What You Need to Know About Abortion

It’s important you have all of the information you need to make a decision about your pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about abortion procedures.

Before 14 weeks

  • Medical abortions: Using pills like RU-486 (mifepristone) or methotrexate

  • Manual vacuum aspiration: Suction of uterus to remove fetus

  • Suction curettage: Suction and scraping to remove fetus

  • Dilation & Curettage (D&C): Opening cervix/removing fetus


14 weeks and beyond

  • Dilation & Evacuation (D&E): Opening cervix/removing fetus

  • Labor induction: Opening cervix/removing fetus

Physical Abortion Risks

Every medical procedure comes with risks, including abortion:

Possible Immediate Risks to your body

  • Heavy bleeding

  • Infection

  • Incomplete abortion

  • Tearing of the cervix

  • Allergic reaction to drugs

  • Scarring of the uterine lining

  • Damage to internal organs (1, 2)

  • Increased risk of preterm birth even after one abortion (3)

  • Increased risk of mood disorders or depression (4)

  • Increased risk of breast cancer (4)

Possible Long-Term Risks to your body

Emotional Risks

Some women experience guilt, anger, anxiety, depression, grief, flashbacks, and more. It can also affect you spiritually. Sometimes this occurs within days and sometimes it happens after many years. (1)


  1. CareNet, Before You Decide, 2015

  2. VA Department of Health, Abortion: Making An Informed Decision

  3. Rooney, Brent, Calhoun, B., Induced Abortion and Risk of Later Premature Births. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2003, 8(2):46-49.

  4. Thorp, John M., Hartmann, Katherine E., Shadigan, Elizabeth. Long-Term Physical and Psychological Health Consequences of Induced Abortion: Review of the Evidence.

PRC of Metro Richmond does not perform or refer for abortions.