Having been in the world of women's health for thirty years, Resource Health has seen thousands of clients who find themselves experiencing unplanned pregnancies. Many women have invited us into their stories for years and years as they journey through multiple pregnancies, adoption, parenting, and abortions.
Recently we've noticed a new trend—women who choose abortion are being led to believe that a pill or chemical abortion is no different than a period or miscarriage. Many have contacted us, shocked and traumatized by how drastically different the experience ended up being from what they were told it would be like.
This article is not intended to drive fear into an already challenging situation. The goal is to empower you! We want you to be informed, to advocate for yourself, and to educate yourself on your options with facts and understanding.
We'd also like to clear up any confusion between the different ways our bodies work and process the potential of being pregnant.
Some providers lump miscarriage and abortion into the same category, particularly when a D&C (dilation and curettage) is needed. "D&C is a medical procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus... after a miscarriage or abortion" (Mayo Clinic).
It's easy to see, based on this definition, how miscarriage and abortion can be confused to be similar. The difference between the two is that miscarriage is natural, while the other is due to outside intentional intervention.
Abortion is chosen; miscarriage is outside the woman's control. A miscarriage is a spontaneous and natural way a woman's body removes a baby that is no longer alive. An abortion removes a baby, but it is also the cause for the baby to no longer be alive.
Even though a D&C might be used to ensure nothing remains in the uterus in both cases, abortion and miscarriage are not the same.
Periods are the natural way a woman's body sheds the lining of the uterus. The lining thickens to allow care for a fertilized egg if the woman becomes pregnant. If she does not become pregnant, her body will naturally shed this lining through her vagina, causing a period.
"Common symptoms include cramps in the lower abdomen or back or breast tenderness... headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea also are possible" (Mayo Clinic). Although some women have difficult periods, most are mild and manageable with heat, rest, and over-the-counter pain meds.
Over the last few months, several women have told us how shocked they were by the pain and experience of their chemical abortion. They had been told it would be just like a period. One client was informed by the abortion provider that she "wouldn't see anything" but was shocked to see a baby intact.
Periods are not the same as an abortion, so they won't feel the same. One is the natural shedding of the uterus lining; the other is caused by the process of removing an already growing baby.
There are several types of abortion procedures. The abortion pill, also known as medical (or chemical) abortion, or "Plan C," is available for use up to 70 days after the last menstrual period (LMP). All other types of abortion are surgical.
A chemical abortion uses two medications (Mifepristone and Misoprostol). The first (Mifepristone) blocks necessary hormones for the baby's life, causing the heartbeat to stop. The second (Misoprostol) causes the uterus to begin contractions that will remove the baby from the woman's body.
Abortion is an unnatural outside influence on the woman's body and her living baby, causing the loss and expelling of the baby. Although many abortion websites and medical providers nonchalantly equalize abortion and miscarriage, miscarriage is natural as a woman's body deals with the spontaneous loss of a living baby.
Some risks of abortion are heavy bleeding, severe cramping, infection, long-term mental and emotional health decline, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.
For more on the risks of abortion, visit our abortion page.
For more information about all your options, check out this video.