested in visiting to have them verify your coverage.

Can I change my mind once I get to the office?
DEFINITELY. No woman under any circumstances should be forced to have an abortion. This is an elective procedure. It is your CHOICE. You can change your mind at any time during your appointment up until your procedure is begun and you will be refunded for all services not yet rendered.  Our staff is available to assist you with your decision.

What are the possible complications?
Surgical abortion in the first trimester is a very safe procedure, approximately 11 times safer than carrying the pregnancy to childbirth. Less than 1 woman in 100 will have any type of complication, and serious complications are rare.

To minimize your risk of complications and adverse reactions, please share your complete Medical History form [PDF] with us, particularly any known allergies or health problems, and any medications or drugs you are currently taking, including herbal supplements. Observing all instructions given to you by the office will significantly reduce your risk of complications, as well.

Can I have children later?
Yes. There appears to be no effect, whatsoever, on future fertility related to an abortion that has had no complications. This is true regardless of the number of abortions a woman may have.

Will it hurt?
Pain tolerance is different for every woman. Surgical abortions can cause some cramping.

During the surgical procedure women can experience moderate to heavy cramping. The dilation of the cervix and uterine contractions cause this cramping. The majority of the cramping is during the procedure which takes approximately 3-5 minutes, if the procedure is performed in the first trimester.

Local anesthesia is used to reduce your discomfort. After the procedure, the cramping and pain slow down. Women may experience mild to moderate cramping for one to two weeks after the procedure. This is caused by the uterus contracting back to its pre-pregnancy size.

What will happen after the procedure?
After your surgical procedure, you will be escorted to our recovery area where you will rest and be monitored. There, you will be given your follow-up instructions and medications.

You must return for a check up 3 weeks after your surgical procedure to ensure that your procedure was completely successful and that you are healing well. At this follow-up appointment, you will receive an exam and will have the opportunity to discuss and receive contraception, if you wish.

How heavily will I bleed?
After the surgical procedure, some women will not bleed at all while others may have medium to heavy bleeding. This bleeding normally slows down after a week or two. Spotting may occur for a couple weeks after the procedure. Spotting may last until your normal menstrual cycle resumes, which normally takes four to six weeks.

What are my follow-up instructions?
There are some precautions which you must take to avoid complications. You should not insert any foreign objects into your vagina until you have been cleared at the follow-up examination 3 weeks later.

You are strongly advised:

  • NOT to have sexual intercourse
  • NOT to use tampons
  • Avoid tub baths, douching or swimming during this time.

The reason for this, is that your cervix, the entrance to your uterus, has been opened by the abortion. Until your cervix closes completely, any bacteria that enter your vagina can easily travel to your uterus and cause a serious infection. Intercourse could also delay the closing of the cervix, leaving you vulnerable to infection for a longer period of time.

You are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise and any heavy lifting (25 lbs. or over) until your follow-up exam.

If you require a note for school or work, let the staff know at the time of your appointment and they will have the doctor write one for you. The note will not say that you had an abortion – merely that you have undergone medical treatment and your physician requests that you be excused from gym class or put on light duty at work.

Complete instructions, precautions, and symptoms to watch for will be detailed on the literature given to you at your appointment to take home with you.

How will I feel emotionally afterwards?
Emotional reactions after an abortion can range from relief to regret or grief. The change in hormones after a pregnancy ends may also cause some emotional changes, and these tend to be similar whether the pregnancy ends after abortion, miscarriage or delivery.

The overwhelming majority of women ultimately have  positive feelings and are satisfied with their decision after having an abortion.

The most important indicator of whether someone will have negative feelings after their abortion is their feelings before the abortion. Women who are confident that they are making the best choice for themselves and have the support of their loved ones usually, have the least negative feelings after an abortion.

You will have a counseling session at your appointment which will give you the opportunity to discuss anything you wish. Your support person can be involved in this counseling session, as well. We encourage you to talk about how you are feeling at both your procedure appointment and your follow-up.

Many different types of feelings are normal following an abortion, but if negative feelings are interfering with daily life and causing distress, it is important to seek help from a caring professional.

Will anyone know that I did this?
It is always a good idea to let your physicians know about previous surgeries and treatments. However, no doctor will be able to tell that you have had an abortion.

If you use insurance to pay for your procedure, and are not the primary member of the policy, you should contact your insurer to inquire about their privacy policies.

Do I need anyone else’s consent to have an abortion?
State laws vary on parental involvement for minors under 18 seeking abortion services. If you are under 18, the law in the state where you are seeking an abortion, not the state you live in, will apply. If parental consent or notification is required, the consent or notification of any other person will not be accepted as a substitute. You are not required, in any circumstance, to get your spouse or partner’s consent.

In New Jersey:
Parental involvement is NOT required.

In Pennsylvania:
If you are less than 18 years old, the consent of one of your parents (or legal guardian) is required. This parent must accompany you to your appointment to sign consent forms. If you feel that you cannot tell your parent, or that they will not consent, you can apply for a judicial bypass to allow you to consent for yourself. To do this, contact your local county court, or the court in the county our office is located in, and ask about obtaining judicial bypass for an abortion. You will be asked to fill out some forms, pay a small fee, and speak with a judge. This process does not take longer than one week. You should receive your state-mandated counseling before you meet with the judge. If you need help with this process, please call the office you are interested in visiting and we will assist you.