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A Sugar Grove resident asks: “When Can You Get an Abortion?”

“When can you get an abortion?” is a serious question. Wherever you are – in Sugar Grove, a community nearby, or anywhere in Chicagoland – we want you to know there is a local resource available for help with this and other questions you may be asking about an unplanned pregnancy. First the resource; then please read on to get information for your question, “When can you get an abortion?”

For thirty-six years, Avenue Women’s Center has been the first-step resource for women in the greater Chicagoland area who are facing an unintended pregnancy. It is our commitment to come beside you with answers and services you need as you seek to determine your best course of action for your situation. Our free, medical-grade pregnancy test can give accurate results about your potential pregnancy. Our caring, experienced pregnancy consultants will meet with you with confidentiality, respect, and compassion. Many of our services are available at no cost to you. Most likely one of our five locations – Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale – is convenient to where you live or work. If you are in Sugar Grove, Illinois, three of those locations are within ½ hour from you! We hope you will contact us today for the assistance you deserve.

Now, your question: “When can you get an abortion?”

That question can actually be understood in a few different ways.

If you’re wondering how early in a pregnancy can you get an abortion, the answer to that may vary. Some providers have offered very early abortions, at four weeks’ gestation or less, even before the first missed period. Generally, the intra-uterine pregnancy (pregnancy within the uterus) needs to be visible by ultrasound (usually around 5-6 weeks) for an abortion to be performed.

Is there advantage to an early abortion? Usually the abortion procedure is considered less complicated with fewer potential risks when it is early in the pregnancy. An early abortion may also be less expensive than a later abortion.

Can you get an abortion too soon? There are a couple of reasons why you may want to give yourself some time as you deliberate over this decision. For one thing, this is a decision that can’t be changed once the procedure is completed. Your first response to an unplanned pregnancy may well be just to want to have it over with as soon as possible. If, however, you think there is a chance that you (or someone significant to you) might have second thoughts about it, it may be wise to take the time you need to be certain you’re settled with your choice.

Additionally, there are both financial costs and physical considerations about an abortion procedure. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end spontaneously and naturally in miscarriage before the 20th week. A limited, free ultrasound at one of our offices may assist you with the likelihood of this being the case for you in this pregnancy.

How late in the pregnancy can you get an abortion? A medication abortion utilizing the abortion pill can be performed until week 10 of the pregnancy. (Gestational age of the pregnancy must be verified by ultrasound.) Many states restrict surgical abortion past 24 weeks of the pregnancy. Abortions performed in the late second trimester, after 24 weeks, are rare. A surgical abortion can be performed in the state of Illinois up until fetal viability (the ability of the fetus to survive outside the womb). This is considered by most to be about 24 weeks. Exceptions past that time may be allowed in Illinois for cases of danger to the life or health of the woman.

Whether in Sugar Grove, Illinois or wherever you are, we at Avenue Women’s Center understand that in asking, “When can you get an abortion?” you have a lot going on in your mind. If questions about what to do next are swirling, we hope this article has reassured you that you don’t need to act immediately, and there may be advantage to giving yourself some time to really work through this. Frequent follow ups to this early question may include, “What abortion options and procedures are available?” “What are the differences between first and second trimester procedures?” “What are the things I should be considering as I weigh my options?”

The caring staff of Avenue Women’s Center is prepared to walk with you through your questions and whatever is ahead in this journey. Please call, text, email or chat with us to find out how we can help you. We will be honored to serve you at this challenging time.


  • Guttmacher Institute. (2017, October). Fact Sheet: Induced Abortion in the United States. Retrieved from:
  • New Kids Center. How Early Can One Have an Abortion? What to Expect?.Retrieved from:
  • Mayo Clinic. Miscarriage. Retrieved from:
  • WebMD. Abortion – Topic Overview. Retrieved from:
  • Guttmacher Institute. (2017, October). An Overview of Abortion Laws. Retrieved from:
  • American Pregnancy Association. (2017, April). Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from:

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.