Mendo Lake Women's Clinic provides evidence-based pregnancy options education and medical services at no charge to our patients, but we do not refer or perform abortions.


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or text: 707-272-3051

Considering Terminating Your Pregnancy?

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be thinking about abortion. Abortion is a serious medical procedure, so it is important to understand the types of procedures, the potential risks, and what to expect before moving forward. At Mendo Lake Women’s Clinic, we are here to help and support you by providing the information you need to make a fully-informed decision.

What is Abortion?

Abortion is the medical termination of a pregnancy. The type and cost of your abortion depends on the gestational age of your pregnancy, which is determined through an initial ultrasound scan.

Abortion Types & Risks

Medication (RU-486)

You are only eligible for medication abortion (RU-486) or the “abortion pill” if you are less than nine or ten weeks pregnant. Despite the name, this method actually consists of two drugs. You typically take the first drug called Mifepristone (Mifeprex) at the abortion clinic, and the second drug called Misoprostol at home. The first drug will eliminate your pregnancy by stopping the flow of progesterone to the uterine lining, causing fetal demise. The second drug will then expel the fetus from your body through cramping and bleeding by triggering uterine contractions. Two weeks later, you will need to have a physical exam to ensure your medication abortion was complete without complications.

Risks & Side Effects:*

  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heavy Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Incomplete Abortion (8-10% likelihood)

*This procedure is not recommended if you have anemia, liver or kidney disease, seizures, acute inflammatory bowel disease, or use an intrauterine device (IUD).


If you are more than nine or ten weeks pregnant, you will need to have a surgical abortion to remove the fetus. Because this method is a highly invasive medical procedure, it comes with more serious risks and side effects. There are two main types of surgical abortions: suction aspiration and dilation & evacuation (D&E).

Both procedures involve numbing your cervix in order to make it wider, known as dilation. During suction aspiration, a long plastic tube is inserted into the uterus to act as a vacuum and pull out the fetus and placenta. For D&E abortion, a shot is given to ensure fetal demise before the procedure. Then, a combination of suction and scraping removes the fetus and uterine lining to terminate the pregnancy.

Risks & Side Effects:

  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling faint
  • Excessive bleeding or blood clots
  • Possible damage to your cervix
  • Perforation of your uterus
  • Incomplete abortion leading to infection

Mental and Emotional Side Effects

Your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. After having an abortion, many women report feelings of loss, guilt, and sadness. These feelings can occur right after the procedure, but for many, they arise in the future. Surgical abortions cannot be reversed, so it is important to be completely sure before making the final decision to terminate your pregnancy.

Schedule an Appointment

While Mendo Lake Women’s Clinic does not provide or refer abortions, we can help and support you as you take your important next steps. We provide free and confidential pregnancy testing, obstetrical ultrasound exams, and have patient advocates available to walk you through your results and options. Don’t go it alone, we are here to help. Schedule a free appointment today.