​​​Life and Family Services does not perform or refer for abortions.  We recognize that mothers are given numerous options throughout their pregnancy journey, and it is important to us that you are well-informed of the terminology and risks surrounding abortions. 


​​There are 2 types of abortions available: surgical and medical.  Both procedures have potential risks and complications.  Below is a brief description of each, along with other abortion terminology.



Medical Abortion
A medical abortion is accomplished through drugs approved to be used up to the last day of the 7th week after a missed period.  This procedure initially takes place in a doctor’s office but may be completed at home without medical supervision.  A follow up visit takes place within two weeks to ensure the abortion has been completed without complications.  If the abortion was not completed by the medication, a surgical abortion would need to be performed.


Surgical Abortion
Surgical abortions are performed during all trimesters of pregnancy.  The later into pregnancy an abortion is performed the greater the risk of complications.


Suction Aspiration
The suction aspiration abortion is performed between 6 and 12 weeks gestation.


Dilation and Curettage (D & C)
D & C is a surgical abortion performed during the second trimester from 12 to 15 weeks gestation.


Late Term Abortions- Dilation & Extraction (D & X)
D & X is performed after 21 weeks gestation.


Dilation & Evacuation (D & E)
D & E is a surgical abortion performed later in the second trimester.​




Source:  American Pregnancy Association website:

www.americanpregnancyassociation.org/unplannedpregnancy/surgicalabortions.html  -accessed Oct. 2010

Abortion Facts

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