Abortion Process

Step-by-step instructions for getting an abortion at our center.

Abortion Process

Step-by-step instructions for getting an abortion at our center

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abortion Process

Step-by-step instructions for getting an abortion at our center

Abortion Process

Abortion is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. We’ll walk you through the steps of obtaining an abortion at our clinic.

Before you can schedule an abortion, you must know you are pregnant by either having a positive pregnancy test or receiving an ultrasound from a doctor. If you think you are pregnant but have not taken a pregnancy test, you can buy one from most drug stores.

If you know you are pregnant because you had a positive pregnancy test or an ultrasound, call our clinic at (412) 661-8811.

You can also email us at the Contact Us link at the bottom of this page.

We must speak with the patient directly to make the appointment, and the call will take about 10-15 minutes.

While you are on the phone with us, we will ask some questions. These questions include:

  • What was the first day of your last period?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any medical concerns?
  • What is your pregnancy history?
  • Do you have any insurance you would like us to check for coverage?

The full list of questions we will ask can be found on the FAQ page.

Depending on your circumstances, you may want or need an initial visit separate from your procedure appointment to complete additional paperwork. These circumstances may include:

  • If you are under 18 years of age and do not have a parent or guardian to consent for you
  • If you need to use a translator to understand medical terms
  • If you are more than 14 weeks pregnant
  • If you have certain health issues

More information is available on our  FAQ page.

After we have gone through some questions on the phone, we’ll be able to determine if you are eligible for a medication or surgical abortion. We will discuss both options with you, and you will let us know which type you prefer.

Definitions

Medication Abortion: Inducing abortion by using a set of pills. If you are exactly 11 weeks pregnant or earlier, you could be eligible for a medication abortion.

Surgical Abortion: A 5-15 minute surgical procedure with a variety of anesthesia options to manage your discomfort. You can read about the types of abortion procedures and pain management options on our Abortion Options page. If you are between 5 weeks and 23.6 weeks pregnant, you could be eligible for a surgical abortion.

Visit the Medication Abortion and Surgical Abortions pages for more info. 

After you decide the type of abortion you want, we will schedule:

  • The Abortion Procedure or Initial Visit
  • A Doctor Consultation that can be done over the phone or in-person 24 hours prior to your abortion appointment*

* Pennsylvania has a state law (the Abortion Control Act) that requires people seeking abortion services to hear state-mandated information 24 hours or more before they are legally able to consent to an abortion. At ARHC, we provide patients with this information over a 5-minute phone call with one of our physicians.  When we schedule your phone call, we can choose the date of the call, but not the time. 

It is important you choose a day that you are able to answer the phone whenever the physician calls you. If you miss your phone call, you must call us immediately or your appointment may have to be rescheduled.  We cannot provide you with an abortion unless this legal requirement is met.  We understand that this law can be a barrier for people accessing abortion, but we must comply with Pennsylvania State law.

We offer 3 additional options for booking your appointment: Move-Ahead Scheduling, Two-Appointment Scheduling, and Private Appointment Scheduling. Visit our Scheduling Options page to learn more.

Your Abortion Procedure will take place at our center, located at 5910 Kirkwood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206. You will receive an ultrasound, a small amount of lab work, an informed consent or counseling session, access to birth control if you want it, and the type of abortion you have chosen.

Abortion is a safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. We’ll walk you through every step of the way.

Post-Abortion

After a surgical abortion, you will rest in our Observation Room for 30-90 minutes. The length of time depends on how far you were in the pregnancy and your choice of pain management. During that time, staff will monitor your vital signs and give you something to eat and drink. We can also provide ibuprofen and a hot water bottle if you’re experiencing cramping. Prior to discharge, you’ll receive both verbal and written instructions for post-abortion care. It is important to keep this information with you so that you may refer to it later.

Pain Management

When you obtain a Surgical Abortion, you can choose a type of pain management for the procedure. Here are the options we offer at Allegheny Reproductive Health Center:

With IV Sedation, you will receive medication through an intravenous (IV) to keep you comfortable, relaxed, and pain-free during the procedure. You will also have little or no memory of the abortion. IV sedation takes effect within minutes and wears off within minutes. When the procedure is over, you will be discharged to our Observation Room. IV sedation is given and monitored throughout the procedure by a CRNA (certified, registered nurse anesthetist).

 This sedation option costs between $175 – $500 depending on how far along in the pregnancy you are and is not covered by insurance. You will need to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit at the time you make the appointment that will be deducted from your total cost on the day of your procedure. You are required to bring someone that is able to stay with you for the entire 4-6 hour length of the appointment that will accompany you home, but they will not be able to accompany you into the procedure room. You will not be able to eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke after midnight the day before your appointment.

You will receive medication through an IV to help you relax and to reduce pain.

You will remain awake during the procedure and will be able to respond to the staff in the room. You will be monitored by our nurses and physicians. Because you will be awake, you will most likely feel some cramping.

This sedation option costs $75 and is not covered by insurance. You are required to bring someone that is able to stay with you for the entire 4-6 hour length of the appointment that will accompany you home. There are no eating or drinking restrictions with conscious sedation.

If you plan to be awake but anticipate feeling nervous and anxious, Valium is an anti-anxiety medication that can be given shortly before the start of the procedure. Valium is not a pain medication but may help you relax your body, making the procedure more tolerable.

This sedation option costs $20. You are required to bring someone that is able to stay with you for the entire 4-6 hour length of the appointment that will accompany you home. There are no eating or drinking restrictions with Valium.

You will not receive any additional medication besides the local numbing medication in your cervix. You will remain awake during the procedure and will be able to respond to the staff in the room. Because you will be awake, you will most likely feel strong cramping and pressure.  You are not required to bring a guest to this type of appointment. There are no eating or drinking restrictions.

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