The national and local news has been filled lately with comments about the Heartbeat Bill. Both sides of the issue are talking about this new abortion law, but what does it mean for you? What does it mean for a woman who’s frightened and possibly facing an unplanned pregnancy? Let’s take a look.
The type of abortion you’re eligible for has always been determined by the number of days (or weeks) you’ve been pregnant. For your safety, a medical abortion, also known as the abortion pill, should not be performed after 70 days from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).
Why is this so important? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) writes “Clinicians should counsel patients that medication abortion failure rates, especially continuing pregnancy rates, increase as gestational age approaches 10 weeks (70 days).” In other words, the longer your pregnancy goes on, the greater the possibility of having a failed medical abortion.
The Importance of Ultrasound
As you can see, knowing the date when your pregnancy began is extremely important. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the inside of your uterus.
The sound waves are transmitted through a gel placed on your abdomen. A technician rubs a device known as a transducer through the gel to pick up the echoes of the sound waves.
How Far Along Is Your Pregnancy?
The sound waves from the ultrasound are recorded and transformed into images. Those images allow the technician to take measurements to get a better estimate of the number of days you’ve been pregnant.
Is Your Pregnancy Viable?
A viable pregnancy is growing. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 20% of known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage very early on. An ultrasound is used to detect a heartbeat. If there’s no heartbeat, you’ve already miscarried or you’re too early in your pregnancy to detect one.
Do You Have An Ectopic Pregnancy?
An ectopic pregnancy means it’s located somewhere other than the uterus. While rare, an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening. Ultrasound reveals if your pregnancy is located in the correct area.
What is The Heartbeat Bill?
Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), aka The Heartbeat Bill, became effective on September 1, 2021. It states, once a heartbeat is detected, an abortion cannot be performed in Texas. In most cases, a fetal heartbeat can be detected at 5 to 6 weeks (35 to 42 days) after the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP).
The Abortion Pill Method
If you’re considering the abortion pill for your unplanned pregnancy make sure you have all the information you need. Abortion clinics make it sound as though you simply pop a pill, and you’re done. Nothing can be further from the truth. The abortion pill method has serious side effects and potential risks.
The process involves taking two powerful drugs over a 24 – 48 hour period. You can expect heavy bleeding and cramping. The Mayo Clinic lists some of the potential risks as incomplete abortion, an ongoing pregnancy, and infection.
Texas law prohibits the online sale of abortion medication. In addition, you’re required to have an ultrasound 24-hours before starting the drugs. The cost of ultrasound in McKinney can cost on average from $110 to $164.
At Hope Women’s Center, we offer ultrasounds for free. Why? Because we care about your health and your future. All of our services are free and confidential. Call or text us to schedule an appointment at 972-562-4673.
If you’d like to know more about the Heartbeat Bill, visit our website.