An online abortion often occurs after a medical provider writes an abortion prescription following a telehealth consultation with the pregnant woman. She can then self-administer the abortion medication at home.
While many opt for this option out of convenience, it’s crucial to understand the importance of an in-person examination and other important screenings.
Online Abortions Skip Important Health Screenings
If a woman has an abortion with only a telehealth consultation, she skips important health screenings such as pregnancy ultrasounds to confirm her condition.
In addition to pregnancy testing, this scan is highly recommended. Ultrasound reveal details such as:
- Pregnancy gestational age: Confirming the age informs you of your eligibility for certain procedures. For example, medication abortion is only FDA-approved up to 10 weeks of gestation.
- Pregnancy viability: Up to 26% of known pregnancies end in natural miscarriage. Confirming your pregnancy status can determine if your pregnancy is still viable.
- Pregnancy location: Knowing if the pregnancy is located outside the uterus can alert you to the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
What Are the Risks?
Before pursuing an at-home abortion, you must be aware of possible risks and conditions that can disqualify you from this procedure, especially if you skip an in-person exam. According to the Mayo Clinic, these include:
- If you are later than nine weeks into your pregnancy
- If you have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place
- If you have certain medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, certain heart or blood vessel diseases, etc.
- If you take a blood thinner or certain steroid medications
- If you don’t have access to emergency care
If you do not have any of these pre-existing conditions, potential risks of medical abortion include:
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion
- An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
You deserve to be empowered and informed when making pregnancy decisions. Hope First offers no-cost, confidential pregnancy services such as pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, and pre-abortion consultations.