Pregnancy Help Center
The Pregnancy Help Center is a Christ-centered ministry in Smith County, TN offering life-affirming compassionate care to women, men and children who face pregnancy related issues.
All of our services are free and completely confidential. Feel free to come in or call us for help. More information is available on this site and by calling our office.
I'm Thinking About an Abortion
It is good you are taking the time to do some research before you make your final decision because there are risks, just as there are with any other medical procedure, and you are wise to weigh them. First of all remember that you have other options.
Are you pregnant?
This is always the first question to ask. It’s important to get verification of pregnancy from a reliable independent source like a pregnancy test or ultrasound. The Mobile Ultrasound RV visits Carthage on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month. It parks conveniently in front of Carthage Family Eye Care on Main Street N, across from Carthage United Methodist Church. No appointment is necessary, they will have you do a pregnancy test, and the ultrasound will check to see if your pregnancy is viable. You may call them directly at 931-510-0879, or just stop by. This is a free, confidential service.
Our center is here to help you confirm your pregnancy on a more personal basis, one-on-one, and to look at your particular situation and health factors. Just for starters, here are some facts about the basic procedures you might be considering:
Methods of Abortion:
Abortion Pill and Mifepristone: Approximately 4 to 7 weeks after the start of their LMP (Last Menstrual Period)
This drug is only approved for women up to the 49th day after the start of their last menstrual period. Some doctors may prescribe this drug up to 63 days after the last menstrual period, but this is not an FDA approved method of use. The procedure usually requires three office visits. On the first visit, the woman is given pills to cause the death of the embryo. Two days later, if the abortion has not occurred, she is given a second drug which causes cramps to expel the embryo. The last visit is to determine if the procedure has been completed. The abortion pill will not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening condition in which the embryo lodges outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. If not diagnosed early, the tube may burst, causing internal bleeding and in some cases, the death of the woman.
Women are being instructed to use the abortion pills in a manner not approved by the FDA. This includes using it beyond 49 days of pregnancy and using it vaginally. A number of women who have used the abortion pill have died due to sepsis (full body infection).
Manual Vacuum Aspiration: Approximately 7 weeks after last menstrual period (LMP)
This surgical abortion is done early in the pregnancy, up until 7 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. A long, thin tube is inserted into the uterus. A large syringe is attached to the tube and the embryo is suctioned out.
Suction Curettage: Approximately 6 to 14 weeks after LMP
This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the fetus is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, and then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus' body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped knife called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. (The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the "products of conception.")
Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Approximately 13 to 24 weeks after LMP
This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. At this point in the pregnancy, the fetus is too large to be broken up by suction alone and will not pass through the suction tubing. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed (called laminaria) a day or two before the abortion. Once the cervix is stretched open the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus' skull is crushed to ease removal. A sharp tool (called a curette) is also used to scrape out the contents of the uterus, removing any remaining tissue.
Late Term Abortions: Approximately 20 weeks after LMP to full-term
These procedures typically take place over 3 days, use local anesthesia and are associated with increased risk to the life and health of the mother. On the first day, under ultrasound guidance, the fetal heart is injected with a medication that stops the heart and causes the fetus to die. Also over the first two days, the cervix is gradually stretched open using laminaria. On the third day, the amniotic sac is burst and drained. The remainder of the procedure is similar to the D&E procedure described earlier. An alternative procedure involves inducing labor.
Most people are surprised to learn these things and begin to feel a little like they are being cornered into a hard place and the decisions are not as easy as they had hoped. That is why we are here for you! You can explore all your options with a non-judgmental, caring person after having a professional grade pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. Our staff is trained to help you to discover the resources, support and information that are important to you.
Here are other options to consider:
Deciding to Parent
Even if you have had no experience or interaction with children, everyone has to start somewhere. Choosing to raise your child yourself is not out of the question. You may feel that you do not have the abilities to raise a child, but there is help available to you. With the support of caring people, parenting classes and other resources, you will find the help you need to make this choice.
Many people are surprised to discover that adoption can be a good choice for them, after they learn some modern facts about it. There are options within this choice and most of them now give you plenty of say about how things happen. Each year over 50,000 women in America make this choice for themselves and their babies.
Please contact us. We can help you talk through all of your options.
If you are thinking about abortion, call us before you make a final choice. We are here to help you sort through all of your questions and concerns. There is a lot to educate yourself on before you make a decision, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Abortion is not just a simple procedure; it may have many side effects. Abortion has been associated with preterm birth, emotional and psychological impact and spiritual consequences. Please call us so that you can make an informed decision.
No one should pressure you into any decision with something as big as pregnancy. There is a lot to educate yourself on and we can help you every step of the way. Please continue your path to informing and equipping yourself by calling or coming to our center for the help and support we can provide.
Our Center offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options. This center does not offer abortion services or abortion referrals.
This information is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Your needs are important to us. Our trained staff is here to answer your questions and listen to your concerns about pregnancy, abortion, STDs, and similar issues. All of our services are free and completely confidential. Feel free to come in or call us for help. More information is available on this site and by calling our office.