We encourage you to ask yourself these important health and safety questions before visiting an abortion clinic or provider
Printer friendly version: Patient Safety & Consent
1. Don't sign a consent form until you have reviewed this safety checklist.
2. Ask what your alternatives are if you decide, even at the last moment, not to abort.
There are services that offer material support and options counseling free of charge. The clinic should be ready to offer this to you. For example, you may want to consult with a friend, a charity, a social worker, or an adoption agency etc. before going ahead with the abortion.
3. Have you confirmed your pregnancy?
It’s important to be sure that you are pregnant; it is possible to receive a false indication of pregnancy. We can quickly connect you with a local pregnancy center that offers free, reliable pregnancy tests and other services that check the viability of your pregnancy.
4. Do you understand the risks involved in an abortion procedure?
Abortion is a medical procedure and does involve the risk of physical harm. You have the legal right to be informed of the type of procedure you will receive, as well as any potential complications. Ask as many questions as you need, to make sure you understand all that is involved, physically and emotionally.
5. Did you investigate the qualifications of your potential abortion provider?
Find out the name of the doctor who will perform your abortion procedure, and confirm that he or she is a licensed physician and a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist. Call and ask if the doctor has appropriate privileges to admit you to a hospital in the event that there is an emergency. Call your state agency (medical licensing board) to see if the doctor has been involved in any medical malpractice suits.
6. Ask how complications are handled.
Abortion providers may not provide any follow-up or emergency care, should complications arise. Ask the abortion clinic if the abortion doctor has admitting privileges to a hospital nearby should you require emergency care.
7. Do you understand that it’s OK to change your mind?
Abortion is your choice—meaning you can change your mind at any time. It’s OK to say, “I need more time to consider my decision,” if you are in the waiting room or even on the table prepped for your procedure. Don’t feel pressured to proceed just because you feel like you have to. It’s your body; you have the right to listen to your instincts.