Ending a Pregnancy: Abortion Care
In this section, you will find information and answers to many of the questions you may have about abortion care. However, it is important to note that most abortion providers do not offer every abortion method to patients. If you have additional questions regarding a procedure, the abortion provider is the best resource.
Where to Get Abortion Services in WV
Women’s Health Center of West Virginia
510 Washington St. West
Charleston, WV 25302
(304) 344-9834 or (800) 642-8670
National Network of Abortion Funds
The National Network of Abortion Fund provides over $3 million to help more than 20,000 women in need. www.fundabortionnow.org
Where to Get Abortion Services in Surrounding States
The sites listed below are all members of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) which sets the standard for quality abortion care through their evidence-based Clinical Policy Guidelines (CPGs). NAF also provides the accredited continuing medical education and professional training and support health care professionals need to provide the highest quality abortion care.
From Northern West Virginia:
Allegheny Reproductive Health Center (74 miles from Morgantown; 64 miles from Wheeling)
5190 Kirkwood Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Toll Free: 1-800-221-3988
From Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia:
Hagerstown Reproductive Health Services (18 miles from Shepherdstown)
160 West Washington Street, Suite 100
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
Toll Free: 800-733-9140
Germantown Reproductive Health Services (45 miles from Shepherdstown)
13233 Executive Park Ter
Germantown, MD 20874
Toll Free: 888-684-3599
Washington Surgi-Clinic (77.23 miles from Shepherdstown)
2112 F Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20037
Toll Free: 877-659-9403
Gynemed Surgicenter (90 miles from Shepherdstown)
17 Fontana Lane, Suite 201
Baltimore, MD 21237
Toll Free: 1-877-686-8220
From Western West Virginia:
EMW Women’s Surgical Center (123 miles from Huntington; Charleston Women’s Health Center is only 51 miles away from Huntington)
161 Burt Road
Lexington, KY 40503
EMW Women’s Surgical Center (197 miles from Huntington; Charleston Women’s Health Center is only 51 miles away from Huntington)
138 West Market Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Toll Free: 1-800-626-3512
The Women’s Med-Center (149 miles from Huntington & 155 miles from Pt. Pleasant; Charleston Women’s Health Center is only 51 miles away from Huntington and 56 miles from Pt. Pleasant)
3219 Jefferson Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Toll free: 1-800-543-7225
Complete Healthcare for Women (149 miles from Huntington & 124 miles from Parkersburg; Charleston’s Women’s Health Center is only 51 miles from Huntington and 77 miles from Parkersburg)
5888 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43231
What Types of Abortions Are Available?
If you decide to seek abortion care you should talk to an abortion care provider about what method or procedure is available and right for you. Depending on the provider you choose and how long you have been pregnant, different abortion methods will be available to you.
Aspiration Abortion: This is a common surgical abortion method most often offered up to 16 weeks after your last period. Aspiration abortion is a surgical procedure performed in the office of your chosen health care provider. The procedure itself is quick and usually takes around 5 to 10 minutes. However your time at the office will be longer because you will most likely need to fill out forms, go over your options, talk about your medical history, have laboratory tests done, and be monitored for about an hour after your abortion is complete. If you have any further questions about aspiration abortion, please talk to your chosen health care provider or visit Planned Parenthood’s website. Some common side effects include abdominal cramping and vaginal bleeding. Be sure to talk to your abortion care provider about any questions you have about your abortion procedure and the best plan for follow-up.
Medication Abortion (“The Abortion Pill” or “RU-486”): Medication abortion is a medicine you can take to end an early pregnancy, up to 9 weeks after your last period. Unlike many other medications, you do not get a prescription that can be picked up at a pharmacy—you will need to go into the abortion care provider’s office. During your visit you will most likely need to fill out forms, go over your options, talk about your medical history, and have laboratory tests done. Medication abortion usually takes two steps that can take a couple of hours up to a couple of days. The first step involves taking a medicine that ends the pregnancy. You and your abortion care provider will talk about a plan for when to take the second medicine, misoprostol, that makes your uterus empty. During medication abortion you will most likely experience cramping and heavy bleeding, especially after taking the second medicine. It is important to talk to your abortion care provider about what you should expect during your medication abortion. It is also important to see your provider for a follow up appointment to make sure you have completed your abortion.
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Dilation and Evacuation is an abortion procedure that is usually offered after a woman is 16 weeks past her last period. D & E procedures take more time than aspiration abortions partly because it requires more time to dilate your cervix. Sometimes it can take over 24 hours to dilate your cervix enough for the procedure. Like other abortion procedures, during your visit you will most likely need to fill out forms, go over your options, talk about your medical history, and have laboratory tests done. If you have more questions about D & E procedures, please talk to your chosen health care provider or visit Planned Parenthood’s website.
Abortion Safety and Follow-Up Care
Each year, more than one million American women have an abortion. Abortion is very safe. However, for every medical procedure there are risks. The risk of abortion increases if the abortion is performed later in pregnancy. It is important for you to:
- Inform the abortion provider of any past or present health problems you may have.
- Tell your provider of any current medications, supplements that you use; as well as allergies to medications or pain relief methods.
- Follow all post-operative instructions and return for a follow-up examination.
- Ask questions if you are unsure of anything.
As with all medical procedures, it is important to recognize and quickly react to signs of potential complications. Your abortion care provider will inform you of what to expect and what would be unusual after an abortion procedure.
Paying for Your Care
If you are uninsured and don’t qualify for Medicaid, don’t give up, there may still be assistance available. Abortion funds provide assistance for women facing financial barriers to abortion. There are over 104 abortion funds across the country, and West Virginia has one as well. The National Network of Abortion Funds provides a helpful map and list by state, online at www.fundabortionnow.org/get-help
Talk to your abortion provider if you need financial assistance.
Click for more information!
Beware of fake abortion clinics! (“Crisis Pregnancy Centers”)
Over the past two decades, the anti-choice movement has set up thousands of fake abortion clinics across the country, referring to them as “crisis pregnancy centers.” There are many in WV. These fake clinics are often listed in the Yellow Pages under headings such as Abortion Alternatives, Birth Control Information, Pregnancy Help, or Crisis Pregnancy Centers. They try to lure women into their facilities under the guise of providing abortions and counseling. Once inside, women are given a store-bought pregnancy test or a sonogram and bombarded with anti-choice propaganda, including unrealistic horror stories about abortion, medically inaccurate videos, and intrusive, hostile questions. There are often NO trained healthcare professionals on the premises, and these fake clinics usually do not provide healthcare services for women.
Here are some warning signs that a clinic might be fake:
- When you call to get more information or to set up an appointment, beware of places that tell you that they will only give you information if you come into their office. It is your right to ask questions and they should provide you with any basic information you need over the phone.
- Beware of clinics that advertise free pregnancy tests and counseling but are ambiguous about other healthcare services including the availability of abortion services on the premises. These fake clinics do not provide health services for women.
If you are seeking counseling to decide whether or not to continue your pregnancy, you have a right to compassionate, professional, and honest advice about all the options that are available to you. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family so that you can find a reputable, trusted place to get help.
There are also websites, run by people opposed to abortion rights, which are designed to trick you into believing you are receiving pro-choice information. A few examples of anti-choice websites using deceptive names are prochoice.com, birthcontrol.org, and pregnancycenters.org. If you are unsure about the information you receive from a website or any other source, please call WV FREE at 304-342-9188 and we will provide you with clear, honest information about the options available to you.