Frequently Asked Questions About Abortion
We believe you make the best decisions when you have the most accurate information. We encourage you to call and ask any questions that you may have, regarding our services. Below are a few commonly asked questions.
Is abortion safe?
Yes. There are many false myths surrounding abortion from people who do not believe you should have the choice. While every surgical procedure involves some risk, the truth is that abortion is one of the safest and most common out-patient surgeries in the U.S.—10 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering vaginally. 1 out of every 3 American women will have at least one abortion in her lifetime. 60% of the women who choose abortion are already mothers. The woman who chooses abortion today may well choose parenthood later.
At Women’s Health Practice, we provide the best medical care and a range of reproductive healthcare with an outstanding physician and trained, caring staff. You will be well cared for while you are with us and we provide a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after your abortion to make sure you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally well enough to continue your regular activities. Here, we take the extra steps necessary to care for your health.
Does abortion hurt?
Many women describe the feeling as similar to menstrual cramps. Every woman is different, so we offer several pain management options to help you feel comfortable. We also provide a calm and relaxing environment, the option of having a friend, partner or family member with you, and our supportive staff available to address your worries or concerns. Being in such caring surroundings reduces anxiety and can help you both relax and feel safe and well cared for.
What do you give for pain?
First, we offer support, comfort and relaxation. Since each woman is different, we offer a variety of medication. A prescription pain medication is commonly prescribed for a medication abortion, and our surgical patients are offered several different options, including general anesthesia. Please let us know if you have any specific concerns, and we will be sure to address them.
Will I be able to have children later?
One of the myths surrounding abortion is that abortion causes infertility. Another myth is that the more abortions a woman has, the more infertile she becomes. There is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that abortion is in any way linked to infertility.
How far into pregnancy can I have an abortion?
Each state in the US has their own set of laws regarding abortion care. At Women’s Health Practice we offer abortion care up to 24weeks of gestation.
How early in the pregnancy can I have an abortion?
Pregnancies can be visualized by ultrasound by the 5th week after a last menstrual period (LMP). Very early surgical abortions can be done, and the success rate is similar to a medical abortion, perhaps slightly more effective. From 1–4 weeks of gestation, ultrasound may not be able to detect a pregnancy in the uterus. If we’re not able to view the pregnancy clearly under ultrasound, we will schedule your appointment for 1–2 weeks in the future.
To start figuring this out on your own, try to remember when the first day of your last normal period was, and count up 5 weeks. The reason you count up 5 weeks instead of 3 is that in a 28-day cycle, women normally conceive ~2 weeks past the first day of their last period. If you need help figuring it out, please give us a call or come to see us and we’ll help you estimate your length of pregnancy.
What’s better, the surgical or the abortion pill?
Both medication (the “abortion pill”) and surgical procedures are excellent, safe methods. Some patients prefer the convenience of the surgical procedure because in 1 day they know their abortion is complete and can return to regular activities. Some women prefer completing the abortion in the comfort of their own home and setting the timing of their abortion around their work, childcare or life-demands schedule. It is important for you to figure out what is most important for your abortion experience. Call us and ask us questions about either procedure so that you can determine which method best suits you.
Is there a waiting period? Can I come in right now?
We are most often able to offer you abortion care with in a day or two. Calling ahead can ensure your appointment, of course.
I am 16 years old. Do I have to tell my mother?
If you are considering an abortion and are 17 or under, you need to know about Illinois' Parental Notice of Abortion Law. Under this law, you must notify an "adult family member" before you can have the abortion.
You do not have to notify an "adult family member" just to talk about your options regarding your pregnancy. You can make an appointment by calling 217-356-3736 and we can help you navigate your choices.
Written Notice: Adult Family Member Waiver Letter
Notice by Phone: Call 217-356-3736, we can notify them by phone. Please contact our specialized team for more information.
Notice by Mail: We can notify them by certified letter, however, if you choose this, your appointment would need to be scheduled to make certain the letter is received.
Notice by Physician: If you prefer that your physician notify them, you may download the referring physician letter, have your physician complete it, and bring the form with you on the day of your appointment. Referring Physician Letter.
Illinois Judicial Bypass Coordination Project
Is this confidential?
Women’s Health Practice goes to extreme efforts to ensure patient confidentiality. We understand that this is a private healthcare decision between a woman and her healthcare provider. Each patient is seen one on one with the counselor. There are no group counseling sessions. Any and all information obtained by Women’s Health Practice will be kept confidential, unless requested by a patient with a corresponding valid ID and a medical release request.
Do you take insurance?
Woman’s Health Practice is currently contracted with a number of insurance carriers. Every insurance plan and coverage is a bit different. If you’d like to know more about your insurance coverage, call us and we will help you figure it out.
Do you offer financial help or payment plans?
Women’s Health Practice staff members are exceptional at helping women in need obtain funding and assistance. We are not set up to do payment plans, but we are members of the National Abortion Federation, who can sometimes help you with your financial difficulties.
Do you take checks?
No, but we do accept cash and major credit cards—Visa, Master Card and Discover.
Can I use my mother’s credit card?
If you’re using another person’s credit card, they will need to be present during the time of payment, and will need a valid ID. Remember, they could simply use PayPal to help you out from wherever they are.
"Women’s Health Practice treated me as if I was family. They respected my choice and made me feel very comfortable. Keep up the great work!"