Abortion Facts & Frequently Asked Abortion Questions – Jacksonville, Fl
Common Questions and Professional Answers About Abortion – Recognizing Many Real Patient Concerns – Jacksonville, FL
Does having an abortion affect my ability to get pregnant in the future?
This is the most common question and concern we encounter from patients seeking a pregnancy termination and D and E procedure for a very obvious reason. This is what anti-abortion extremists want you to try to make you believe, even though is simply not scientifically true.
It is important to realize and accept that no woman ever expects or wants to be faced with the decision to have an abortion, not even once. But it is well-accepted within our knowledgeable society that almost 1 of every 2 sexually active women of reproductive age will be faced with this decision. Women’s health care providers know this and have long recognized this simple fact. Unplanned pregnancies are simply one part of normal sexual activity in reproductive age women. There is no fault to place, and no blame to lay, as the knowledgeable medical community knows and accepts the fact that is it a completely normal and natural event that sexually active women are faced with. Getting pregnant at unpredictable and often undesired times has always been part of all societies.
As one of the most common and brief procedures performed in the United States, early first trimester abortion is option that women fortunately legally have when faced with an undesired or unplanned pregnancy. After a woman has an electively chosen to undergo the brief abortion procedure and option, the most common emotion a woman feels is a true sense of relief and comfort. This is how the vast majority of women feel after an elective abortion.
Of course, women normally couple this sense of relief with a hope that this situation will not arise again, and that is also perfectly normal. But statistically, it may. As humans and sexual activity are perfectly normal and healthy, you can’t completely avoid the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. As women essentially spend 0ver 35 years being able to get pregnant, many women are faced with several unplanned pregnancies in their lifetime, at many different times and under many different and understandable circumstances.
There will always be incorrect and misleading information about the abortion process being propagated by insensitive extremists in person and on the internet. Many imbalanced anti-abortion fanatics share a common goal of what clearly appears to be intentionally purposefully deceiving and attempting to misinform or even scare women seeking professional abortion care or advice. Anti-choice individuals more than commonly make unscientific, unsupported, and often completely absurd statements about the impact that the D and E procedure used to perform an elective abortion will have on a woman or a woman’s future. Anti-abortion fanatics have become comfortable with attempting to immorally twist information and state outright untrue statistics and make up fabricated stories, all designed to put fear into a woman at this most vulnerable time. Fortunately, women are society are fully aware of these antics, and can still get the proper professional care they need from facilities like ours in their time of need.
Here’s the facts from a scientific study:
The scientific medical community has studied the impact and effects of elective abortions on women and have concluded that “fertility is not altered by an elective abortion.” (See Hogue CJR: Impact of abortion on subsequent fecundity. Clin. Obstet. Gynecology 13:95, 1986). This means that having an elective uncomplicated abortion does not affect or alter your ability to get pregnant in the future. In addition, this risks of a 1st trimester pregnancy termination are very low and adverse effects are very rare when performed by an experienced physician who specializes in abortion procedures.
Is the abortion procedure uncomfortable?
Experienced and caring physicians always try their best to make patients as comfortable as possible, if they have the ability to do so.
While it is possible to tolerate this type of brief surgical procedure without any anesthesia and some women can undergo a surgical D and E procedure with little discomfort under certain circumstances, this is not the general standard for patients in our modern times. The simple steps of dilation of the cervix and brief abortion procedure can be uncomfortable if anesthesia is not chosen by or provided to a patient who is a “Dilation and Evacuation” procedure, which is the brief procedure used to perform an elective pregnancy termination. At Florida Women’s Center, based on our extensive experience, we encourage patients to avoid the pain and discomfort of an abortion by providing brief and safe minimal sedation techniques.
With the availability of safe and effective medications used in safe, yet effective ways, experienced abortion provider doctors can keep patients safe and comfortable during an abortion procedure. Although everyone reacts to medications a little differently, the majority of patients find the surgical process occurs without any significant discomfort. It is also always very important to fully disclose to your doctor all medications you take or drug use to your doctor so that proper techniques can be chosen for your comfort. Our doctor wants only the best care for you and you should always inform your doctor of any medicines you are taking. Various medications and drugs can cause an increase in a patient’s tolerance and effects of sedation medications.
As access to safe and modern medications to medical professionals has improved over the past decade, professionally run medical centers like ours with experienced medical care providers have virtually eliminated the surgical pain of an abortion by now providing safe yet effective sedation options to patients.
Are there protesters?
Medical providers have no relationships with protesters or anti-abortion extremists and no one providing women’s care can ever determine if an undesirable or uninvited extremist will attempt to protest or harass women or any medical facility by attempting interfere with women’s private and personal medical care. There is a long history of insensitive attempts to picket women who are seeking pregnancy related care throughout our country. While we never expect picketers in our area, we have no control over a protester’s insensitive personal choice to attempt to emotionally or verbally and inappropriately harass women seeking private medical care. We can always keep them off our private property of course and we monitor all harassing activity scrupulously, but we have no control over the uninvited presence or actions of individuals who behave like this who wish to intrude into a women’s private gynecological decisions and care as long as they abide by the laws of our State and Federal laws. Fortunately, there are many laws that protect women seeking reproductive care and laws relating to private property that help keep any these types of people monitored and controlled.
What is the process of a surgical abortion?
This is a good question because it is commonly mischaracterized by anti-abortion extremists with no medical training or experience who are desperately trying their very best to scare women from exercising their freedom of reproductive choice. The surgical abortion is a procedure routinely called “Dilation and Evacuation”. That means minimal gentle dilation of the cervical opening, and gentle evacuation of the contents of the uterus. After an ultrasound and evaluation, this process is achieved by first providing local anesthesia to a patient, then gently dilating the cervix with small smooth sequential dilators. In early pregnancies, the dilation amount is usually less than the diameter of a pencil, which is very minimal and takes about 30 seconds. The cervix is actually a flexible tissue made essentially of flexible cartilage covered by smooth moist tissue and is the access way either in or out of the uterus. There are many reasons doctors dilate the cervix safely and purposefully and the D and E for an abortion procedure is only one of the many. D and E’s are routinely performed on women for many reasons other than elective abortions. Doctors realize the minimal dilation associated with a pregnancy termination is a normal and common medical procedure. The cervix, which is a naturally responsive tissue, rapidly and uneventfully closes after any dilation, whether natural or induced.
Performing minimal dilation during a an abortion procedure is a standard medical procedure. Following the minimal dilation, a small plastic cannula device designed specifically for this procedure is chosen appropriately based on the date of the pregnancy then safely and gently inserted and safe gentle suction is applied to simply cause a negative pressure to evacuate the uterine contents. This entire procedure usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Modern abortion procedures have no need for old-fashioned metal curettes or any sharp instruments and they are are not used in our facility, as they were decades ago when abortion was illegal and not performed by qualified licensed medical doctors. Those types of instruments were used maybe over 30 years ago, and are simply not commonly used in modern abortion procedures in present times. This whole brief procedure is basically creating a suction differential which gently and rapidly evacuates the contents of the uterus. Once finished, women may experience mild ache or cramps as the numbing medicine slowly wears off but this is actually very uncommon and usually patients experience little or no discomfort. What patients do feel is a great sense of relief and comfort when done. Most patients will simply have mild period-like bleeding for a few to several days as this relatively non-invasive procedure and recover as if they are having a resolving menstrual cycle. Then the pregnancy hormone dissipates slowly out of the system and the symptoms of pregnancy resolve as the hormone measured in pregnancy is metabolized slowly from the system.
Are there risks associated with pregnancy terminations?
As with all surgical procedures, there are inherent and standard, known risks. However there are also many more known risks associated with being pregnant and continuing a pregnancy to term for delivery. In reality, the risks a woman will face begins when she becomes pregnant, as the medical condition of pregnancy itself carries many well-known and accepted risks that physicians routinely manage. The D and E procedure used to perform and elective pregnancy termination, or as it is commonly referred to “abortion”, is a well understood and practiced procedure in general and specialty medicine. The risks associated with undergoing a pregnancy termination are well-recognized by the medical community as minimal and adverse events are very rare. As a comparison to continuing a pregnancy once a woman becomes pregnant, the risk of terminating a first trimester pregnancy or having a surgical abortion in the first trimester are approximately 10X less risky than continuing a pregnancy to full-term for delivery.
The availability and professional willingness of experienced doctors and medical practices to include the D and E procedure as an option to patients continues to be an extremely important factor that has made and is keeping the abortion procedure so safe. Fortunately there are even a few physicians who have dedicated the majority of their practice and entire careers to helping women and to providing safe and comfortable abortions in the facilities structured like ours at Florida Women’s Center. When an abortion is provided by an experienced physician, it is known to be one of the safest surgical procedures in the United States, with minimal risks.
Are there differences between the facilities offering abortions?
Of course there are, just as there are differences between many other different businesses and other physicians offering medical services.
Modern physician owned and directly operated private centers like Florida Women’s Center, are what we offer where a trained and highly-experienced physician runs the medical practice and is present every day of the week. Physicians control all the medical care and patient care, as is standard in professional medicine. There are no gimmicks, no menu-type labels, or offers of free things. Safe, pro-choice, pro-woman, non-judgmental, and reliable medical care is the focus of our caring facility. Professional, experienced, and yet affordable medical care is provided by dedicated medical doctors. This is how we at Florida Women’s Center practice medicine and strive to provide the highest quality professionally delivered care possible.
Pro-choice operators of facilities that are not physician run directly are clearly very dedicated to women’s reproductive rights and freedom, but they will still need to find doctors to perform the abortion procedures which is becoming more and more difficult as regulations continue to push excellent doctors out and impacting their ability to provide safe aboritons and abortion related care. There are also a handful of “chain-type” abortion clinics with various offices in multiple cities and states, often operating under the same or several different business names. Depending on the area, they may have multiple websites that direct you to their sister clinics. This can be very confusing to patients. These facilities are usually easily identified with clearing-house non-specific types of advertising and the presence of multiple sites located throughout many cities. In these facilities, many doctors must be employed to staff these multiple locations effectively, or a single doctor must travel from city to city on different days to accommodate staffing all the facilities. This requires them to hire outside physicians to enable abortions to be performed in their facility. The level of experience of the many independently contracted physicians will depend on many factors.
Our facility at Florida Women’s Center provides a comfortable private care in a large medical office environment operated by a local actively licensed and practicing experienced medical doctor providing daily care every day of the week to patients. This opportunity allows for a much more efficient and quiet environment for patients as our office is never overloaded with patients due to our sensitive private patient scheduling and physician presence. Florida Women’s Center maintains the highest level of care and all care is provided directly and only by physicians who are known to be proficient and exceptionally experienced in the abortion field. Our physicians realize the importance and duty to provide the highest level of private, professionally managed, and comprehensive care and abortion options.
Florida Women’s Center represents modern abortion care. This is also one of the main reasons that the field of abortion care has advanced so significantly over the past 20 years, consistent with Florida Women’s Center first opened its doors to provide a new level of private and reliable abortion related care. At Florida Women’s Center, you are getting care from a known experienced physician who is present every day in our facility. You get to know your physician and confidentially discuss any and all your concerns and questions. The medical community knows, recognizes, and respects our level of care and commitment to professionalism. If you have a question or any concern after the procedure, your issues are addressed with the physicians to assure you are always under good care and taken care of. You are treated by a known, experienced, and compassionate doctor and treated as a patient with the respect and understanding that every woman deserves.
Can someone be with me at all times during my abortion?
As with all medical procedures, there are places that patients can go and non-patients can’t. Professional medical practices don’t allow partners or friends to enter specific areas like recovery rooms and surgical suites. As you can understand, these are highly regulated, clean, and confidential areas which demand constant attention by our medical staff. We provide comfortable waiting areas, reading materials, and cable TV for partners, family members, and friends.
Why do some facilities say expect the visit to be several hours, and others have shorter appointment times?
This can often seem very confusing to patients, because there are so many excuses different clinics have as to why it takes so long to complete an abortion procedure. The answer is actually not complex at all, because it is all simply about how patients are scheduled in some abortion clinics. Most delays are due to the fact that some abortion clinics schedule everyone at the same time and maybe just one or two days a week or on limited days such Saturdays. If the doctor does not work there as their primary job, you may have to wait for a doctor to arrive which can be unpredictable as doctors can’t always predict when they are available from other responsibilities. This method of scheduling may make your appointment on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you get there at your scheduled time, you may have to wait for hours to be seen. Also, if a facility doesn’t have a regularly scheduled physician, patients may have to wait for the part-time independent physician to arrive, sometimes after finishing their primary job. Abortion clinics that only offer services on certain limited days with contracted physicians are not always available, so weekends and unusual scheduling times are common. This can result in large groups of patients being scheduled all at the same time on these days, which can be on Saturdays usually. In these overbooked environments, usually everyone gets the same appointment time and depending on when you arrive in line, your wait can be several hours long. Fortunately, patients now have more options then they did back then.
In private facilities like ours at Florida Women’s Center, you are checked in and an evaluation for care is started when you arrive. An early first trimester surgical procedure takes less than 2-3 minutes once it has begun. It generally takes approximately 30 minutes for a preoperative evaluation, physician provided ultrasound, and to provide each patient with appropriate consents and information from the physician in person. After the procedure, the vast majority of patients recover from the brief procedure and any minimal effects of anesthesia easily within an hour. This total time period in the facility is usually less than 2 hours and often even less, which is how long this brief surgical procedure generally takes if you are obtaining care from a fully staffed physician practice like our at Florida Women’s Center as we provide abortion options on a regular daily basis every day of the week, excluding some holidays of course. Of course, some patients may choose and have the option to rest a little longer and others may not need quite as long, but for the most part, the entire visit for an abortion procedure in our office at Florida Women’s Center is approximately 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.
At Florida Women’s Center, we feel that all patients should be treated personally and privately with only one-on-one care and always be provided the personal ability to ask private questions. Our physician always speaks personally to every patient and invites patients to ask any question they may have and we have found patients truly appreciate this personal care. Our physicians perform all their own ultrasounds for enhanced safety and thoroughness. We know that all patients are different, and this personal experience with the physician is and should be kept always private and personal. Our physicians are available when you are scheduled, and we don’t have delays or cancellations that are common in clinics due to the unexpected conflicts in the standard abortion clinic’s physician’s regular practice or the inability to obtain an outside physician for the pre-scheduled day. This can be very frustrating for a patient seeking medical care at this important time period. We clearly recognize that many patients must drive several hours to obtain medical care for an abortion, and there is nothing worse than having the clinic tell you there has been some issue that in that clinic that has caused them to not have a physician on that day. That is simply not respectful of a patient’s time or emotional energy spent in getting there, and should never occur.
Our respectful modern physician managed approach makes sure every patient has an individual appointment to keep her visit as comfortable, confidential, and pleasant as possible. Our facility has a full-time dedicated physician staff working every day to provide continuous and reliable professional medical services.
Is the medical care and abortion procedure confidential?
A physician-patient relationship is one of the most confidential relationships in the United States. All doctors have an ethical and professional obligation to maintain complete confidentiality of patient’s care. This trust and understanding that confidentiality is maintained is what allows patients to confide in doctors and allows the doctor to be fully informed to provide the best care possible. Our confidentiality protocols are among the highest in our field. We have very strict verification procedures and no information leaves our office without identification and a patient’s personal signed request.
Is your facility private?
This is an understandable concerns for any patient seeking medical care or services. Florida Women’s Center was specifically chosen for its private location and offers a private setting inside a medical complex with other medical providers.
Florida Women’s Center was specifically designed to provide a private setting and is on private property that protestors cannot come on. While we have no control over protesters or anti-abortion extremists, it is never possible to know when a protesters will choose to attempt to harass or interfere with a woman’s reproductive choice. However, it is a federal crime to interfere with access to reproductive care, including specifically abortion related care. We are located in a private medical complex directly behind a hospital with no public thoroughfare. As our facility is privately owned, there are no protestors allowed on our private property. As is understandable though, we have no control over the private property of others.
Is it normal to be scared to get an abortion?
Of course it is. Most people are scared to undergo any surgical procedure, no matter how minor it is. To make this problem even worse anti-abortion groups and extremists have been distributing inaccurate unscientific information and promoting non-factual statements on the internet and at extremist based crisis type facilities for years. The internet has made it easier for anti-abortion extremists to disseminate their messages of hate and interference. In the unregulated internet and information world we now live in, it is completely understandable and even normal to have various levels of fear and apprehension when you have made a decision to have an abortion. Unfortunately, the field of abortion medicine is one of the only medical fields where non-medically trained individuals inappropriately believe they have a right to promote or advertise unscientific tactics regarding a medical procedure in order to attempt to actively interfere with a woman’s choice to make a confidential and very personal medical decision. These people are the anti-choice, anti-women’s rights protester individuals. As a way of interfering with a woman’s choice and reproductive autonomy and freedom, they use fabricated stories, fabricated reviews, fear tactics and other unscrupulous methods to emotional hurt women all in an attempt to scare patients seeking elective abortion related care.
Deceptive “pregnancy crisis type centers” or “pregnancy help or information centers” who claim to offer “free” pregnancy advice, ultrasounds, and assistance, are also a significant source of information deception. These facilities are well recognized by many as being designed to use the offer of free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests in lure women in to scare them with inaccurate statements about the abortion process, abortion providers, and women’s private personal decisions, often using their own religious beliefs to attempt to intimidate or emotionally harass women during this private time. The information they provide may often be extremely inaccurate, lacking any credible scientific support and often may be very deceptive. They appear to be simply attempting to confuse you through deceptive advertising or by providing deceptive information relating to abortion and abortion care. Fortunately, these deceptive and anti-choice tactics and extremists are usually easily recognized by most women who are truly seeking abortion services.
No one can ever predict if a protester will decide to appear with random inappropriate signs or try to trick patients or interfere with a woman’s right to comfortably and privately obtain medical care at a medical facility that provides abortion services. If they are present, they may act with outright inappropriate uninvited verbal aggression and they may be a nuisance but it is clear they don’t alter a women’s ability to make her own personal choices or a women’s need for the professional medical care they are seeking. But they do try to interfere with women’s personal care and choices. Abortion protesters, by their very nature and actions often appear very agitated, although they like to first act very friendly and even smile and waive at people to bring attention to themselves. Unfortunately this behavior of just a few citizens may be a sign of emotional instability or religious disenchantment about respecting a woman’s private reproductive choice and they apparently believe it is acceptable to be outwardly dishonest to women and disrespectful of a woman’s privacy when seeking private medical care for their reproductive needs. It is common knowledge that protesters purposefully act out against women and abortion providers with unwanted judgment, childish signs, and what appears to be transparent hatred of women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. Abortion protestors are known for deception and deceptive techniques, routinely making misguided attempts to mischaracterize and disseminate inaccurate and remarkably misleading information on the internet relating to abortion services and abortion providers in an intentional deceptive attempt to intimidate and/or instill fear in both patients and medical staff providing abortions to women in need. Despite these intrusions on women’s lives, protesters do not affect the constitutionally protected right of a woman in the United States to control her own body and a protester can’t stop a woman from having the right to choose what is right for her. Just be comforted to know that mainstream society understands how disconnected aggressive protestors really are from appropriate behavior reflective of a modern society, modern medicine, modern law, and an intelligent societal views. As some anti-choice extremists clearly don’t even abide by law and the constitutional laws protecting women’s rights, they are actually known convicted criminals, conspirators, and felons, and many are understandably currently serving prison sentences for their crimes against women and abortion providers, and others will likely continue to break the law for to achieve their messages of hate. With tactics consistent with what many consider reflective of domestic terrorism, it has become evident that the intelligent and scientific community finds this harassing behavior offensive and recognize that this small group of emotionally disturbed misogynistic individuals who choose to spend their time harassing women and abortion providers may often have extremist ideologies and possibly deep psychological issues.
If you have questions concerning abortions, and desire to discuss your questions relating to medical care and abortions, we recommend discussing your questions with licensed active medical doctors who regularly perform abortions or known pro-choice licensed OB/GYN specialists to get accurate and scientifically truthful medical information and medical answers. When you arrive at your appointment, don’t ever be scared to ask to talk or meet the the doctor. Our doctors invite and truly enjoy patient discussions and we know that patient’s appreciate our detailed and thorough explanations of whatever concern or question they may have. You will be surprised as to how easy it is to talk to our physicians about any concerns you have at all. If you have fears or concerns, realize this is normal and you are not being judged, you are going being helped no matter what you wish to do. If you need information to help you make a decision, we are here for you. Tell the doctor what is on your mind and you will get the answers you need. Most likely, your fears will disappear. No one is better able to help you understand these issues as well as a caring and experienced medical physician who provides abortions for patients. We are well aware of all your concerns, and we are very sensitive to all the issues you are having. As always, we look forward to exceeding all your expectations and helping you in every way we can.