Abortion FAQs

1. Is abortion safe?
Yes. Abortion is very safe. In fact, abortion is one of the safest and most common surgical procedures in the United States. One in three American women will have an abortion by the time she is 45 years old ( and 60% of these women are already mothers at the time of their abortion. And, although every procedure carries some risk, abortion is actually safer than carrying a pregnancy to term and delivering vaginally. Less than 0.3% of abortion patients experience a complication ( Northland Family Planning provides the very best medical and abortion care. Abortion care is our area of expertise and all our physicians are specially trained in this procedure. Our staff is warm and caring, and will make sure you are comfortable both physically and emotionally.

2. Does an abortion hurt? Is abortion painful? What can I use to manage pain?

Most women ask us if the procedure will hurt or cause discomfort. We describe the discomfort as being similar to menstrual cramps or having your period. But, each person experiences and tolerates pain in different ways. So, for some women, it will be more uncomfortable than others. That is why here at Northland, we have created a calm and relaxing environment to make you as comfortable as possible. We offer several options to help you manage pain. One of our services allows for you to have a friend or companion with you throughout much of your visit. Many patients like this because it helps them relax. Please discuss your pain concerns with us and we will help you choose the best option for you. A note about anesthesia: Many women wish to explore other pain options including pain medications. It is important to understand all of your options because there is a lot of misleading information out there, especially regarding abortion anesthesia. Oral valium or injections of light pain medication that you may hear about at other clinics are not really an Anesthesia Program. Some abortion providers may tell you they are using General or Twilight Anesthesia when, in fact, they are using lesser sedation medications.

3. What is the abortion pill? How does the abortion pill work?

The Abortion Pill (RU-486 or medication abortion) is a safe way to end a pregnancy in the earliest stages without procedure. Many women choose this method because it feels more natural and they like the comfort of being at home, having a friend or family member with them. This method does not require procedure or anesthesia and some women feel they have more control over the process, because they can plan the process around their demanding schedule.While the Abortion Pill method is a private experience, it is not one to go through alone. Having a good support system is essential. Understanding what is supposed to happen is important. Please be sure to explore our section on the abortion pill. If there are more questions that we can answer for you, please call us! 

4. Which is better the abortion pill or the surgical abortion method?

Both the abortion pill method and the surgical abortion method are fine, safe options. What may be best for some women may not be best for others. That is why we encourage you to review the information about both types and decide for yourself which is best for YOU. Some patients prefer the convenience of the surgical abortion because everything is done in 1-day and when they leave our office, they know their abortion process is complete. Some women prefer completing the abortion process in the comfort of their own home and setting the timing of their abortion around their work schedule or their childcare schedule. Whichever option you decide is better for you, will be the right decision. 

5. How long will the procedure take and how long will I be at the clinic?

Surgical abortion usually takes a few minutes, but if you are being cared for in a health center that provides high quality care, you can expect to be at the clinic for several hours. We strongly believe that abortion care cannot be done on a lunch hour (believe it or not, people have asked!). There is a big difference between cheap abortion providers and high quality abortion providers, who take the time to provide you with pre-procedure counseling, take a full medical history and complete all necessary lab work. Following procedure, we allow our patients ample recovery time in a quiet, restful/relaxing recovery area with medical and counseling staff available. We also provide our patients with comprehensive Recovery At Home information and a 24-hour emergency contact number.

6. What is the earliest I can get an abortion? Can I have an abortion at 6 weeks pregnant?

Northland Family Planning Centers offer abortion care beginning at 4 weeks into the pregnancy. With early pregnancy tests, it is possible to find out that you are pregnant within a few days of conception, giving you time to think about your options, have conversations with yourself and with the people who are important to you, and then make the decision that is best for you.

Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, you have several options:

If you are early in your pregnancy (10 weeks pregnant or less), you can choose to have a Medication Abortion (the abortion pill). If you require a first trimester abortion you can have an early surgical abortion or abortion using Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA).

Abortion procedure is considered one of the safest out-patient surgical procedures when performed by trained physicians. Our team of male and female licensed OB/GYNS come to us with the most exceptional skills and standards. All abortion procedures are performed in our clean, private surgical rooms and each patient is attended to by one of our caring health professionals.

If you are beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy, and into your second trimester of pregnancy, you will need to schedule a surgical second trimester abortion called a D&E. This procedure consists of dilating your cervix & removing the pregnancy. During your time with us, you will get to know our whole, caring team. From speaking privately with a reproductive health counselor to seeing our gentle doctors, we are here for you every step of the way.

7. Can I get a free abortion?

The State of Michigan does not allow Medicaid to cover the cost of abortion, so having an abortion at no charge is not possible. We have financial assistance available for low income patients. Northland staff members are exceptional at helping women in need obtain funding and assistance. We are not set up to do payment plans, but we are dedicated funding advocates for women. Whether it’s by personally helping you brainstorm ways to raise money, or working overtime ourselves to call funding agencies on your behalf, we will do all we can to help you through this time. We can complete eligibility for some funding at the same time you call to make your appointment.

Our staff can also help you brainstorm other ways to raise money for you to cover the cost of abortion when you call us. For example, one way to help pay for this procedure, may be to ask friends or family to provide you with a loan or their credit card and you could pay them back.

Many women do not know that we accept most private insurance plans for abortions. Ask us about your particular insurance and we can check coverage when you call us. We also accept all major credit cards.

8. I’m looking for a cheap abortion. What is the best way to decide if a cheap abortion is the right choice?

Not all abortion providers are the same. This makes choosing an abortion clinic that will provide excellent, quality care confusing. Remember, this is your body and your health. Choose an abortion care provider as if your life depends on it… BECAUSE IT DOES!

Check your options carefully. Selecting a place where you will have an abortion should be about where you feel safe; where the doctors, nurses and support staff are willing to answer all of your questions. The clinic should be clean, well staffed and be willing to take time to make sure that you are well informed and comfortable with your decision. A good clinic will care about your total health- not just this pregnancy.

Northland Family Planning Centers are inspected and certified by the National Abortion Federation. We know that we are not the cheapest because we are choosing to provide top-notch women’s health care. We believe that a quality physician, staff and clinic is more important than being too cheap. Our fees are exactly what we say, with NO hidden costs. Be sure that other clinics are being honest about their price. Our clinics are safe and clean, and we are proud to have you see them. If you visit a different clinic that seems dingy and dirty, imagine what their surgical rooms may look like. In fact, we recommend you visit ahead of your appointment to see how you feel about the place you have chosen for your abortion care.

9. I’m having a hard time deciding if abortion is right for me. Do you have something to help me decide?

You are not alone. Choosing an abortion can be a tremendously difficult choice. We know that and we can help. Deciding on whether or not to become a mother at this time in your life, requires you taking time to identify and sort out your feelings about this pregnancy. You may feel as if your entire past, present and future are up for examination. As a result, feelings about abortion may also have a great deal to do with other issues in your life that have not been addressed, such as the relationship with the man involved, or whether or not you are able to afford another child.

The abortion decision section of our website has many tools that can help you decide. You are also welcome to come in and talk with one of our family planning specialists about your options. Pregnancy options counseling is a free service that we offer. We want to help you make the decision that is best for you and your family. When you come in we will offer you a FREE copy of the Pregnancy Options Workbook to assist you in sorting out your feelings. Pregnancy Options Workbook

10. If I am under 18 years of age can I get an abortion?

Yes. However, there are teenage abortion laws that must be followed. Michigan state law says that you must have the consent of at least one parent or guardian, or obtain a judicial bypass. We can help you with either. Most states have some sort of law regarding teens and abortion. Don’t be afraid or discouraged ……..ask and we can help you with this process. We have free attorneys and other resources available to assist you with this law. 

11. Is there a waiting period to have an abortion? What do I need to do?

Yes, there is a Michigan abortion wait time of 24-hours, as well as a couple of other requirements. Please call us and we will explain what you must do. If you get your information from the internet – the State of Michigan website – you must print the form at least 24 hours before you come in. We are not allowed, by Michigan law, to perform an abortion without this. See Michigan’s 24-Hour Waiting Period Law for further information.