Abortion Safety Checklist
Get The Facts
Before you visit an abortion clinic or provider, we strongly encourage you to ask yourself these important health and safety questions:
- Do you understand that it’s OK to change your mind?
Abortion is your choice—meaning you can change your mind at any time. It’s OK to say, “I need more time to consider my decision,” if you are in the waiting room or even on the table prepped for your procedure. Don’t feel pressured to proceed just because you feel like you have to. It’s your body; you have the right to listen to your instincts.
Maybe you missed a period, and you’re pretty sure you’re pregnant. Maybe you’ve taken a pregnancy test, and it’s positive. Maybe you’ve already been to a doctor, and she told you the news. You’re pregnant, but you never planned for this right now. So you’ve decided to get an abortion.
We get it. Not all surprise news feels like good news. Sometimes it feels like a punch in the gut, like your whole world is falling apart. It’s scary and overwhelming. And you might feel like you have to make a decision right this second — before anyone finds out, before things get even more out of control, before all your plans for your life are turned upside down.
First, let’s take a deep breath. Sometimes when we make a rushed decision, we put ourselves in unsafe situations. And you deserve to be safe and healthy – whatever you choose to do about this surprise pregnancy. So breathe. You don’t have to rush out and do anything right this second. Here are some questions and answers that will help you be safe and make informed choices.
- Have you confirmed your pregnancy? The very first thing you need to know is if you’re really pregnant. At Open Arms, we can offer you a lab-quality urine test to verify your pregnancy. We can also offer you an ultrasound at no cost to you. An ultrasound is the best way to know if you have a viable pregnancy in your uterus. The ultrasound also shows how far along you are, which is really important in determining which abortion procedure you would have.
According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. So even if you’ve taken a pregnancy test, it’s important to confirm with a medical professional that you’re still pregnant.
- Do you know the risks involved with an abortion procedure? Like any medical procedure, an abortion involves the possibility of some risk. It’s important that you know your family medical history and your own medical history, such as RH sensitization, and that you research what the potential risks are before making any decision. Get information from reliable, trusted medical sources or ask a medical professional who has nothing to gain from your decision. If you want to schedule a time to come in and talk, someone on our staff is ready to help you find this information.
- Have you researched the qualifications of the abortion provider? Just like not all surgeons or dentists – or even plumbers or contractors – have the same experience and expertise, not all abortion providers are equal. We’re used to reading reviews of our Amazon products, so we should definitely research anyone performing a medical procedure on us. You’ll want to make sure the person performing the procedure is a board-certified OB/GYN. And just like with any doctor you’re considering, you might want to check with your state medical board to see if the physician is involved in any malpractice suits.
- Do you know how the provider handles complications? Any time we have a medical procedure in an outpatient clinic, we should ask how that medical provider handles complications. Does the doctor have privileges at a nearby hospital? Does the clinic have an emergency plan in place to address complications?
At Open Arms Pregnancy Center, we really care about you. This might be a really scary, overwhelming time for you, but you don’t have to face it alone. We’re here to listen and give you any information you need to make safe, healthy decisions.
1 Planned Parenthood (2014). Abortion. Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-info/abortion/the-abortion-pill and https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-info/abortion/in-clinic-abortion-procedures.
2 Planned Parenthood (2019). How do I get the abortion pill? Retrieved from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/the-abortion-pill/how-do-i-get-the-abortion-pill
The requirements for this vary from state to state. In Ohio, the law requires anyone under the age of 18 who is looking to obtain an abortion to have consent from a parent or legal guardian.
The final cost is dependent on multiple factors. Those factors being: how far along you are in your pregnancy, what type of abortion you have, your healthcare provider, and the clinic you go to. Ohio has a 24 hour waiting period, which requires all patients to come to the clinic at least twice. The cost of an abortion starts around $500 and increases as pregnancy progresses. In Ohio, health plans (including Medicare and Medicaid) can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, or in cases of rape or incest.
In Ohio, an abortion can be obtained up to 22 weeks after the last menstrual period. Any abortion beyond that, may only be performed under the condition that your life is in danger from the pregnancy or that you are dealing with severe physical health complications. In addition, an abortion pill is an option only for women who are no more than 10 weeks pregnant. After 10 weeks, the pill becomes illegal to use for abortion and surgical methods must be used.
If you don’t know how far along you are, Open Arms Pregnancy Center offers a free limited obstetrical ultrasound with proof of positive pregnancy. Call or stop in to get an appointment scheduled today.
Many women don’t know this, but the abortion pill is actually two pills, each with a different function. If you change your mind after taking the first pill and haven’t yet taken the second pill, call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline 877-558-0333 right away. It may not be too late for you to save the pregnancy.
Receiving an ultrasound before you get an abortion is an important medical step and one of the most accurate ways to get essential information about your pregnancy. An ultrasound determines if you’re still pregnant, how far along you are, and the location of your pregnancy. This is the first step in discovering what pregnancy options you have as each abortion procedure is only available during certain points of your pregnancy. At Open Arms Pregnancy Center, we provide limited ultrasounds free of charge; call or text today to learn more.
Every person’s experience with abortion will differ. Most women experience bleeding and cramping, as well as other possible physical risks.
There is no universally accepted standard for how you should expect to feel after an abortion. In some cases, women can deal with feelings of depression, grief, guilt, and loss; this is commonly referred to as Post Abortion Stress Syndrome or PASS. If you are dealing with such feelings or just want someone to talk to about your experience with abortion, Open Arms provides post-abortion support at no cost. Call to schedule an appointment today.
*Open Arms Pregnancy Center offers accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services.
ALL SERVICES ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL
We provide hospital-grade pregnancy tests with immediate results.
We provide ultrasounds for women who have had a positive pregnancy test at our center.
We provide education about all of your pregnancy options with a trained Client Advocate.
We are here for you and can help you find the resources you may need.