If you are considering abortion, your first step is to learn more about your options. All of our services are free and confidential. We never financially benefit from your decision and can discuss your options with absolutely no pressure.
We do not provide or refer for abortion services.
The cost of an abortion in South Carolina ranges from approximately $600-$1,250.
Medication abortion (also called the abortion pill) can be taken up to 70 days (10 weeks pregnant) after the start of your last menstrual period.
- It’s called RU-486 and was approved by the FDA in 2000; it is also called a medical or chemical abortion.
- The pill is actually two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken in two separate doses.
- It is usually taken between 4-6 weeks but can be taken up to 11 weeks in most cases.
- It is not an option for people with certain medical conditions.
- The abortion pill is not the same as the emergency contraceptive, The Morning After Pill or Plan B One Step.
- Abortion pill reversal is possible if action is taken after the first dose.
Action – The first medication, Mifeprex blocks progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is necessary for the pregnancy to survive. Without progesterone, the embryo dies. The second medication, Mifepristone, causes cramping, expelling the embryo and uterine contents.
Side effects – Cramping and bleeding are expected. Bleeding may be like a heavy period. Bleeding can last 9 to 16 days and possibly up to 30 days. Other possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, weakness, dizziness and headache.
Complications – Possible complications include heavy bleeding requiring surgery to stop the bleeding, and serious infection. Before taking any medication, you should discuss the risks with your doctor and know what do to if complications arise.
Follow-up – It is important to follow-up with your doctor 1 to 2 weeks after taking this medication regime to see if an abortion has occurred and to assess for complications.
Surgical abortions are done by opening the cervix and passing instruments into the uterus to suction, grasp, pull, and scrape the pregnancy out. The exact procedure is determined by the baby’s level of growth.
Aspiration/Suction23,24 – Up to 13 weeks LMP. Most early surgical abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia is typically offered to reduce pain. The abortion involves opening the cervix, passing a tube inside the uterus, and attaching it to suction device which pulls the embryo out.
Dilation and Evacuation25,26 (D&E) – 13 weeks LMP and up. Most second trimester abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia, oral, or intravenous pain medications and sedation are commonly used. Besides the need to open the cervix much wider, the main difference between this procedure and a first trimester abortion is the use of forceps to grasp fetal parts and remove the baby in pieces. D&E is associated with a much higher risk of complications compared to a first trimester surgical abortion.
D&E After Viability27-29 – 21 weeks LMP and up. This procedure typically takes 2–3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. General anesthesia is usually recommended, if available. Drugs may be injected into the fetus or the amniotic fluid to stop the baby’s heart before starting the procedure. The cervix is opened wide, the amniotic sac is broken, and forceps are used to dismember the fetus. The “Intact D&E” pulls the fetus out legs first, then crushes the skull in order to remove the fetus in one piece.
Information taken from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2016). “Mifeprex Medication Guide.” U.S. Department of Health. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM088643.pdf
23. Paul, M., Lichtenberg, E. S., Borgatta, L., Grimes, D. A., Stubblefield, P. G., & Creinin, M. D. (2009). First Trimester Aspiration Abortion. In Management of unintended and abnormal pregnancy: Comprehensive abortion care (pp. 135-156).
24. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2014). In-Clinic Abortion Procedures : Planned Parenthood. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
25. Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2014). In-Clinic Abortion Procedures : Planned Parenthood. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
26. Paul, M., Lichtenberg, E. S., Borgatta, L., Grimes, D. A., Stubblefield, P. G., & Creinin, M. D. (2009). Dilation and Evacuation. In Management of unintended and abnormal pregnancy: Comprehensive abortion care (pp. 157-74). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
27. Paul, M., Lichtenberg, E. S., Borgatta, L., Grimes, D. A., Stubblefield, P. G., & Creinin, M. D. (2009). Dilation and Evacuation. In Management of unintended and abnormal pregnancy: Comprehensive abortion care (pp. 157-74). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
28. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (2013). Practice Bulletin: Second-Trimester Abortion (135).
29. Pasquini, L., et al. Intracardiac injection of potassium chloride as method for feticide: Experience from a single U.K. tertiary centre. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008;115(4):528–31.
BEFORE YOU DECIDE CHECKLIST
1. HAS YOUR PREGNANCY BEEN CONFIRMED?
Even if you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, you will need an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy, determine how far along you are, and rule out a tubal or ectopic pregnancy. You should also verify your HCG levels before booking an abortion appointment. As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage, and more than 80% of miscarriages occur in the first three months of pregnancy.
2. DOES THE CLINIC REQUIRE AN ULTRASOUND VERIFICATION BEFORE AN ABORTION? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
An ultrasound can cost an additional $200-$400 dollars if it’s not covered by insurance. Lowcountry Pregnancy Center offers obstetric ultrasounds free of charge.
3. DO YOU KNOW IF THE CLINIC HAS A DOCTOR ON STAFF OR IF THE PROCEDURE IS PERFORMED BY MEDICAL PERSONNEL?
If you live in or near North Charleston and are trying to obtain an abortion, state laws require a doctor to perform a surgical abortion. Learn more about your legal rights and how clinics are regulated. checkmyclinic.org
4. HAVE YOU BEEN TESTED RECENTLY FOR STDS/STIS?
An untreated infection can cause major complications if not treated prior to an abortion. For our pregnancy testing clinics, we offer free testing for the two most common STIs, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Your safety matters. Know for sure.
5. HAVE YOU RECEIVED ABORTION EDUCATION ABOUT THE ABORTION PILL AND THE TYPES OF SURGICAL ABORTIONS?
We believe an empowered decision is an informed decision. At your first appointment, we provide accurate information on all your pregnancy options.
6. WHAT ARE THE CLINIC’S PROCEEDINGS IN THE EVENT OF A COMPLICATION OR EMERGENCY?
Abortion is a serious medical procedure. Take the time to ask questions about what would happen in the event of an emergency or if medical complications arise. Learn more about clinics and any safety issues ahead of time. checkmyclinic.org
7. ARE YOU AWARE OF POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ABORTION PROCEDURE? HAVE YOU BEEN INFORMED OF POSSIBLE EMOTIONAL SIDE-EFFECTS AFTER AN ABORTION?
Lowcountry Pregnancy Center provides medical consultations free of charge with one of our nurses during your ultrasound exam. Take the time you need to share your health history and ask any questions you may have about complications, side-effects and even discuss how you may feel after your abortion. We care about you as a whole – your physical, mental and emotional health.
8. DO YOU KNOW WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO YOU IF THE ABORTION FAILS?
On occasion, there are incomplete abortions. Find out what steps you need to take and don’t be afraid to seek emergency help right away. You can also learn more about the Abortion Pill Reversal protocol. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, reversal is possible if you have only taken the first dose of the abortion pill.
Abortion Laws South Carolina
72 HOUR WAITING PERIOD
The state of South Carolina mandates a 72-hour waiting period before your abortion.
IF YOU’RE A MINOR
If you are under the age of 18, South Carolina state law requires you to have one parent or legal guardian to consent to an abortion procedure.
LATE ABORTION RESTRICTIONS
Late abortions (abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy) are currently banned in South Carolina, but exceptions are made in cases where the pregnancy is putting the mother’s life or health at severe risk.