Medically accurate information is essential.

Some people try to scare women out of getting the care they need by spreading myths and rumors about abortion that simply aren’t true. That’s why it’s important to know the facts. We’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions about abortion care. You can also find out more about what to expect at your abortion appointment.

How late in my pregnancy can I have an abortion in Montana?

Please schedule an appointment as soon as you can. Montana state law doesn’t allow abortion after 21 weeks and 6 days (after about five months). Plus, the earlier the procedure, the better—it’s safer, simpler and much less expensive. A later procedure might even involve more than one trip to the clinic.

Is abortion safe?

Abortion is very safe. In fact, an in-clinic abortion is one of the safest medical procedures there is. Complications are extremely rare, but some risks do increase the later you have the procedure.

What’s the difference between surgical and medical abortion?

A surgical abortion (also called an “in clinic” abortion) happens at a health center, where a nurse or doctor uses gentle suction to remove the fetus. Safe and effective, the procedure itself typically takes just 5 to 10 minutes.

With a medical abortion (also sometimes referred to as the “abortion pill”), a nurse or doctor gives you medication to take. The medication consists of two types of medicines, Mifepristone and Misoprostol. You’ll take the first pill (Mifepristone) in the clinic setting. A few hours after you take the Misoprostol at home, your body begins to expel the pregnancy tissue the same as if you were having a miscarriage early in your pregnancy. You’ll experience cramping and bleeding.

Is a medical abortion the same as emergency contraception like Plan B?

No. Plan B and other types of emergency contraception medication are designed to stop your body from ovulating, so you reduce your chances of getting pregnant within a few days of having unprotected sex. You can usually get emergency contraception over-the-counter at most pharmacies, no prescription needed.  

If you’re already pregnant, emergency contraception is NOT an option for ending the pregnancy. A medical abortion (also referred to as the abortion pill, although it consists of more than one pill) is used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. This medicine is typically available only at health centers that provide abortion services.

Does abortion increase my risk for breast cancer?

No. This is one of those abortion “myths.” After reviewing numerous studies conducted in the U.S. and internationally, the American Cancer Society has found no link between abortion and breast cancer.

Will an abortion make it harder for me to get pregnant later?  

No. This is another common myth about abortion. Assuming you have received abortion care from a qualified provider, having an abortion won’t impact your fertility. In other words, abortion will have no effect on your ability to conceive or have a healthy child later.

Will I still need to use contraception (birth control) after an abortion?

Yes. Having an abortion will NOT keep you from getting pregnant again. Wherever you have your procedure, the nurse or doctor should talk to you about the best contraception options for you before you leave the health center.

How common is abortion?

In the United States, one out of four women will have had an abortion before age 45. Yes, abortion is that common—which means someone you care about has had one. We can only end the stigma of abortion if we stop allowing ourselves to feel shamed into silence. It’s time to change the conversation, and start talking about safe, affordable abortion care as a basic human right.

1 in 4 Women…

…will have an abortion by age 45*

*Guttmacher Institute Fact Sheet: January 2018, New York, NY