This summer, the Supreme Court made a decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and there is a lot of confusion surrounding what this meant for each state. You may be wondering what this means for you in Washington.
Simply put, you still have pregnancy options in the state of Washington, and help and resources are available to you. If you think you may be unexpectedly pregnant, take a moment to learn about each of the facts on every option available to you so you can make a confident choice.
What Does the Overturning of Roe Mean for Women in WA?
When Roe was overturned, access to abortion was not eliminated across the United States. Instead, the decision left this issue up to each individual state and its own legislation. In Washington state, abortion is protected in state law up until the point of viability, generally understood to be at 24 weeks gestational age.
This state law includes access to both the abortion pill (otherwise known as medication abortion) and surgical abortion (an in-clinic procedure). Which method of abortion is medically necessary for each person’s unique situation depends on a number of factors, including how far along in pregnancy the patient is, and whether other medical complications may be present.
One other important detail to note is that the recent Supreme Court decision does not affect or limit care to treat ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages, nor does any existing state law. These medical interventions are considered to be distinct and separate from elective abortion, are classified differently in medical records, and should not be affected by any restrictions on abortion.
What Do I Need to Know Before An Abortion in WA?
If you just got that first positive home pregnancy test and are unsure of what to do, a great first step to prioritizing your health and safety is to learn as much information as you can about each option available to you. You should know what to expect from each potential choice.
The FDA approves the use of the abortion pill for the termination of early pregnancies, up to 10 weeks gestational age. Even though the abortion pill may be more readily available online, there is no reliable way to know for sure how far along you are in your pregnancy unless you see a medical professional in person. You may be putting yourself at risk by taking the abortion pill past 10 weeks, which could result in incomplete abortion or further complications.
Surgical abortion is an in-clinic procedure used to terminate pregnancies later in gestational age, up until 24 weeks in the state of Washington. Due to this procedure being more involved and requiring some method of sedation, surgical abortion typically has more severe associated risks and carries a higher monetary cost.
Because abortion is a serious medical procedure no matter what method is used, it is important to get the following facts about your unique medical needs first:
- How far along you are (and what pregnancy options are available)
- If the pregnancy is viable (or if miscarriage care is more appropriate for your situation)
- If the pregnancy is located in the uterus (or if you are at risk of ectopic pregnancy)
Getting these questions answered and confirmed by a medical professional through in-person care is best to protect your health. You can do this by receiving an ultrasound.
A nurse sonographer would be able to clue you in to potential medical concerns—for instance, if your pregnancy was located outside the uterus (an ectopic pregnancy), you would need to seek immediate emergency medical care that would not be resolved through the abortion pill or other abortion methods. Any delay in this treatment could be seriously detrimental to your health.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
At Pathways Clinic, our professional medical team would welcome the chance to answer your questions and help you navigate your pregnancy decision by finding out your unique needs. You can receive an ultrasound exam at no cost to you to help you make a confident choice.
Schedule your free appointment today to prioritize your health and get your questions answered.