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Choosing An Abortion Clinic - Maryland abortion clinics

Choosing an abortion clinic

Jan 12, 2018

Since many women do not talk about their abortion experiences, it’s difficult to know what to look for when choosing an abortion clinic.

The quality of abortion care can vary widely among all abortion clinics. We believe that a quality abortion provider serves both your physical and emotional health. There may be a number of abortion clinics in your area. So, choosing an abortion clinic may involve more than a single phone call.

Guidelines to help you choose a QUALITY abortion clinic/provider who will offer you the BEST CARE, ensure COMFORT, and treat you with the RESPECT and COMPASSION you deserve.

Get a referral from someone you trust.

Call your local family planning clinic, hospital, doctor’s office, or student health services center for a referral. If you feel comfortable, ask a friend or family member if they know of a good abortion clinic in your area.

WARNING: there are many places that pretend to be health clinics, but really they want to prevent you from making your own decision about your pregnancy. Places with names like Crisis Pregnancy Center, Pregnancy Care Center, Life Choices or Pregnancy Counseling Center are AGAINST ABORTION. They are religious organizations, not health clinics.

Call or visit the clinic and ask about their abortion services.

Medical Abortion vs. Surgical Abortion

Some clinics only provide medical abortion (Abortion Pill), others only surgical abortions and some provide both. It’s important that you go to a clinic that will provide you the type of abortion care you prefer. Additionally, if you are unsure how far along you are in the pregnancy, you should ask both how early in the pregnancy you can receive care and how far along in pregnancy they provide services. Use Pregnancy Calculator for an estimation only.

  • Medical abortion (non-surgical abortion, RU486, or the abortion pill) can be performed early in pregnancy. Medical abortion is typically preformed up to 9 weeks.
  • Surgical abortion procedure itself usually takes only a few minutes, yet at a quality, reputable provider your abortion procedure will take several hours. Surgical abortion is typically preformed up to 17 weeks gestation.
    • Quality abortion providers ensure that counseling is provided, a medical history is obtained, and lab work is performed before you are readied for surgery.
    • Meet the medical team and to relax.
    • Following surgery, patients need ample recovery time with medical and counseling staff available.
    • Written and oral instructions on how to take care of yourself and what to do if you have a problem after your abortion.S

Questions to ask:

  1. What type(s) of abortion do you offer?
  2. How early is abortion offered?
  3. How far in the pregnancy do you offer care?
  4. Will an ultrasound be done before the abortion to confirm the length of pregnancy?
  5. How long will the abortion take? How long will I be in the facility?
  6. Is there a 24-hour phone number for emergencies?
  7. Do they offer counseling? If so, is it group or individual?
  8. Do they offer after-abortion counseling? If not, can they refer you to someone who does?
  9. Who will be in the room during the procedure?
  10. Can my partner or friend be with me?
  11. What qualifications does the doctor have?
  12. How long have they been performing abortions?
  13. Where do patients “recover” after surgery and for how long?

Pain Management

Most women report the cramping associated with an abortion as tolerable. If you prefer not to experience any discomfort ask about general anesthesia, IV or oral sedation and pain relievers.

  1. What types of anesthesia or other pain management options are offered?

Fees

  1. Do the fees sound too good to be true? Be careful – the lowest fee does not mean you will get the quality care you deserve. There may also be additional costs for care you want or need not given to you in the initial quote.
  2. Does the fee quoted cover ALL possible costs (post-abortion check-up, lab work, pain management, take-home prescriptions, a Rhogam injection if you have a RH negative blood type, etc.)?
  3. What methods of payment are offered?
  4. Will my insurance be accepted?
  5. Do they offer financial help or work with abortion assistance funds if you do not have the resources to pay?
  6. Do they offer a discount if you have Medicaid?

Choose a clinic that makes you feel comfortable.

  1. How does the staff sound over the phone?
    • Are they friendly?
    • Do they appear knowledgeable?
    • Did they listen to you and answer all your questions?
  2. Was the clinic clean?
  3. Do you feel comfortable in the clinic?
  4. Does the staff dress and act professionally and appropriately?
  5. Do they treat you as an individual — with respect and understanding?