| Frequently Asked Questions
Q | Which type of abortion is best for me?
A | Women who are no more than 9 weeks into the pregnancy have
the option of either a surgical or medical abortion. The following
chart is a side-by-side comparison of the two options. View
Q | Will the surgical abortion hurt?
A | A surgical abortion can cause cramping, similar to cramping
experienced with a menstrual period. Pain medication is given before
and after the procedure. Remember the procedure lasts 5-10 minutes,
depending on how far you are into the pregnancy. With assistance of
the surgical assistant and the pain medication, you will be able to
get through the procedure with minimal difficulty. If you are very
fearful of pain or have a low pain tolerance, for an additional fee
of $60 you can get an injection of pain medication and Phenergan for improved pain
Q | Can my boyfriend/husband/mother/ friend be in the procedure
room with me?
A | No, only medical personnel are allowed on the surgery side
of the clinic. This is both for safety and confidentiality reasons.
We keep your loved ones informed of your progress, especially if they
are nervous or anxious about you.
Q | I am 16 years old, can I come by myself?
A | The state of Tennessee requires that you have one parent
consent or agree to your having an abortion. If you are unable to
tell your parent(s) or legal guardian(s), you will need a judicial
bypass. Please call our office for assistance. PARENTAL
Q | What if I change my mind after I'm at the clinic?
A | A woman can change her mind at any point in the surgical process
up until the physician actually begins the procedure. Once the doctor
has inserted the instruments into the woman's vagina, there is no
turning back until the procedure is complete. Also, if you receive
a medication called Cytotec (used to soften the cervix) you must proceed
with the procedure. Cytotec can cause birth defects. If you have chosen
medical abortion and taken the first medication (Mifeprex) by mouth,
you MUST take the 2nd set of medicines to complete the procedure.
Failure to do so may prevent a complete abortion, cause infection, birth defects to an ongoing pregnancy or other complications.
Q | How long can I expect to be there?
A | Although the actual procedure itself lasts 5-10 minutes,
you can expect to be at our center for 3-5 hours. There are medical
forms to be completed, lab work and ultrasound to be done, video and
educational materials to review as well as individual counseling sessions
and recovery time. So there are a lot of "other" time-consuming
parts of your visit here. We strive to give you the individual attention
you deserve, but remember on busy days, there are many other women
needing all these services too. Time can be saved on your appointment
day by downloading and completing medical forms and by coming to the
center on a day, previous to your abortion appointment, for 'pre-counseling'
where you will complete much of the necessary services ahead of time
and with greater privacy. FORMS
Q | Will there be protesters?
A | Typically, we have a few protesters standing on the sidewalk.
They are not allowed in our parking lot or on our property. You are
in no way obligated to talk to them or accept their brochures. We
encourage you and your loved ones to ignore them, not to talk or engage
with them at all.
Q | What should I wear and bring with me?
A | Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Bring a warm hoodie
or jacket and warm socks (even in the summer months) as the surgery
side of the building is kept very cold (cold temperatures help reduce
women's nausea before, during and after the procedure) .You will only
be undressing from the waist down. We will provide you with everything
you need to be as comfortable as possible while you are here. Bring
a sanitary pad for the ride home in case you need to change one.
Q | What forms of payment are accepted? | Is there a payment plan?
| Is there any financial assistance available?
A | You can pay by cash, or credit card - Visa, Master Card
or Discover. No personal checks will be accepted. Payment must be
made at time of your service. There are no payment plan arrangements
possible. Our experience has shown us that once the crisis has passed
so has the agreement to follow through on a payment plan. There are
limited funds available for financial assistance. As a National Abortion
Federation provider clinic, funding is now more available due to the
generosity of an anonymous NAF donor. This funding is based on income
and family size and is available in states (Tennessee included) in
which Medicaid (TennCare) or state government does not offer financial
assistance. Please inquire to see if you qualify.
Q | I had an abortion last week and I'm testing positive on a home
pregnancy test. Am I still pregnant?
A | We strongly encourage you not to do a
home pregnancy test before returning for your follow up appointment
at the center, or your own doctor. Pregnancy hormones levels can be
detected by a pregnancy test for 3-4 weeks after a surgical or medical
abortion, even though you are no longer pregnant. Doing a home test
can be confusing and unnecessarily frightening. We will perform a
pregnancy test for you at the time of your follow-up visit.
Q | Will a Doctor be able to tell I had an abortion?
It is unlikely that a doctor can tell you had an abortion after your
cervix has healed, at about 3 weeks after your procedure. However,
a pregnancy and abortion procedure is an important part of your medical
history, and we encourage honesty with your doctor. We also understand
the fear and concern of being "judged" or treated badly
by medical personnel. Most OB/ GYNs are supportive of all reproduction
choices, including abortion. However; there are some anti-choice doctors.
Ask us and we can recommend some good supportive gynecologists.
Q | Will I be able to get pregnant after my abortion?
A | There is no evidence of fertility or childbearing problems
after an abortion. Having an abortion does not interfere with your
ability to have children in the future.