Understanding First Trimester Surgical Abortions


Surgical Abortions pic

Surgical Abortions
Image: realalternatives.org

With a focus on providing women with comprehensive support when unplanned pregnancy occurs, Real Alternatives’ network of service providers affirms a woman’s decision to keep her baby. Abortion rates have dropped in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana due in part to Real Alternatives’ programs. The Real Alternatives website at www.realalternatives.org offers a full range of educational resources, including details on the risks and possible complications associated with abortion at the various stages of pregnancy.

Surgical abortions undertaken during the first trimester center on a vacuum aspiration technique that begins with the mother lying on her back and bending the knees. The physician examines the uterus opening using a speculum, placing one hand in the vagina and one on the abdomen. A drug injection or spray is then used as a way of blocking any pain that may be experienced.

A long soft tube called a catheter is then inserted into the cervix, with the baby removed using suction similar to that of a vacuum cleaner. In cases where six weeks or more have passed since menstruation, the cervix is gently dilated so that a curette (a larger, more rigid tube) can be inserted and the fetus evacuated. Undertaking this procedure requires that the mother be fully informed on what will occur and provide signed intent that she wants to end the life of her unborn baby.v

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