1st Trimester Surgical Abortion Procedure

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Surgical Abortion

This is the most frequently performed abortion, and is used typically from 5 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. After administering anesthesia, the abortionist uses a speculum, like this. This is placed inside the vagina, and opened using this screw on the side, allowing the abortionist to see the cervix, the entrance to the uterus. The cervix acts as a gate that stays closed for the duration of pregnancy, protecting the baby until it is ready for birth. The abortionist uses a series of metal rods called dilators, like these, which increase in thickness, and inserts them into the cervix to dilate it, gaining access to the inside of the uterus where the baby resides. The baby has a heartbeat, fingers, toes, arms, and legs, but its bones are still weak and fragile.

Procedure

The abortionist takes a suction catheter, like this one. This is a 14 French Suction Catheter. It’s clear plastic, about 9 inches long, and it has a hole through the center. It is inserted through the cervix, into the uterus. The suction machine is then turned on, with a force 10-20 times more powerful than your household vacuum cleaner. The baby is rapidly torn apart by the force of the suction, and squeezed through this tubing down into the suction machine, followed by the placenta. Though the uterus is mostly emptied at this point, one of the risks of a Suction D & C is incomplete abortion, essentially pieces of the baby or placenta left behind.

This can lead to infection or bleeding. In an attempt to prevent this, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the lining of the uterus. A curette is basically a long-handled curved blade. Once the uterus is empty, the speculum is removed and the abortion is complete. The risks of Suction D & C include perforation or laceration of the uterus or cervix, potentially damaging intestine, bladder, and nearby blood vessels, hemorrhage, infection, and in rare instances, even death. Future pregnancies are also at a greater risk for loss or premature delivery due to abortion-related trauma and injury to the cervix.

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