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Induction Abortion

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Updated April 05, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition:

An induction abortion is used to end a second or third trimester pregnancy through the use of medications that trigger the start of contractions. This, in turn, expels the fetus from the uterus. Induction abortions must be done in a hospital, so that the woman can be monitored during the entire procedure. During an induction abortion, a woman will undergo all the steps of delivery and childbirth.

Induction abortions are usually only performed if there is a medical problem or illness present in the fetus or the pregnant woman. This method minimizes risk to the woman's health, and may allow doctors to perform a more accurate autopsy on the fetus to determine exactly what was wrong. Induction abortions represent less than 1% of all abortions obtained in the United States. Though induction abortion is an effective procedure for second and third trimesters, dilation and evacuation (D&E) is more commonly used during second-trimester abortions because it is safer, quicker, and more effective than induction abortion.

Source:

Paul, M. (1999). A clinician's guide to medical and surgical abortion. New York: Churchill Livingstone.

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