There are two types of abortion: surgical and medical. Other names for medical abortion include: the abortion pill, medication abortion, at-home abortion, self-managed abortion, self-induced abortion, and mail-order abortion.

Surgical vs. Medical Abortion

Medical Abortion

A medical abortion requires a prescription for two different drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. In Minnesota, only a licensed physician can provide this prescription.

A medical abortion does not require a surgery or anesthesia, but instead uses a medication. This is generally taken orally, but it can come in a number of forms. The first drug, mifepristone, blocks the hormone progesterone, which causes the uterine lining to thin so the uterus can no longer support the pregnancy.

Misoprostol forces the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy tissue through cramping and bleeding.


A surgical abortion is a procedure that requires an in-person visit. The doctor will use suction and/or curettage (a medical tool) to remove the pregnancy tissue. This can be performed with or without sedation.

Risks of Medical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic lists the following risks associated with medical abortion:

  • Incomplete abortion (may need to be followed by surgical abortion)
  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy (if the procedure doesn’t work)
  • Heavy/prolonged bleeding
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort
  • Infection

You will first want to make sure that you are eligible for an abortion by confirming that the pregnancy is still viable and the age of the pregnancy. A no-cost ultrasound at our clinic will provide this information.

Risks of Surgical Abortion

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as potential risks of surgical abortion:

  • Perforation of the uterus
  • Damage to the cervix
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue on the uterine wall

Take the Next Step

If you’re on the fence about getting an abortion, you likely have more questions. The best next step is to schedule an ultrasound. An ultrasound will give you the information you need to know what options are available to you.

At Abria Pregnancy Resources, we offer no-cost pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as consultations where you can ask questions in a confidential and pressure-free environment. Contact us today!

Courage is the power
to let go of the familiar