How Abortions Are Performed

Abortion procedures are usually performed during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the first trimester.  Most abortions take place in the second trimester of pregnancy, because the pregnancy was not diagnosed earlier, abortion services were not available, or the pregnancy has become unhealthy or unmanageable.  Second trimester abortions are more frequent among women who are teenaged, single, and pregnant for the first time.

An embryo grows and becomes more physically developed with each week that passes.  In Canada scientific evidence indicates the stage of pregnancy at which abortions are customarily performed that the embryo or fetus has no awareness of pain.  Sometime after 20 weeks' gestation, the fetus develops cognitive awareness or "brain life".

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An abortion today consists of a surgical procedure in which a doctor removes the embryo or fetus and placental tissue from the woman's uterus.  A slim piece of dried seaweed called a Laminaria Tent is inserted into the woman's cervix a few hours to one day before the abortion in order to start the process of the widening of the cervix.  During the abortion procedure, the woman lies on an examining table with her feet in stirrups. The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina.  The woman's cervix is numbed with an injection of local anesthetic or she is put to ...

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