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Abortion Information

Want evidence-based education about abortion? Don't hesitate to call.

Abortion Information for Those Seeking Help

Sometimes men and women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy seek out an abortion clinic looking for answers about the procedure. Whether done at home through a pill or in-clinic, abortion is a medical procedure. That’s why it is important to understand abortion – including the physical, emotional and spiritual risks associated – before choosing that route. Pregnancy Resource Centers have information to help expectant parents make the decisions that will be best for them both now and well into the future.

We provide free abortion education for anyone seeking it. If you would like to talk about abortion risks and procedures with someone who can empathize with your situation, call or come in to one of our centers. Many of our staff have been there before, and will come alongside you in an honest, compassionate, judgment-free way.

Contact us today to learn more about who we are and how we can help you make an informed decision about your future.

PRC provides free abortion education
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Please Note: PRC provides free abortion information but does not perform or refer for abortions.

Beaverton Center

Beaverton Center

4975 SW Watson Ave
Beaverton, OR 97005
503.643.4503

SE Portland Center

SE Portland Center

5117 SE Powell Blvd. #3
Portland, OR 97206
503.777.7097

Gresham Center

Beaverton Center

104 NW 11th St.
Gresham, OR 97030
503.666.6527

Why Women Seek Abortion

A 2005 study published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health reveals that the following are the most common reasons for women seeking an abortion:

 

  • The life change it would cause to have a baby (interference with education, career, other dependents) was listed by 74% of study participants
  • Financial burdens were listed by 73% of study participants
  • Don’t want to be a single mother/experiencing relationship problems was listed by 48% of women
  • Being done with having children (38%)
  • Don’t want people to know they had sex/got pregnant (25%)
  • Don’t feel ready to be a parent/have another child (22%)
  • Pressure from partner (14%)
  • Possible health problems with the fetus (13%)
  • Possible personal health problems (12%)
  • Pressure from parents (6%)
  • Victim of rape (1%)
  • Incest (<0.5%)

 

These results were reported in 2004, but the study revealed that answers were relatively consistent between 1987 and 2004, indicating that women’s reasons for having an abortion still would likely follow the general trend outlined above. Interestingly, many of the most common reasons given for seeking an abortion are things that could be mitigated through a strong support network.

To us at PRC, it doesn’t matter what your reasons are for seeking an abortion. We would love the opportunity to sit down and speak with you about all your options. There’s no pressure, just information and support. Contact us today or stop by – no appointment necessary.

The Methods and Timing of Abortion

Abortion takes different forms depending upon the choices of the patient and how far along in the pregnancy the procedure would take place. Every medical procedure, including abortion, has risks. We encourage you to come in to a Pregnancy Resource Center to talk with one of our staff about any of your questions or concerns.

Abortion Pills and Morning-After Pills (e.g. Mifepristone and Misoprostol, Plan B, Next Choice, My Way, Take Action, AfterPill)

Abortion pills were first legalized in the US in 2000, though they were created in the late 80s. In 2017, medication abortions accounted for 39% of the abortions in the US. Many of these were performed in a clinic, but many are also being performed at home, where risks to the health of the mother are higher.

Designed to be taken before 10 weeks into a pregnancy, abortion pills work by blocking the progesterone supply to the pregnancy. This could be compared to cutting the oxygen supply to someone who’s on a ventilator. In most cases, 24-48 hrs after taking the 1st pill, the baby is no longer alive, and the second round of pills are given. These cause the uterus to contract so that the embryo may be expelled. According to the current FDA protocol, these medications are designed to be taken only under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider. The FDA advises against purchasing the abortion pill on the internet, as this would bypass safeguards intended to protect a woman’s health. Abortion pills are effective 95% of the time, but there is a risk that the pill will not be able to induce labor to evacuate the womb. This can lead to a great deal of distress and the need for medical attention.

Morning after pills are an emergency contraceptive, and are designed to be taken within hours or days after unprotected sex. They act primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). They may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, they may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation). If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking the morning after pill, its development will not be affected.

Surgical Procedures

Surgical abortion uses surgery to remove a baby and placenta from a mother’s womb. There are a few different procedures which are used. Surgical abortion is not guaranteed to end a pregnancy in every case – particularly during the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

Vacuum aspiration (also called suction abortion) is the most common surgical abortion procedure. This involves dilating the cervix and inserting a vacuum tube to remove the developing fetus and associated tissues. Vacuum aspiration can be performed until about 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Dilation and curettage (also called dilation and evacuation or D&E), though not an exclusively abortion-related procedure, can be used to perform abortions. It involves the dilation of the cervix and the removal of uterine contents via scraping with an instrument in combination with suction. D&C can be performed later into the gestational period than vacuum aspiration.

To learn more about the methods of abortion which are used, please reach out and talk to us. Please note that we are not a provider of abortions, nor do we refer for abortions.

The Legality of Abortion in Oregon

Abortion is legal in Oregon. The 1973 Roe v Wade decision states that abortion may be limited by states, but there are no statewide legal restrictions on abortion in Oregon. In fact, a 2017 bill forces Oregon insurance companies to cover abortions with no out-of-pocket costs. In 2018, voters turned down a bill to limit state funding of abortion, as well.

Is Abortion Safe?

Usually, abortion is considered a safe medical procedure for the mother. But with any medical procedure, there are always some risks. Some physical risks associated with a medical abortion include infection, bleeding and incomplete abortion. Abortion medication administered without a doctor’s supervision, can be dangerous. The more serious physical risks of a surgical abortion are continued bleeding, infection of the uterus, incomplete removal of baby and other pregnancy tissue and poking a hole in the womb during the surgical procedure.

For many women (and their partners) there is a significant risk of lasting psychological and emotional issues resulting from and abortion. Many women experience initial relief following an abortion with the perception that after the crisis is over, life will return to normal. However, many women have experienced guilt, grief, anger, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, and difficulty bonding with partners or their children months or even years following an abortion. In addition, while many couples who choose abortion believe it will preserve their relationship, research reveals just the opposite. People have different understandings of God and whatever your present beliefs may be, having an abortion may affect more than just your body and your mind- there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves consideration. While some downplay these issues, our experience over the course of many years working with women who have had abortions tells us the emotional risks of abortion are a reality not to be taken lightly.

For more information about abortion safety from informed sources that will make sure you know all your options, please contact us today.

Other Abortion Information Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that we often receive at our Pregnancy Resource Centers. If your question is not on this list, we encourage you to speak with our PRC staff to get more abortion information from a caring, knowledgeable person with the experience and perspective to help. Call us anytime.

Will PRC pressure me not to have an abortion?

We are not salespeople. We don’t do pressure. Our goal with anyone who comes in to our centers is to have a conversation. We want to hear where you’re at, answer your questions, and provide helpful information for where you’re at. If you’d like, we’d love to be able to come alongside you and support your pregnancy journey, no matter where it leads.

Can I bring a family member or significant other along when I come in?

When possible, we encourage you to bring any support person you are comfortable with to join you when you come visit one of our centers. Please note that occupancy restrictions put in place due to the COVID 19 pandemic may affect this policy. When you schedule your appointment with us, please ask what the current policy is.

What is abortion?

In the medical context, abortion is the intentional termination of a human pregnancy. This is true regardless of when, how, or why the procedure is performed.

Is there a difference between a fetus and baby?

A fetus is a human embryo which has developed past the 8th week of gestation. The term “fetus” is used to describe a baby in utero (that is, unborn). The term “baby” is appropriately applied to a child at any stage of development from conception through birth until perhaps toddler age. In recent times, the “fetus” has been intentionally used by many in what is perhaps an effort to be more technically correct, but also to accustom people to be more emotionally detached from unborn children, denying their personhood. When expectant parents receive an ultrasound of their fetus, they see that their child is far more than a clump of undeveloped cells – it is a new, pre-born human life which looks and acts human in every way.

When does human life begin? When is a fetus a person?

We believe that human life begins at the moment a child is conceived – which is the same as saying the moment that a woman’s egg is fertilized, creating a unique combination of human DNA based on the genetic makeup of the mother and father. This conviction is based upon much more than philosophy or sentiment. There are concrete, universally recognized scientific facts that indicate life does indeed begin at conception rather than at birth or any other time. For instance, every human in existence today started from a zygote – a single cell capable of self-replication with all the DNA information that will ever be required for that unique individual. While the zygote (later fetus) is dependent upon the mother’s body to provide nutrients and hospitable conditions for survival and development, this single human cell is best understood as a new human life – it is not identical in genetic information to the mother or the father, being a unique combination of the two. And this is more than the life of a cell or the rearrangement of life in other forms – it is new human life in development. It is a living, separate, whole human being and a person – dependent on others like many organisms, but still living and human. According to a 2018 survey, this is not a contested fact: 95% of biologists at US academic institutions agree that a human’s life begins at conception.

We believe that if human life begins at conception, we have an ethical duty to protect that life beginning at conception. We ask – is this a huge leap in logic? Some villainize Pregnancy Resource Centers as wanting to take away the rights of women to choose what to do with their own body – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If a woman has been given the opportunity to support and develop another unique human life through pregnancy, this is something that should be celebrated and supported. If a new life is to be aborted, we simply wish for the decision to be made carefully and with all the facts accurately represented. Hence why we support and provide free abortion information for all women and their partners.

Is personhood different than biological life?

Upon knowing the physical facts, most people can see that a new human life is created upon conception. The question remains, however, when is that new human life ethically – and legally – deserving of the protections afforded to any fully-developed human life? That is, when does that single-celled zygote achieve personhood? While this topic is too complicated for this space, involving discussion of many situations only encountered now due to scientific advancements, we think it a straightforward and true thing to say that every biologically distinct human life is a person and deserves the protections given to any other person.

If I have an abortion, will I be able to have a child at a later time?

In most cases, you will still be able to have children after an abortion. However, there is a risk that infection may develop which would inhibit your ability to get pregnant or carry a child to term. Infertility may result if a surgical abortion is complicated by heavy bleeding, perforation of the uterus, or incomplete removal of pregnancy tissue.

What is the normal process of human development in utero?

Each month, a woman’s body releases a single egg which travels through one of the fallopian tubes on its way to the uterus. While in the fallopian tube, if it is fertilized by a sperm, the fertilized egg is now  a zygote: a single-cell baby.

As the zygote continues its travels to the uterus, it duplicates and divides and forms a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. The blastocyst implants into the wall of the uterus, where it develops into an embryo attached to a placenta. From fertilization to implantation to be completed, the process takes only 10 days.

From that point, the embryo continues to develop, forming internal organs and external body structures. By the end of the 1st trimester, the baby is fully formed.

Eight weeks after fertilization (10 weeks of pregnancy), the embryo is considered a fetus. All the features which have formed now begin to grow and develop. At about 14 weeks, the sex of the baby can be identified. By 16 to 20 weeks, women can feel movement. By 24 weeks, the baby has a chance of survival outside the uterus.

Does abortion cause pain to an unborn baby?

From what we know today, unborn babies are able to experience pain at around 26 weeks of gestation, or just before the third trimester.

Are abortions ok in the cases of rape and incest?

We know that these situations are very difficult for any woman who is a victim. This cannot be overstated. At the same time, we believe that all life is worth protecting, no matter under what conditions it came to be. It may seem impossible to bear this burden – but we make the commitment to stand by you and your baby for as long as you need. We can let you know about realistic alternatives to abortion and help you navigate those roads.

Are abortions helpful to the scientific community in supplying stem cells for research?

There are multiple types of stem cell. Embryonic and fetal stem cells are the two most relevant to us.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from blastocysts (fertilized eggs which have developed but not yet become embryos) before implantation in the uterus. These blastocysts are often created by fertilizing an egg in a lab. As such, many don’t consider the use of the cells to be abortion, but there are still strong ethical considerations that should come into play – despite the promising benefits of these kinds of cell. Can we say that one human life is worth more than another?

Though not quite as flexible as embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells can be harvested without terminating the life of an unborn child. There are many ways to harvest different kinds of fetal stem cells apart from abortion – through the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and the umbilical cord blood.

On the other hand, fetal tissue obtained through abortions is commonly used for medical purposes. Some of the more troubling issues behind the acquiring of fetal tissue for research has been brought to light through some recent, controversial videos.

What is the Roe v Wade decision, and how does it impact my pregnancy decisions?

The 1973 Roe v Wade US Supreme Court decision declared that the right to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester was up to the decision of the woman. In the second and third trimesters, the decision declared that the government could regulate abortions, but not ban them. In effect, this landmark case made abortion legal nationwide, and passed decisions for regulation on to states.

What kinds of abortion are illegal in Oregon?

There are currently (as of February 2021) no legal restrictions on abortion in Oregon.