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Information About Abortion

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About abortion

Abortion means ending a pregnancy. Data show that about one in four people in the US who can become pregnant will have an abortion by age 45.
Abortion procedures performed by a certified health care provider are very safe. Medication abortion, whether self-managed or done in a clinic, is also very safe. The rate of major complications is low, at 0.23%, which is less than the rate of major complications caused by wisdom tooth removal. The earlier in pregnancy you get an abortion, the lower the chances are of complications.
Abortion does not cause long-term health risks or affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future. You can find more frequently asked questions about abortion from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
The following information about abortion should not be considered medical advice. If you have specific questions, speak to a medical professional.

What are my options for abortion?

There are two main types of abortion: medication abortion and procedural abortion (sometimes called surgical or in-clinic abortion). Both methods are safe, effective, and legal in Oregon. Your options may depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy, the provider you choose, and other factors. Here are a few things to know:

This option is sometimes known as the abortion pill. The medications used for a medication abortion are misoprostol and/or mifepristone. These medications end the pregnancy and cause the person’s uterus to expel the pregnancy tissue in the form of bleeding and clots. Medication abortion is generally an option for people up to 10-12 weeks of pregnancy. In a hospital setting, it may be available after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Things to think about if you are considering medication abortion:

  • The process lasts longer than a procedural abortion. You will likely experience heavy bleeding or cramping for at least several hours.
  • You can have the abortion at a safe place of your choosing.
  • You can have the abortion at a time that works for your schedule.
  • You may be able to get the abortion via telehealth, without needing to go into a clinic.
  • Some people say a medication abortion feels more “natural” since the process is similar to a miscarriage.
  • You need access to a safe and comfortable place with bathroom access, which might not work if you are unhoused or if you need to keep the abortion hidden from people you live with.
  • There is a small chance that the medication will not work. In that case, you may need an additional dose of medication or a procedure to complete the abortion.

***Note: There are court cases seeking to restrict access to medication abortion in the U.S. As of now, access has not changed. Even if the restrictions go into effect, medication abortion will still be available in Oregon. In April 2023, Governor Tina Kotek purchased a three-year supply of mifepristone for the state of Oregon so that abortion services in Oregon will not be affected.

Also known as a surgical or in-clinic abortion, this is a common medical procedure done in a clinic or hospital.

Things to think about if you are considering procedural abortion:

  • Procedural abortion is generally much faster than medication abortion.
  • You can usually be sedated for the abortion if you want.
  • A procedural abortion involves a pelvic exam, which may feel invasive for some people.
  • A procedural abortion happens in a clinic or hospital, so trained staff will be available in the rare case of a complication.
  • However, since the abortion happens in the clinic or hospital, you may feel less comfortable than you would at home. You may or may not be able to have a support person in the room with you during the procedure. You can ask about a support person when scheduling your appointment.
  • You may need to have someone accompany you to your appointment, especially if you are being sedated.
  • Procedural abortion is only offered on certain days and in fewer locations than medication abortion.

Commonly asked questions about medication vs procedural abortions


Abortion Care FAQ – from ACOG
All About Abortion – from Abortion Finder
Abortion: What to Expect – from the National Abortion Federation
Abortion – from the World Health Organization (WHO)