If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and living in a state, like Tennessee, where abortion is illegal you may be considering traveling to another state for an abortion.
Before you start the trip though there are 3 things you should know before you go.
1. Confirm the Details of Your Pregnancy
While home pregnancy tests are usually very accurate it is possible to get a false positive. Also, 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and there is a small chance you may have an ectopic pregnancy.
Visiting a local health clinic to confirm your pregnancy with a medical-grade pregnancy test and ultrasound scan will be invaluable in providing the information you need about your pregnancy.
This visit will provide you with important details like the age and viability of your pregnancy and ensure you do not have an ectopic pregnancy.
Both a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy require medical attention but are not candidates for abortion, so traveling out of state for an abortion procedure would be unnecessary.
The abortion pill is only approved in pregnancies under 10 weeks. Abortions over 10 weeks will usually be completed through surgical abortion. You need to know the age of your pregnancy to plan which procedure you will have and what you will need to recover.
2. Test for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
STIs are very common and easily spread through sex, especially unprotected sex. That’s why it’s best to receive STI/STD screening as soon as possible. This will enable you to receive treatment and protect your long-term sexual and reproductive health.
Being screened for STI/STDs is also important before you travel out of state for an abortion. When the normal barrier created by the cervix is disturbed during an abortion, it raises the chances of spreading an existing infection deeper into the reproductive system. This can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and cause permanent damage.
3. Details About the Abortion Procedure
Before you start your trip out of state you’ll want to make sure you have all the details about what to expect for the abortion procedure you will be having.
First, know how much time you will need to be in the state you are visiting, for example, if there is a waiting period you will want to plan for extra time. Depending on whether you have a medical or surgical abortion procedure you’ll want to have a plan for what to do if any follow-up care is needed. Any abortion procedure has the potential for risks and complications.
For medical abortions, the risks can include:
- Incomplete abortion–likely requiring a follow-up surgical abortion
- An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
- Digestive system discomfort
- Fertility Issues
If a surgical abortion is required potential risks are:
- Perforation of the uterus
- Damage to the cervix
- Scar tissue on the uterine wall
- Heavy bleeding
- Incomplete abortion-likely requiring another follow-up surgical abortion
- Fertility issues
If any of these do occur and follow-up medical care is required, you should know beforehand if the clinic providing your abortion has a hospital they partner with that can treat any complications.
Keep in mind that if you are having a surgical abortion you might be sedated for the procedure and will be unable to drive, so you’ll want to bring someone with you.
We’re Here to Help
Choices is here to help you. We provide STI/STD screening, medical-grade pregnancy tests, and ultrasound scans—all at no cost to you.
Our team can help get you the answers you need and listen to any of your questions and concerns before you make your out-of-state plans.
Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential appointment.