How Are Late Term Abortions Performed – An Overview.
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, one of the most important decisions a woman can make is whether or not to abort.
Late term abortions are an incredibly complex and challenging topic, one that stirs up intense emotion, confusion, and often varying opinions.
Women seeking late term abortions face significant challenges, including limited access to providers and stigmatization from society.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy is never an easy one, and it requires empathy and understanding towards all parties involved.
We will provide a comprehensive overview of late term abortions – including what they entail and why they might be necessary.
Definition of Late Term Abortion.
A late term abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy beyond a specific gestational age, typically after the fetus has reached the point of viability.
Although there is no universally accepted definition, a pregnancy is often considered “late term” when it has progressed beyond 20-24 weeks gestation.
This is a time when the fetus might be able to survive outside the womb with medical assistance.
Why Do Women Decide To Get Late Term Abortions.
The main reasons behind Late Term Abortion are varied and complex. In cases of fatal fetal anomalies, medical professionals may recommend a late-term abortion due to the fact that continuing with the pregnancy could put the mother’s health at risk.
Other medical reasons include a threat to the mother’s life or her physical health, an illness in the fetus (such as a chromosomal abnormality), or if there is danger of long-term disability associated with bringing the baby to term.
The mental wellbeing of pregnant women should also be taken into consideration when discussing late-term abortions, as psychological conditions can sometimes necessitate a termination later in pregnancy.
Late Term Abortion, 2 Types Of Procedure.
There are two primary methods of performing a late term abortion: dilation and evacuation (D&E) and induction abortion.
Each of these methods comes with their own set of risks and concerns, but it is the responsibility of medical professionals to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E):
D&E is typically performed between 14 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure involves gradual dilation of the cervix, which may take a few hours to a few days, with the help of osmotic dilators (e.g., laminaria or Dilapan-S).
Once the cervix is adequately dilated, a combination of suction and forceps is used to remove the fetal tissue.
Induction abortions, performed after 24 weeks of gestation, involve the administration of medications to induce labor and cause the expulsion of the fetus.
A feticidal injection, such as potassium chloride or digoxin, may be used to ensure fetal demise before the procedure. Medications such as misoprostol and/or oxytocin are then used to induce contractions and dilate the cervix.
This process can take up to 24-48 hours, and additional procedures may be needed to remove any remaining tissue.
Risks and Complications.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks and complications associated with late term abortion. Some of the most common risks include:
- Infection: Bacterial infections can occur, typically due to retained tissue or damage to the uterus.
- Hemorrhage: Excessive blood loss can occur during the procedure or in the days after.
- Uterine perforation: Damage to the uterine wall can occur from the instruments used, particularly during D&E.
- Cervical injury: The cervix can be torn or lacerated during the procedure.
- Emotional distress: Some women may experience feelings of guilt, regret, or grief following a late term abortion.
Recovery from a late term abortion is different for every individual, and the process varies depending on the type of procedure and any complications that may arise.
In general, the patient may experience the following:
- Cramping and bleeding, which may persist for a few days to a few weeks.
- Emotional recovery, which may necessitate mental health support or counseling.
- Follow-up appointments with the healthcare provider for physical assessment and monitoring.
Ethical Issues and Counseling Sessions.
Healthcare providers often have ethical guidelines in place to ensure the safety and well-being of both the patient and the provider.
Counseling sessions can help address the following concerns:
- Verifying the decision: Aural and written consent is required from the patient after a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits.
- Managing emotional distress: Providers may offer guidance and resources for patients to cope with complex emotions.
- Addressing moral or religious concerns.
Late-term abortions are a highly controversial practice due to their complexity and the moral implications it carries.
Ultimately, whether or not someone chooses to go ahead with this procedure should be their own personal choice based upon carefully considered evidence, understanding the risks involved while also taking into account the best interests of themselves and their family.
Organizations like Planned Parenthood offer questions and resources for those who have concerns or questions about late-term abortions, providing a safe zone to discuss one’s dilemma or offer support with any decision made.
Contact us if you need help.
The Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center is Offering The One Hour Abortion Pill Procedure – 3 to 14 Weeks. Patients who qualify may receive a significant discount in the price of the procedure if they meet certain criteria.
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