Alabama

Welcome!

Thinking about
having an abortion?

FAQs

Want to learn more about abortions in Alabama?

FACTS

INFORMED DECISION CHECKLIST

Am I Pregnant?

Pregnancy tests are not always accurate. Get your pregnancy confirmed by a medical professional. An ultrasound can confirm how far along you are and can also confirm viability.

Do I understand the potential risks of abortion?

Abortion may be associated with long-term health risks:

Physical

  • Induced abortion increases risk of future premature delivery and premature birth (before 32 weeks)

Emotional

Abortion may increase risk for:

  • Clinical depression & Anxiety
  • Drug & alcohol abuse
  • Symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicidal thoughts & behavior

Relational

Research reveals that couples who choose abortion are at an increased risk for problems in their relationships. After abortion, some women may experience a short or longer term lack of interest, discomfort, or decreased satisfaction with sex.

Do I know my rights?
  1. You have the legal right to give fully informed consent. You also have the right to:
    • Get an explanation of the abortion procedures available.
    • Assess the risks and side effects of the abortion procedures available.
    • Learn about other options for your pregnancy.
  2. You have the right to insist that your abortion can only be performed by a licensed doctor.
  3. You have the right to know the medical malpractice history of the doctor and to know if the doctor has an insurance policy that will protect you in case you are injured or die in the procedure.
  4. You have the right to insist that you will be immediately transferred by ambulance to the nearest emergency room or trauma center.
  5. You have the right not to have an abortion, even if you have signed something.
  6. It is unlawful for your parents, relatives, or boyfriend to unduly pressure, force, or coerce you into having an abortion.
Do I know my rights as a minor?
  1. The US Supreme Court makes it clear that an abortion decision by a minor must be her decision.
  2. No one can legally force you to have an abortion, including your parents. The decision you make must be free, voluntary, independent, and non-coerced. If you are being pressured to have an abortion you don’t want, contact the police.
  3. Your parents are legally obligated to continue to support you, regardless of the pregnancy decisions you make.
Have I been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

Any surgical procedure can be complicated by infection. You may be carrying an STI and not know it, because they often do not have symptoms. These infections can cause damage to your pelvic organs and lead to problems such as ectopic pregnancy or infertility.

ABORTION PROCEDURES

Medical Abortions

Medical abortions use drugs, instead of surgical instruments, to end a pregnancy. Early Medical Abortion – Up to 10 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP) “The Abortion Pill” (mifepristone plus misoprostol) is the most common form of medical abortion. It was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in women up to 10 weeks after LMP. It is even used beyond 10 weeks LMP, despite an increasing failure rate. It is done by taking a series of pills that disrupt the embryo’s attachment to the uterus, and cause uterine cramps which push the embryo out. 

Things to consider:

  • Bleeding can be heavy and lasts an average of 9-16 days.
  • One woman in 100 need a surgical scraping to stop the bleeding.
  • Pregnancies sometimes fail to abort, and this risk increases as pregnancy advances.
  • For pregnancies 8 weeks LMP and beyond, identifiable parts may be seen.
  • By 10 weeks LMP, the developing baby is over one inch in length with clearly recognizable arms, legs, hands, and feet.
  • Methotrexate is FDA-approved for treating certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis, but is used off-label to treat ectopic pregnancies and to induce abortion. Given by mouth or injection, it works by stopping cell growth, resulting in the embryo’s death.
  • Medical Methods for Induced Abortion – 2nd and 3rd Trimester This procedure induces abortion by using drugs to cause labor and delivery of the fetus and placenta. Drugs may be injected into the fetus or the amniotic fluid to stop the baby’s heart before starting the procedure to avoid a live birth. There is a risk of heavy bleeding, and the placenta may need to be surgically removed.
Surgical Abortions
  1. Surgical abortions are done by opening the cervix and passing instruments into the uterus to suction, grasp, pull, and scrape the pregnancy out. The exact procedure is determined by the baby’s level of growth.
  2. Aspiration/Suction – Up to 13 weeks LMP Most early surgical abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia is typically offered to reduce pain. The abortion involves opening the cervix, passing a tube inside the uterus, and attaching it to suction device which pulls the embryo out.
  3. Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) – 13 weeks LMP and up Most second trimester abortions are performed using this method. Local anesthesia, oral, or intravenous pain medications and sedation are commonly used. Besides the need to open the cervix much wider, the main difference between this procedure and a first trimester abortion is the use of forceps to grasp fetal parts and remove the baby in pieces. D&E is associated with a much higher risk of complications compared to a first trimester surgical abortion.
  4. D&E After Viability – 24 weeks LMP and up This procedure typically takes 2–3 days and is associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. General anesthesia is usually recommended, if available. Drugs may be injected into the fetus or the amniotic fluid to stop the baby’s heart before starting the procedure. The cervix is opened wide, the amniotic sac is broken, and forceps are used to dismember the fetus. The “Intact D&E” pulls the fetus out legs first, then crushes the skull in order to remove the fetus in one piece.
USA

National Statistics

  • 926,200 abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2014
  • Nearly 4 in 10 pregnancies end in abortion.
  • 45% of women seeking an abortion have had at least one previous abortion.
  • 46% of abortions are performed on women less than 25 years of age. That breaks down to 12% on adolescents, and 34% on women ages 20-24.
  • Approximately 1/4 of American women have had an abortion by age 45. One in 20 by age 20, and one in five by age 30.
  • Abortion disproportionately affects black and Hispanic women.
  • In 2011, the 63 million U.S. women of reproductive age (15–44) had six million pregnancies. 67% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 18% in abortions; the remaining 15% ended in miscarriage.
  • Previous research has found that somewhere between 10 and 20%, or as many as 1 in 4 known pregnancies end in miscarriage, also known medically as spontaneous abortion.

Alabama Statistics

  • In 2014, some 8,020 abortions were provided in Alabama, though not all abortions that occurred in Alabama were provided to state residents, as some patients may have traveled from other states; likewise, some individuals from Alabama may have traveled to another state for an abortion.
  • Abortions in Alabama represent 0.9% of all abortions in the United States.  
  • Statistics from 2016 reflect that there were 6,642 known abortions in Alabama. 2,285 white; 4,189 black; and 168 other.
Alabama

Tuscaloosa Statistics

Of the 6,063 Alabama abortions in 2017, 3,148 of them occurred in Tuscaloosa.


In 2017 there were 3,148 abortions and 2,538 births in Tuscaloosa.