Abortion is a highly controversial subject, and most adults in the world have already determined where they stand on the issue. You may be surprised, however, to find that many people change their stance on the issue when they are faced with either an unwanted pregnancy or a dangerous pregnancy. While most abortions are performed within the first twelve weeks of the pregnancy, it is possible for abortions to be performed later – in the second trimester as well. But are these abortions in the second trimester safe?
Why You Might Wait Until the Second Trimester for an Abortion
In most cases, a second trimester abortion takes place due to a medical problem, and not because of an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. This medical problem could affect the baby or the mother. Because the mother intended to carry the fetus to full term, the need for an abortion can be extremely emotionally painful.
There are some instances when an abortion is sought because of an unwanted pregnancy. In this instance, the girl or woman may not have known that she was pregnant before this time, which isn’t uncommon.
In a controlled environment, a second trimester abortion, which is any abortion that occurs between thirteen and twenty four weeks of pregnancy, is safe. It is, however, more complicated and more costly than a first trimester abortion.
While a first trimester abortion only takes a few minutes, an abortion can take two or three days. This is due to the fact that the cervix must be dilated. In the end, the procedure is safe, but as with all medical procedures, there are some risks involved, and the risks increase if anesthesia is used.
How Second Trimester Abortions are Performed
There are numerous techniques available for abortions that take place in the second trimester. Delivery is often induced with drugs such as prostaglandin. Of course, the further you are into the second trimester will determine which method is used. For example, if you are at the sixteen week mark or higher, dilation must be used, and a procedure known as IDX or Intact Dilation and Extraction may be used, but this procedure is not allowed in the United States. If you are at least twenty weeks pregnant, it is important to note that the fetus will first be injected with a drug to stop the heart so that it is not born alive, regardless of the abortion method that is used.