Abortion Safety Checklist
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 Collage, 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?
Do you know that you can change your mind? This is your choice. You can change your mind at any time – even if you’re already sitting in the waiting room of the clinic or changing into the paper gown. Abortion is a big decision, and you should be a hundred percent certain this is what you want to do. If you feel hesitant, you have the right to take a step back and take more time to think it through.
At Collage, 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.