This past summer, the Supreme Court overturned a federal ruling giving women a constitutional right to abortion. Now, each state determines its abortion laws. 

Abortion is still legal in Illinois up until a fetus is viable. After viability, a woman can have an abortion if her life is threatened by continuing her pregnancy.

What Is A Viable Fetus?

A viable fetus can survive outside of the womb. Usually, viability is around 24 to 26 weeks of gestational age. However, a baby born at this age usually requires medical assistance in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

Medical professionals cannot always determine the exact age of viability, but as medical technology advances, babies can survive outside the womb even earlier.   

In Illinois, it is illegal to have an abortion once the fetus is viable.

What Are the Types of Abortion?

There are two main types of abortion, medical and surgical. How far along you are in your pregnancy determines the method used.

Medical Abortion 

Medical abortion is also known as the abortion pill. This method uses two drugs to terminate a pregnancy over a 24 to 48-hour period. 

The FDA has approved the abortion pill to end a pregnancy through 70 days gestation (70 days or less since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period). 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the side effects and potential risks of taking the drugs include incomplete abortion, heavy and prolonged bleeding, nausea and vomiting, fever and chills, and infection.

Surgical Abortion

Abortion providers perform surgical abortions in a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. This abortion method is more invasive because it requires some form of anesthesia, dilating (opening) the cervix, and scraping tools or forceps.

Once your pregnancy enters the second trimester (after 12 weeks), abortion providers may recommend a surgical abortion. The Mayo Clinic warns that surgical abortions risk damaging the cervix, perforating the uterus, or causing infection.

How Can You Help Me?

Before scheduling an abortion, visit Empower Life Center to verify your pregnancy. A positive at-home pregnancy test is only an indication of pregnancy. 

You need an ultrasound scan to verify how far along you are, the pregnancy’s location, and if you’ve miscarried or your pregnancy is growing. We offer free and confidential lab-quality pregnancy tests and ultrasound scans. 
The more information you have, the more confident you’ll be with your pregnancy decision. We would love to connect with you, provide the tests you need, and answer your questions. Conveniently schedule your appointment online. We’re here for you!