How Late Can You Get An Abortion?

So you had not planned your pregnancy, and you are in no way ready to start a family. You have no option but to abort. But the question that often seems to bother women is, how late can you get an abortion?

How is abortion done?

Abortions are of two types: Medical and Surgical.

In medical abortions, you just have to pop a pill in the first trimester which is  up to ten weeks of pregnancy.

Surgical abortions are safe in first and second trimester, and they adopt procedures like

  • Evacuation
  • Dilation
  • Aspiration
  • Induction

Aspiration is done up to 16 weeks after the last period. Dilation and evacuation methods are done after 16 weeks.

Types of Methods of abortion

Aspirations are done either manually or mechanically. In aspiration, a tube enters into the cervix that passes into the uterus. It sucks the baby out of the womb and empties the uterus.

In dilation and evacuation, the doctor scrapes out the tissue attached to the uterine lining. Doctors perform it with the help of a scooping kind of an instrument. The entry made to the uterus is through the cervix.

These procedures occur in less than ten minutes and require no incisions.

Doctors carry out the procedure of Induction after 16 weeks of pregnancy. Fake labor induced in the woman by giving certain medications delivers the fetus.

The practitioner combines it with surgical abortion to make sure the uterus is empty.

How Late Can You Get An Abortion?
How Late Can You Get An Abortion?

How late can you get an abortion?

Albeit abortion procedures are fairly easy, they may involve some questions for some individuals.The woman needs to know how far along she is in her pregnancy. Doctors test this through ultrasounds and testing.

  1. Abortion during First and Second Trimester: Lots of options are available in the first and second trimester, so a pregnant woman should make up her mind early. Abortions are one of the safest procedures in the first trimester. In the second trimester, the risk of death from childbirth is 11 times more than that from abortion.Medical abortion (using abortion pill) can be done during the first trimester and up to first 10 weeks. Surgical abortions can also be done during the first and the second trimester. Aspiration is done up to 16 weeks after the last period. Dilation and evacuation methods are done after 16 weeks. Induction is done after 16 weeks of pregnancy.
  2. Abortion during Third TrimesterIn the United States, the latest date of abortion varies from state to state. According to the medical community, the fetal age of viability is around 24 weeks. The fetus can survive outside the mother’s body at or around 24 weeks. If an abortion is performed after this period, the law in many states considers it illegal. In third trimester, the chances of dying from an abortion are equal to those of dying from childbirth. This is another reason why doctors advise pregnant mothers to make up their mind early.

When is abortion illegal?

  • Abortions in the late second trimester and early third trimester are illegal in most countries.
  • Abortions are illegal only when the baby is viable and ready to survive outside the womb.
  • Abortion of viable fetus poses a great threat to the woman’s health. It comes under the category of ‘intent to murder.’

Note: Late-term abortions are permissible only if they are medically necessary. This is the case where a mother’s life is at risk due to the child.

What are the risks involved with abortion?

The risk of abortion increases as you go further along the pregnancy.

Risks of abortion and late-term abortions are:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Damage to cervix
  • Complications during anesthesia
  • Damage to the uterus which can be permanent
  • Uterine infections
  • Perforated uterus

Things to know before getting an abortion

  1. The heartbeat of the baby:The heart starts beating by the fifth week of pregnancy. The longer you wait to end your pregnancy, the more is the guilt attached to the fetus now has a heartbeat and is alive.
  2. Baby starts to move: The baby’s movements also known as ‘quickening’ felt by the 13th week of pregnancy. Now that he/she has started to move, you become fond of his movements and the attachment grows stronger. It will be hard to terminate the pregnancy once you can feel the life inside of you.
  3. Taking Abortion pills: If the clinic gave you an abortion pill, you will be passing out clots and tissues. Opt for it if you can bear to see a sight like that.
  4. Late term aborted babies can be alive: Though the chances of this occurring are less, but it has occurred where a fetus aborted at 20 weeks was viable.

Abortion is a matter where we don’t advice much because it has many ethical and moral concerns. It is best to leave it up to the mother. There are many cases when the abortion is necessary as a step for saving the mother. However, one has to balance guilt and unwanted responsibility if it is a willfully done abortion.



  1. I never knew that aspiration abortions can only take about ten minutes and don’t require any incisions. My good friend is looking into options and medical services. Thanks for the information on medical abortions.

  2. can you please tell me which pills can i buy easily in stores to get abortion? I’m 2 weeks pregnant, and i’ve decided. we’re not ready for a baby yet. maybe one day.

  3. […] most states allow abortion up until about 24 weeks or viability, although the laws are […]


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