FAQs

Answers to Your QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions

Is abortion legal?

Yes. Abortion was made legal nationwide in 1973. Some states and clinics have restrictionson abortion.

Where can I get a pregnancy test?

We offer FREE pregnancy testing 9am- 4:45pm Monday through Friday. A home pregnancy test is very accurate and is enough verification to make an appointment.

How early in a pregnancy (how soon) can I schedule?

The pregnancy needs to be identified by ultrasound. This happens around 5 weeks from the last menstrual period (LMP). That is the earliest a scheduled appointment is made. The abortion pill can only be done from 5 through 7.6 weeks LMP at this office. A surgical abortion can be done at our office from 5 to 28 weeks LMP and further for maternal and fetal indications.

How late in a pregnancy (how far) can I schedule?

This clinic offers services to the 28th week from the last menstrual period and further on a case by case basis. The procedure for abortion in the second trimester and third trimester are different. You should contact the office to find out exactly what you should be prepared for based on the last normal menstrual period or ultrasound result you have had.

Do I have to see a doctor before making an appointment?

If you have no medical conditions, you do not need to see a doctor before scheduling here. We are able to do everything needed to serve you safely. If you have a preexisting medical condition (such as a heart condition), you may be required to see your physician. It is important to share any preexisting conditions and let us determine what we need to serve you safely.

Do I need to tell my doctor I am having an abortion?

There is no need to contact your doctor before scheduling with us unless you have a preexisting medical condition that requires a medical clearance. If you choose a nonsurgical (abortion pill) and live more than 2 hours from the clinic, we will require the name and telephone number of your doctor and local hospital to use only in case of emergency.

Do I need a ride?

It is strongly recommended that you have someone available to drive you home the day of surgery. You will not be able to drive for a number of hours after the medications we give you are administered. If you do not have a ride we will need to adjust the time of your appointment and how long you will be in the office.

Do I need to bring my parents with me if I am less than 18 years old?

There are no parental consent or notification laws enforced in New Mexico and therefore no requirement to bring your parents. Since an abortion is a medical procedure we encourage any woman under 18 years old to involve her parents or other guardian or trusted adult in the decision.

In Texas there are parental consent laws.  A parent must accompany you to the clinic to sign forms.  There is a form that the health department requires to be filled out and signed by the patient and her parent, this form must also be notarized (we have notaries at the clinic to help with this process).

If you are unable to obtain parental consent, you may go before a judge to obtain a “judicial bypass”.  This allows you to get an abortion without consent from a parent.  There is an organization called Jane’s Due Process that provides pro bono (free!) legal services to minors needing a bypass.  Please feel free to contact them for more information and help navigating this process.

Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Yes, especially if you feel their support will be helpful to you. There is a comfortable waiting room for anyone accompanying a patient. Additionally we want to have someone drive you home.  At the Dallas location you are required to have a responsible adult to drive you home.

Can my significant other be with me during the procedure?

The person you bring with you will not be able to be in the surgery room with you. We will include your companion in as much of the office process as possible. Our trained counselor will be with you at all times to help keep you comfortable and assist the doctor.

Does it hurt?

We are very good at pain control. In fact, most of our patients have report that they do not experience the procedure as being painful. We routinely use Sublimaze and Versed for pain management.

What also helps is the counselor who will accompany you throughout the procedure. She will assist you with relaxation techniques and be there for you. Soft music and soft lighting also help, as does the supportive atmosphere within the clinic. The combination of all these ingredients – anesthesia, relaxation techniques, and a supportive, soothing atmosphere – has proven to be very effective in the management of pain.

Will I have cramping and bleeding?

After a surgical abortion it is normal to have some bleeding and cramping, similar to your menstrual period. Depending on your activity, the bleeding and cramping can vary for a couple of weeks. You will be given written and verbal instructions about what is not normal. We want you to call us for any problems or concerns you may have.

Will I be able to have children in the future?

The National Abortion Federation (www.prochoice.org) publication fact sheet on abortion safety reports,” Surgical abortion is one of the safest types of medical procedures. Complications from having a first-trimester aspiration abortion are considerably less frequent and less serious than those associated with giving birth. Early medical abortion (using medications to end a pregnancy) has a similar safety profile. Complication rates are somewhat higher for surgical abortions provided between 13 and 24 weeks than for the first-trimester procedures. “There are a number of factors that affect fertility (getting pregnant) and successful delivery of a baby. No one can tell you exactly how those will be for you. Medical evidence shows that having an abortion with no complications will not affect your ability to get pregnant and have children.

Will I be able to go back to work/school right away?

The day of a surgical procedure you should rest; and the following seven days you need to avoid strenuous activities, long periods of time standing with out rest, and heavy lifting. The abortion pill process requires you to take a number of days off after the second set of pills and possibly longer depending on how that process affects your body.

Are there protesters at your clinic?

We experience protesters daily at each clinic. We ask that you do not talk to them or engage with them in any way. If you have concerns, please call us.

How do I pay for an abortion?

The cost of an abortion depends on how far into the pregnancy you are based on the ultrasound size. We can quote a fee based on the date of your last normal menstrual period. Many insurance companies cover abortion and we accept some insurance plans. New Mexico Medicaid covers medically necessary abortion procedures. We need to verify any insurance before you come in for an appointment. If you do not have insurance or Medicaid, please contact the office for a discussion of cost and payment.

Texas Medicaid does not cover abortion.  If you are unable to pay for the procedure contact us regarding the possibility for financial assistance through the National Abortion Federation.