Abortion Clinic Procedures

Different abortion clinics have different policies and processes, but the abortion procedures that they perform should be done basically the same way. The type of abortion you will need will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy. While the pregnancy is often dated based on your last period, this is not a precise practice. Only an ultrasound will give you the most accurate information regarding the dating of your pregnancy and viability as well. The tabs below contain a brief description and animation about different types of abortion clinic procedures. You can also call 517-484-1882 or text 517-618-1753 for more information.

Contact us to schedule a FREE ultrasound

Call 517-484-1882 or Text 517-618-1753

Abortion Clinic Procedures

Shared Pregnancy Women’s Center is trusted by women who are considering abortion or are already scheduled for an abortion and want information on whether they are carrying a viable pregnancy or if it is a pregnancy that could end in a miscarriage.  Shared Pregnancy supports informed consent and a woman’s right to accurate information about abortion procedures before she makes a choice.  All of our services are provided FREE of charge in a Confidential, Private, and Caring environment.

Medical Abortion

Often called the “Abortion Pill,” RU-486 available prior to 70 days (10 weeks LMP). A combination of two different drugs administered on two different days (the oral drug on day one and either another oral drug or vaginal suppositories after). Follow-up appointments are required to determine if the abortion is complete (if everything was expelled from your uterus). If everything does not pass from your uterus, an infection could occur. The clinic will ask you to consent to a surgical abortion if the medical abortion fails. The cramping and abdominal pain that may result from a medical abortion can mask the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, a condition which would require you to seek emergent medical care.

Medical Abortion (4-10 weeks) – Animated Video

Surgical Abortion

Suction Aspiration/D & C Abortion (generally available 4 – 14 weeks LMP). A tool is used to scrape the uterus so the embryo and placenta can be removed through a suction tube.

Surgical Abortion (4-14 weeks) – Animation




Surgical Abortion

D & E Surgical Abortion (generally available 14 – to 24 weeks LMP). At 14 – 24 weeks LMP, forceps are used to remove the fetus in small parts prior to suction because the fetus is larger.

Surgical Abortion (14-24 weeks) – Animation

Abortion Risks

Side effects for both medical and surgical abortions include:  cramping, bleeding, nausea, diarrhea, and pain.  Although rare, other risks may include:  hemorrhage (life-threatening, heavy bleeding), infection, damage to organs (tearing or puncture by abortion instruments during surgical abortion), pre-term birth in later pregnancies, and life-threatening anesthesia complications (surgical abortion).   Some women experience a range of long-term adverse psychological and emotional effects.   If you are a person of faith (Muslim, Christian, Hindu, etc…) you may also be more at risk for guilt and/or depression-like symptoms if your decision to abort conflicts with your spiritual beliefs.

Your Rights

You are important. In Michigan there are laws that were created for your protection if you choose to have an abortion. Knowing your rights is an important part of the decision making process. Your rights include:

Informed Consent law – 24 Hour Waiting Period

The public health code states that a patient considering an abortion must be provided all of the following at least 24 hours prior to an abortion being performed:

  • A medically accurate depiction, illustration or photograph of a fetus at the probable gestational age of the fetus the woman is carrying
  • A written description of the medical procedure that will be used to perform the abortion
  • A prenatal care and parenting information pamphlet
  • Information about what to do and whom to contact in the event that complications arise from the abortion
  • Information pertaining to available pregnancy related services
  • A clinic may not collect any type of payment during this waiting period. If payments are made in advance for abortion services and the woman does not proceed with the abortion, the clinic would be required to refund these payments. If the clinic refused to refund these payments they would be in violation of the Informed Consent Law.

If any one of these protocols was not provided, or if the abortion was performed prior to a full 24 hour waiting period, the clinic may be in violation of the public health code.

Parental Consent law

If an abortion was performed on a female under the age of 18 without one of the following, the clinic would be in violation of the Informed Consent Law:

  • A consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian
  • A judicial waiver of parental consent

Minors must also comply with the 24 hour waiting law.

Ultrasound Viewing law

If an ultrasound was performed on the patient prior to the abortion, the physician or the physician’s assistant performing the ultrasound must ask the patient:

  1. Would you like to view the live ultrasound image of your baby?
  2. Would you like to take a print copy of the image with you?

If the patient was not given the option to look at the screen, the clinic would be in violation of the Informed Consent Law.

Clinic Regulations law

This law requires abortion facilities to be inspected for health code violations.

  1. Was the facility clean?
  2. Did the facility fail to provide satisfactory health care?

Abortion Complications Reporting law

This law requires a physician to send a report to the Health Department when treating a woman for complications resulting from an abortion.

  • Was she physically hurt by a doctor? If so, she should file a complaint with the Health Department, which could lead to an investigation of the physician and to a possible license suspension.

If the physician is suspected of negligence or malpractice, in addition to filing a complaint, the patient has the option to sue for medical malpractice.

If you feel that your rights have been violated you can contact us for more information about filing a complaint with the Health Department.


Abortion and the risk of subsequent preterm birth: a systematic review with meta-analysis. (2009).  The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 54, 2, 95-108.

National Abortion Federation, NAF website, prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts FDA Drug Label Information: Mifeprex:pp. 6, 14; www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label-2005/020687s013lbl.pdf

National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, Drug Information: Mifepristone; www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a600042.html.

M. Fischer, J. Bhatnager, J. Guarner, et. Al. “Fatal toxic shock syndrome associated with Clostridium sordellii after medical abortion,” New England Journal of Medicine,  2005, 353:2352-60.

Right to Life of Michigan. (n.d.). Laws That May Have Been Violated. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://rtl.org/cliniccomplaint/complaint.html.