Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do I need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment?

No, you do not need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment.  You can make the appointment on your own.

Do I need my partner’s permission?

No, you do not need partner permission to make an appointment for an abortion.

Do I need my parent’s permission?

No.  However, a woman 17 and under may not obtain an abortion in Minnesota unless she has notified her parents of her decision, or has received permission from a judge to bypass the Minnesota Parental Notification Law.  Once her parents have been notified, the minor may seek an abortion whether or not they consent.  Please see information on WHC website Minnesota Minors Consent; there are three exceptions to the notification law.

Is there a waiting period before I can have my procedure?

Yes.  In 2003, Minnesota passed a law called “The Woman’s Right to Know Act”, which affects all women seeking an abortion in Minnesota. This law, Minnesota Statute 145.4242, requires her to receive certain information from a licensed physician a minimum of 24 hours prior to her procedure.  Women’s Health Center provides this information over the telephone at no cost to the patient.  It is very important for the patient to be available at the time Women’s Health Center staff schedules this physician’s phone call, because if the patient does not receive this information 24 hours prior to her abortion appointment, her appointment will be cancelled.  Please see more information on Minnesota 24 Hour Waiting Law.

Is there a risk or association between abortion and breast cancer?

Exhaustive studies have concluded that there is no association between abortion and breast cancer, or for other cancers.  For futher information please follow this link to the Guttmacher Institute’s May 2010 Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States.

Is there a risk or association between abortion and future mental health issues?

Repeated studies for many years have been conducted, leading experts have concluded that abortion does not pose a hazard to women’s mental health.  Major B et al., Report of the Task Force on Mental Health and AbortionAmerican Psychological Association, Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion, 2008, Washington, DC, accessed April 19, 2010.

Will anyone find out I had an abortion?

Your WHC visit is completely confidential.  We are bound by Federal HIPPA laws governing patient confidentiality and all staff and volunteers are bound by agency confidentiality agreements.  We respect your privacy.

Can I bring anyone with me?

Yes.  You can bring one support person with you.  This support person will be required to show photo identification.  However, due to safety and privacy rules, they will not be able to accompany you into the medical area.

Is the procedure going to hurt?

Every patient’s pain tolerance varies. We adjust medication dosages to the best of our ability to minimize any discomfort.  The surgical procedure is performed under local anesthesia (lidocaine) and lasts approximaely 5 minutes.  Most patients experience mild discomfort and cramping, similar to menstrual cramps.

Is it possible to get pregnant after an abortion procedure?

Yes.  An abortion procedure does not prevent pregnancy.  WHC recommends that you refrain from sexual intercourse for 2 weeks, until you have had your 2 week post abortion check-up.  If you do choose to have intercourse, a method of birth control of your choice should be used to prevent pregnancy, as well as a condom to prevent STI’s and infection.

Will I be able to have children after an abortion, even if I’ve had more than one abortion?

Research indicates that having an abortion will not affect your fertility or ability to have children in the future.  Abortion is one of the safest and most common medical procedures done in an outpatient setting.  Abortions have been performed and studied for 25+ years; there is less than 1% rate of complications.  Your fertility (ability to have children) is unaffected, with the exception of very rare complications.