First Trimester Abortion
Falls Church Healthcare Center offers first trimester abortion care up to 14 weeks gestation as according to Virginia law.
“There aren’t ‘women who have abortions’ and ‘women who have babies.’ Those are the same women at different points in their lives.” – Rachel Atkins, PA, MPH
We feel it is important that women can go to a center that provides the type of abortion care “they” prefer and gives “them options” — because everyone’s experience and comfort needs are different
We offer two SAFE and EFFECTIVE first trimester abortion methods:
- Medical Abortion by Pill – an early non-surgical option using medication up to 8 weeks gestation
- D&C Surgical Abortion – a traditional surgical option using aspiration from 5 weeks to 14 weeks gestation
Women choosing either method can experience mild to very strong cramps during an abortion so we can include pain management to provide the comfort level YOU need.
All states have different laws and regulations, which impact the things women need to do before you have an abortion. Virginia has a waiting period, which requires a delay of 24 hours between your sonogram and health education/registration visit and the abortion procedure. Virginia requires women who are under 18 years old to have notarized parental consent. FCHC has notaries on site to assist you with that notification. Our staff will give you clear directions about what is required and how we can expedite these requirements for you.
What method is right for me?
First, we need to determine “weeks gestation” by administering an ultrasound examination. While a pregnancy is often dated from the 1st day of your last menstrual period (LMP) the time of conception usually occurs 2 weeks after the beginning of your menstrual period. From 7 to 10 days after conception (this is just more than 3 weeks from your last period), a urine pregnancy test may read positive and a pregnancy can be safely ended.
Use our PREGNANCY CALCULATOR to estimate the “gestational age” of your pregnancy from your last menstrual period.
What is included with the abortion procedure?
- Health education
- Birth control options
- Rh determination
- Appropriate laboratory and sonogram studies
- Follow-up examination
You are not alone. Abortion is a common experience. It is currently estimated that one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45.
All kinds of women have abortions in the US.
- 57% of women having abortions are in their 20s
- 60% have one or more children
- 86% are unmarried
- 57% are economically disadvantaged
- 88% live in a metropolitan area
- 78% report a religious affiliation.
No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority.
- 41% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic
- 32% are black non-Hispanic
- 20% are Hispanic
- 7% are of other racial backgrounds
Abortion is one of the safest surgical procedures for women in the United States. Fewer than 0.5% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication, and the risk of death associated with abortion is about one-tenth that associated with childbirth.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman, in consultation with her physician, has a constitutionally protected right to choose abortion in the early stages of pregnancy—that is, before viability. In 1992, the Court upheld the basic right to abortion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. However, it also expanded the ability of the states to enact all but the most extreme restrictions on women’s access to abortion. The most common restrictions in effect are parental notification or consent requirements for minors, state-sponsored counseling and waiting periods, and limitations on public funding.
To read more visit Guttmacher Institute An Overview of Abortion in the US