Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties

Abortion Care Services

We’re here when others might not be.

Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties provides you with safe, quality, compassionate, and non-judgmental care. If you have made the decision to end your pregnancy, this pamphlet gives answers to some questions and tells you what to expect.

Abortion care options.

Planned Parenthood offers two choices: medication abortion (also known as “the abortion pill”) and in-center abortion, which takes place at a health center. Both work and are very safe.

Our trained health care providers will talk about these choices with you and help find the safest care for you.

Abortion pill

  • High success rate (about 97%)
  • May seem more “natural” – like a miscarriage
  • Needs 2 health center visits
  • Can take several hours
  • Can be done up to 10 weeks into pregnancy
  • The abortion happens at home
  • More bleeding

In-center abortion

  • High success rate (more than 99%)
  • Doctor does the abortion
  • May need only 1 visit
  • Short time (the procedure is only 10 minutes but expect to spend 3-6 hours for the entire visit)
  • Can be done up to 23 weeks and 6 days into pregnancy
  • The abortion is done in the health center
  • Smaller amount of bleeding

Abortion pill

An abortion pill may be used during early pregnancy if you do not have health problems. It uses two medicines to end a pregnancy.
Before taking the abortion pill, you’ll need to discuss your options with our health care provider, talk about your medical history, have laboratory tests, have a physical exam which usually includes an ultrasound, and read and sign papers.
You’ll also be given a medication guide, instructions, and other information to take home with you, including a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week telephone number you can call if you have any questions or concerns.

Step One
You’ll take the first pill during your visit to the health center to stop the pregnancy from growing. You’ll also be given some antibiotics.

Step Two
You’ll take the second pill at home 24-48 hours after taking the first pill. It pushes the pregnancy out of the uterus. You’ll have some cramping and bleeding that lasts a few hours. Over-the-counter pain medicine can help. You may have some bleeding and spotting for up to a month after taking the abortion pill.

Step Three
Although the abortion pill works 97% of the time, you’ll need to come back to the health center to make sure you are not pregnant. For a small number of women (about 3%) the abortion pill will not end the pregnancy. If this happens, you’ll need to have an in-center abortion.

In-center abortion

We also provide in-center abortions to women in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. You’ll make an appointment and come in to a health center. It may take half a day for this service.

Before the procedure, you’ll need to discuss your options with one of our health care providers, talk about your medical history, have laboratory tests, and usually have an ultrasound. If you have a history of a medical condition, please let us know so we can make sure your procedure can be performed safely.

The procedure

During an in-center abortion, the cervix is slowly opened using long, narrow rods (called dilators). The contents of the uterus are taken out using suction with either a hand-held syringe or a tube attached to a suction machine.

During the abortion, you will have some cramping. These are gone by the time you leave the health center. We can give you medicine to help you relax and help with pain. After the abortion, you may have bleeding that lasts up to a few weeks.

After the procedure

In-center abortions are very safe and rarely have complications. However, some problems may happen and can include:

  • Infection
  • Heavy bleeding
  • A tear in the cervix or uterus
  • The abortion may not end the pregnancy
  • Cramping and bleeding for 1-3 weeks

If at any point you are concerned about any symptoms, you should call our health care provider right away.

Common Questions

Will it hurt?

Pain depends on the person and the type of procedure. When you come in for your appointment, our health care provider will tell you what to expect during and after the abortion. If you are going to have medicine to help you relax or sleep, we will talk to you and also write down the information you will need.

Is abortion safe?

Yes, abortion is very safe. However, there are some risks with any medical procedure and those risks increase the longer the pregnancy. The doctor and medical staff that care for you will make sure that you understand any risks before any procedure.

How much does it cost?

Our fees are on a sliding scale. We take Medi-Cal and insurance (please check with your insurance company before your visit). If you do not have health insurance, you may be able to get help paying for the abortion.

What if I’m still not sure?

Planned Parenthood understands that the decision to have an abortion is deeply personal and may be difficult. Our health care professionals will answer any medical questions you have and can also tell you where you can get more information on prenatal care, adoption, and parenting, as well as professional and spiritual guidance.

For more information about your choices, or to make an appointment, please call 714.922.4100.

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