Providers and Services
- The number of U.S. abortion providers declined by 2% between 2000 and 2005 (from 1,819 to 1,787). Eighty-seven percent of all U.S. counties lacked an abortion provider in 2005; 35% of women live in those counties.2
- Forty percent of providers offer very early abortions (during the first four weeks’ gestation) and 96% offer abortion at eight weeks.3
- In 2005, more than half of all known U.S. abortion providers performed early medication abortions using Mifeprex (mifepristone), a nearly 80% increase from 2001.4
Safety of Abortion5
- The risk of abortion complications is minimal: Fewer than 0.3% of all abortion patients experience a complication that requires hospitalization.
- Abortions performed in the first trimester pose virtually no long-term risk of such problems as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or birth defect, and little or no risk of preterm or low-birth weight deliveries.
For more information on abortion and other reproductive health issues in the United States, you may wish to visit some of the sites listed here.
- An Overview of Abortion in the United States. Guttmacher Institute. Accessed at http://www.guttmacher.org/media/presskits/2005/06/28/abortionoverview.html on March 17, 2008.
- Jones RK et al., Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2008; 40(1): p. 10.
- Ibid., p.14.
- Personal communication with RK Jones on March 20, 2008 re: Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2008; 40(1): 6-16.
- Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States. Guttmacher Institute. Accessed at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.htmlon March 17, 2008.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Although cramping and bleeding are an expected part of ending a
pregnancy, rarely, serious and potentially life-threatening bleeding,
infections, or other problems can occur following a miscarriage,
surgical abortion, medical abortion, or childbirth. Prompt medical
attention is needed in these circumstances. Serious infection has
resulted in death in a very small number of cases; in most of these
cases misoprostol was used in the vagina. There is no information that
use of Mifeprex and misoprostol caused these deaths.
If you have any questions, concerns, or problems, or if you are worried
about any side effects or symptoms, you should contact your provider.
Be sure to contact your provider promptly if you have any of
Heavy Bleeding. Contact your provider right away if
you bleed enough to soak through two thick full-size sanitary pads per
hour for two consecutive hours or if you are concerned about heavy
bleeding. In about 1 out of 100 women, bleeding can be so heavy that it
requires a surgical procedure (surgical abortion/D&C) to stop it.
Abdominal Pain or “Feeling Sick”. If you
have abdominal pain or discomfort, or you are “feeling
sick”, including weakness, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, with or
without fever, more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol, you should
contact your provider without delay. These symptoms may be a sign of a
serious infection or another problem (including an ectopic pregnancy, a
pregnancy outside the womb).
Fever. In the days after treatment, if you have a
fever of 100.4°F or higher that lasts for more than 4 hours, you
should contact your provider right away. Fever may be a symptom of a
serious infection or another problem (including an ectopic pregnancy).
Take your MEDICATION GUIDE with you. When you visit
an emergency room or a provider who did not give you your Mifeprex, you
should give them your MEDICATION GUIDE so that they understand that you
are having a medical abortion with Mifeprex.