When you get that first positive home pregnancy test, a lot may be going through your mind. Perhaps with the recent news about Roe v. Wade being overturned, you may be confused or worried about what that means for you and your pregnancy options.
We want you to know that you are not alone. There are resources and helpful, supportive options available to you. First, let’s find out more about what your pregnancy options are in the state of Maryland.
Is Abortion Still Legal in Maryland?
Access to abortion for any reason up until the point of viability is protected in Maryland state law.
Abortion is still an available pregnancy option in Maryland due to this state law. This includes the options of the abortion pill (otherwise known as medical abortion) as well as surgical abortion. Which abortion method may be an option for your unique situation depends on a number of factors including how far along you are or what medical complications may be present. These methods also highly vary in cost and associated risks.
If you are weighing your options and considering abortion, be sure you take the time to learn which method is medically appropriate and also gather what information you should know before seeking out an abortion.
Before I Go, What Do I Need to Know About Abortion?
Like any other serious medical procedure, both types of abortion have associated risks and side effects. The abortion pill is more widely available and may seem to just be an easy pill, but you owe it to your health and safety to learn all the facts before taking it.
The abortion pill – or Mifeprex – is approved by the FDA for the termination of early pregnancies up to 10 weeks gestational age. Taking the abortion pill beyond this point in pregnancy may result in incomplete abortion or other serious medical complications.
The Mayo Clinic lists the following as potential physical risks of medication abortion:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
For terminations of pregnancies past 10 weeks, surgical abortion is the abortion method used. A procedure known as dilation & curettage is most common, in which a physician uses medical instruments to scrape or lightly suction the fetus and any other uterine tissue from the uterus.
This is an in-clinic procedure overseen by medical staff and often requires some form of sedation. Surgical abortions also typically have a higher monetary cost because of the larger or more serious nature of associated risks.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the following may be physical risks of surgical abortion procedures:
- Passing blood clots that are larger than a lemon for more than two hours
- Bleeding that is heavy enough that you have to change your pad twice in one hour for two hours straight
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain or cramping that gets worse instead of better, especially after 48 hours
- Pregnancy symptoms that persist after one week
As you weigh your pregnancy options and determine what may be best for you, ensure you know all the facts about your unique situation to prioritize your health and safety. Do you know for sure which abortion method you would need? Are you at risk for other medical complications? These questions are best answered by a medical professional through an ultrasound.
Why Is It Important To Get An Ultrasound?
Key questions about your pregnancy can be answered by obtaining an ultrasound and consulting your medical professional. A nurse sonographer who performs your ultrasound can help you be confident in the following facts about your pregnancy:
- How far along you are (and what options are available to you at this stage)
- If the pregnancy is viable (or if miscarriage care is more appropriate for your situation)
- If the pregnancy is located in the uterus (or if you are at risk of ectopic pregnancy)
Each of these factors is extremely important to know before you choose your next medical steps. If you may be at risk of ectopic pregnancy, your medical professional will direct you to seek immediate emergency care (which would not be resolved by any form of abortion). Any delay in treating this unique scenario could cause serious medical complications such as the rupturing of a fallopian tube and/or the need for emergency surgery.
Schedule Your Appointment
Here at Women’s Clinics Maryland, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and provide a viability ultrasound appointment at no cost to you. Our medical staff will walk alongside you as you navigate your pregnancy options.
Put your health and safety first – schedule your free appointment today. Equip yourself with all the information you need and receive care that’s specialized to you.