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WHAT IS ABORTION?
So what exactly is an abortion anyway?
the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy [Oxford Google]
All abortions involve either:
poisoning or starving a baby to death,
suctioning a baby apart with a vacuum,
using forceps to tear a baby apart,
or forcing a baby into cardiac arrest.
What is the abortion pill?
The abortion pill, also known as a chemical or medication abortion, requires 2 separate pills and can be taken up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy. The first pill is called mifepristone which blocks the action of a hormone called progesterone which is naturally produced in the mother’s body to stabilize the lining of the uterus. When mifepristone blocks progesterone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, cutting off oxygen and vital nutrients to the embryo who then dies inside the mother’s womb.
The first pill can be reversed if progesterone is administered as soon as possible. You can get help by calling the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline: 1-877-558-0333.
24-48 hours after taking the first pill, the woman takes the second pill called misoprostol. This pill causes severe cramping, contractions, and heavy bleeding to force the dead embryo out of her uterus.
1st Trimester: Suction Dilation & Curettage (D&C)
D&C abortions are typically used up to 14 weeks into pregnancy.
When a woman goes into a facility for an abortion, she will lie on a table with her feet in stirrups. She is administered anesthesia, and the abortionist will place a speculum inside the vagina to help open it allowing the abortionist to see the cervix, the entrance to the uterus.
The cervix is grasped by a long metal instrument called a tenaculum to stabilize it. A series of metal rods called dilators are inserted into the cervix to dilate it and gain access into the uterus where the fetus resides.
The abortionist then inserts a hollow plastic tube called a cannula and attaches it to suction. If the embryo is small enough, the cannula can be attached to a syringe and manual suction alone will remove the embryo and placenta from the uterus. Otherwise, the cannula will be attached to a suction machine which can rapidly tear the fetus to pieces as it is pulled through the tubing into a large glass bottle followed by the placenta. Sometimes smaller embryos are pulled through intact.
Once that is done, the abortionist will often scrape the lining of the uterus with a curette to make sure no parts are left behind. The abortionist must examine the removed tissue to make sure the placenta and all body parts are accounted for – 2 arms, 2 legs, a spine, and a skull.
Once the uterus is empty, the bleeding is under control, and all the instruments are removed, the abortion is considered complete.
2nd Trimester: Dilation & Evacuation (D&E)
D&E abortions are typically performed from 14-22 weeks into pregnancy.
Before a D&E abortion can be done, the cervix must be dilated slowly over 1 or 2 days with laminaria or a similar product. Laminaria is a type of seaweed that absorbs water and swells to several times its original diameter.
When she undergoes the evacuation portion of the procedure, she goes through mostly the same beginning steps as a D&C abortion. However, by 14-22 weeks, the fetus is too large to fit through the cannula, and only the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus can be suctioned out.
The fetus must be removed from the uterus in pieces with metal forceps called a Sopher Clamp. The abortionist starts by removing the arms and legs followed by the head or the body including the torso and pelvis along with the intestines, heart, and lungs. The placenta is also removed.
If the cervix is over-dilated, the body or even the entire fetus may be pulled out intact. Usually the most difficult part of the procedure is extracting the fetus’ head – which at 20 weeks is the size of a large plum.
The abortionist must open the clamp widely to grasp the head and then crush it, so that it will fit through the cervix. The abortionist knows that they have crushed the skull when a white substance, the fetus’ brains, leaks out through the cervix. The abortionist then removes the compressed head.
Any remaining limbs, organs, bone fragments, or pieces of placenta not removed with the forceps are removed by scraping the uterine lining with a large curette or by reinserting the cannula. The abortionist then reassembles the fetal parts to make sure there is nothing left inside the uterus – which could cause infection or bleeding.
Once all of the parts have been accounted for, the bleeding has been controlled, and all the instruments have been removed, the abortion is considered complete.
3rd Trimester: Induction
Induction abortions are typically done at 22 weeks all the way up to term.
Because the child is so large and developed, an abortion procedure at this point takes 2 - 3 days to complete. Due to the risks and need for monitoring, this procedure is generally done in the hospital or a surgery center.
On day 1, mifepristone (the first abortion pill) is given orally which blocks the hormone progesterone causing the lining of the uterus to degenerate – starving the fetus of vital nutrients and oxygen. Mifepristone alone doesn’t necessarily kill the fetus, so fetal demise is often induced beforehand. This is often only done for babies 20 weeks or older.
A syringe with a large needle is filled with a drug called digoxin – which is normally used to treat heart problems, but an overdose of digoxin will cause fetal cardiac arrest.
A long needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen or vagina, and the digoxin is injected into the fluid surrounding the fetus under ultrasound guidance. The fetus doesn’t die immediately which is why this is done normally 1 or 2 days beforehand.
For the drug to be more effective, the abortionist can also inject the digoxin directly into the fetus – targeting either the body, heart, or umbilical vein. The fetus usually dies within 24 hours of the injection of digoxin. If the fetus doesn’t die within 24 hours, the injection can be repeated. Death is normally confirmed by ultrasound before the start of delivery.
On day 2, 24 - 36 hours after the mifepristone, the woman is given misoprostol (the second abortion pill) orally or vaginally causing her to go into labor. The misoprostol dose can be repeated every 3 hours up to 5 times. Usually after 24 hours of starting the misoprostol, the woman will vaginally deliver the fetus. If the woman is having trouble delivering, she may be given a synthetic hormone called pitocin to promote labor.
Once the fetus and placenta have been delivered and the bleeding is under control, the abortion is complete.