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What Is an Induction Abortion Procedure?

For some women, an irregular period or medical condition may have led to a delay in detecting the signs of an unexpected pregnancy. You may be pondering the types of pregnancy options that are available to you, as abortion laws in each state vary depending on the gestational age of a pregnancy. A later abortion may not be legal in your state, with the exception of certain medical situations, and given the advanced stage of your unexpected pregnancy, careful research is advised. Before you proceed with an abortion decision, it may be helpful to learn more about the types of procedures, allowing you to compare the information you’ve gathered about abortion alongside your other pregnancy options.

Are you feeling overwhelmed about making an unexpected pregnancy decision in an advanced stage of your pregnancy? With six different locations throughout DuPage County, Avenue Women’s Center is here to offer support. Our expert staff can provide you with a free ultrasound to provide information on gestational age and risks such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. During our free consultation, our expert client advocates will share accurate information about abortion procedures, answering any questions you may have about your pregnancy options. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Scheduling an Ultrasound Exam

Before you make a decision about your unexpected pregnancy, it’s typically recommended that you schedule an ultrasound exam first. This can be done through a healthcare provider, or a local pregnancy resource center. Since most states have laws prohibiting abortions during certain stages of pregnancy, how far along you are may play a part in what pregnancy options are available to you.

If you’re still considering abortion, and if you live in a state that has not outlawed abortions beyond a specific point in the pregnancy, the procedure you may undergo could be an induction abortion.

What Is an Induction Abortion?

Although uncommon, an induction abortion is performed if it’s been 25 weeks or more since your last menstrual period. Due to the advanced stage of the pregnancy, more advanced steps must be taken to complete the procedure, often lasting multiple days. You may receive an injection in your abdomen to stop the growth of the pregnancy and induce labor.

Similarly to a dilation and evacuation procedure, the abortion provider may insert luminaria sticks (sterilized seaweed) to open your cervix. You may additionally be given labor-inducing drugs at this point. As your cervix continues to dilate, the abortion provider may tell you to return home or to your hotel room so the rest of the procedure may ensue. The dilation process may take up to 2-4 days before you’re ready to return to the clinic.

What If I Change My Mind?

If the laminaria has caused dilation to begin, but you have not yet undergone a surgical abortion, then there may be time to change your mind if you so choose. However, this usually depends on how much your cervix has dilated, as the further it expands, the more there may be a potential risk of miscarriage.

It’s possible that your contractions may have started and labor has begun, but if you’re second-guessing your abortion decision, you may need to contact a hospital so a medical professional can properly remove the laminaria.

Are There Any Risks?

Although uncommon, an induction abortion may carry a greater risk than other surgical procedures due to its advanced nature. There may also be a risk of hemorrhage, lacerations, and uterine perforation, and severe injuries to the cervix may cause complications with future pregnancies.

Some women have reported feelings of depression and anxiety after an abortion experience. Before you move forward with an unexpected pregnancy, you may want to assess your emotional state to help you determine how you may react after an induction abortion. This does not have to be done alone, as you do have the option of speaking with a professional counselor or a pregnancy consultant in order to gain more perspective about your options.

No matter the maturity of your unexpected pregnancy, Avenue Women’s Center is here to assist you through the decision-making process. If you are considering an induction abortion, our expert pregnancy consultants can guide you through each of your options, relieving you from the burden of tracking down reliable information by yourself. We are prepared to answer any questions through a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Schedule a free appointment with us today!


  • Darney, P.D., et al. “Digoxin to facilitate late second-trimester abortion: a randomized, masked, placebo-controlled trial.,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 97, Issue 3, Mar.2001, pp. 471-476. Retrieved from:
  • Fergusson, David M with Joseph M. Boden and L. John Harwood. “Does abortion reduce the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy? A re-appraisal of the evidence.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Sept. 2013, Vol. 47, No. 9, pp. 819-827. Retrieved from:
  • American Pregnancy Association. 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.