The Girl’s Guide to Having an Abortion

Having an Abortion

The How-To Guide to Having an Abortion

So Jezebel to tackle the hot-button issue of abortion in a very practical, non-judgmental way with their article The Girl’s Guide to Having an Abortion. With a topic that is so often mired in political hoopla and religious zealotry Jezebel does a great job in creating useful, informative guide to the various options and steps a woman needs to take should she find herself pregnant and not looking to keep it. Some of the highlights:

Once you’ve realized you want to have an abortion

As soon as you find out and you’ve decided that you wish to terminate your pregnancy, call an abortion provider and schedule an appointment, because the longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive the procedure can be. Many readers have utilized the services of Planned Parenthood, but others have been able to have their procedures performed by OB/GYN’s in clinics that aren’t specifically reserved for abortion. When scheduling an appointment, you may want to consider calling around and finding a pro-choice OB/GYN to recommend a doctor who can perform the procedure. And finally, if you’re lucky enough to have it, check on your insurance. Many group insurance plans cover abortion costs as they would birth-related costs. Your boss will not know if you’ve had an abortion, and cannot ask questions about the specific nature of your absence if you have to take time off work.

On using RU-486

RU-486 is a pill that chemically induces the body to miscarry. It can be used to terminate pregnancies that are 9 weeks along or fewer and is the most effective way to terminate a pregnancy that’s fewer than seven weeks along. It’s now known as mifepristone and is given to the patient in two doses, the first of which is administered at the clinic and stops the development of the fetus and the second of which is taken at home which induces the uterus to empty its contents. If you’re in the UK, you have to take both doses at the clinic, but this may be changing in the near future.

First-trimester surgical abortions

If you’re more than 7 weeks pregnant, you may be better suited for a vacuum aspiration. You’ll have to undergo the same pee test/general vital checkup/ultrasound routine as everyone else, and when it’s time for your procedure, you’ll put on a hospital gown, lay down on an exam table under mild sedation and have the contents of your uterus essentially vacuumed out of you. The procedure’s done in a matter of minutes, but readers reported that the sound of the mechanism used to perform the procedure is “disturbing.”

When dealing with late term abortions

This is tricky, because most places don’t have doctors that will perform procedures on women who are beyond their first trimester and still wish to terminate their pregnancies. Second trimester abortions are massively more expensive, complicated, and traumatic than first trimester abortions, and thus it’s important to stay on top of your own reproductive health and, if you’re afraid you might be pregnant and you don’t plan on carrying the pregnancy to term, take a pregnancy test if you’re in the least bit scared.

It’s a good article. I recommend you read the rest.  The article starts off by pointing out that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion. For black women that number is 36 percent, the highest among any group of women, yet are unwillingness to discuss this very real issue can leave women feeling isolated and alone at a time when they need support the most.

The other thing I liked about the Jezebel article is that it shows that most women don’t enter into this decision lightly and that it’s not some devastating life altering even for many women as it is often portrayed in the media. As the author of the piece said:

From communicating with readers who have terminated a pregnancy, it’s clear that no one wants to have an abortion, but sometimes it’s the least-shitty of a bunch of shitty choices a woman can make when she becomes unintentionally pregnant, especially if she’s not physically, financially, or emotionally ready to handle a pregnancy. Adoption is a wonderful alternative for people women who don’t wish to be mothers, but abortion is the only alternative for pregnant women who don’t want to be pregnant.

Amen.

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