What Are My  Options for Having an Abortion?

There are many ways you can have a safe, legal, abortion in California, Illinois, New Mexico & Colorado. Different options might be better for different people, depending on a lot of factors. All abortion options are safe with varying degrees of effectiveness, depending on the stage of the pregnancy. They all come with different risks and benefits. Our option is listed first, but please familiarize yourself with the alternatives. Please note, this a high-level overview.

Telehealth medication abortion

This is the process by which you would receive an abortion using a service like Choix. In the privacy of your own home – or anywhere you are in one of the states that we serve – you will fill out an intake form with questions that assess your eligibility and risk for having a medication abortion. If no risk factors are identified, you will be eligible for abortion care at home, along with instructions on what to expect, how to take medications, and how to confirm the abortion was successful. In most cases, ultrasound and bloodwork will not be required. This type of medication abortion does not require any clinic visits, but you may need one if things do not follow the typical course. You will consult with a provider via phone/text/questionnaire throughout the process.

Things to consider 

  • Private/safe space at home to take medications.
  • Time: Approximately 3 days from initial intake until medications are received and 24 hours for symptoms. You can complete the intake form and communicate with your provider on your own at home. Forms will be reviewed within one business day of receipt.
  • Gestational age limit: Up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

In clinic medication abortion

This is a medication abortion that begins in an office or clinic. In the clinic, a vaginal ultrasound and blood work is performed, in addition to medical intake to determine eligibility for the procedure. If eligible, you will receive in-person counseling about what to expect from the process, along with medications (some taken in clinic, some taken home). Around 2 weeks after your abortion, you will return to the clinic for another visit where someone will perform an ultrasound to determine if the abortion is complete. It depends on how busy your provider or clinic is, but you can plan on being in the clinic for at least 1 hr (but often more) for each visit.

Things to consider

  • Time off work, transportation, or need for childcare for 2 visits, timing of visit and timing of day you plan to take second medication at home.

  • Time: 2 clinic visits, plus about 24 hours at home when you take the second medication, give or take.

  • Gestational age limit: Depends on the provider, anywhere between 9-11 weeks.

In clinic abortion

This is a medical procedure that is performed in a clinic or hospital setting. After ultrasound and physical examination, patients undergo a medical procedure where the pregnancy is removed from your uterus. This is done by passing instruments through the cervix into the uterus. This procedure causes cramping and pain, but only lasts for a few minutes. In some settings, you can receive sedative medications to make you relaxed and comfortable (almost like you are asleep) during the procedure. Typically, you are in the clinic for a few hours. When you leave, the abortion is complete.

Things to consider

  • You may need a ride to/from clinic if you are receiving sedatives; you will have interaction with multiple health personnel; and you will have different options for pain management.

  • Time: Less than 1 day.

  • Gestational age limit: States vary on their limits for abortion and different clinics have different rules. Abortion is legal in California & Illinois until “viability”, which is around 24-26 weeks. There are no limitations based on gestational age in New Mexico and Colorado. When you are farther along in pregnancy, further interventions may be required.