#wokewednesay | What's the Difference Between Medical and Surgical Abortions?


What do we actually mean when we talk about “abortion”? Unfortunately, many people, on all sides of the issue, have a little knowledge of the actual procedure of an abortion. This is an issue that abortion provider and activist Dr. Willie Parker takes up in his excellent new book Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. This book is highly recommend for anyone wanting to know more about the medical details of abortion, but for today, drawing on Dr. Parker’s work, we are going to discuss the different types of abortion procedures available.

First, you will often hear the terms medical abortion (also called medicated abortion or medication abortion) and surgical abortion. So what is a medical abortion? It is a simple procedure that involves taking two pills (mifepristone and misoprostole) 24-48 hours apart to terminate a pregnancy. It is typically only done for early-stage pregnancies (up to 8 weeks). Medical abortion has proven to be very safe and effective and many patients prefer it to the more invasive surgical procedures.