You’ve decided that you want to get an abortion – now what?
Remember, having an abortion is your choice. You should not feel pressured into having an abortion OR into keeping the pregnancy – make the choice that is the best for you. If you’re struggling after an accidental pregnancy, talk to someone you trust. You are not alone, and there is no wrong choice for you to make.
Counsellors and doctors are also great resources – Lethbridge has a sexual health clinic specifically for people under the age of 25 that offers free pregnancy tests, counselling, and information. They can also refer you to other clinics depending on your decision. You can phone them at 403-320-0110, or visit their office in Suite 300 of the Lethbridge Professional Building, 740 4th Avenue South.
What is an abortion like?
It depends on how far along the pregnancy is. Your doctor can help you determine this more accurately, but you typically count forward from the last day of your most recent period.
From the Kensington Clinic Website: There are two types of abortions available: medical and surgical. Medical abortions involve taking medication (often a pill) to end your pregnancy. You can choose to have a medical abortion if your pregnancy is less than 9 weeks. Surgical abortions involve inserting a tube into the uterus to remove its contents. They can be done if your pregnancy is up to 19 weeks.
Where do I get an abortion?
Your doctor may be able prescribe the medication for a medical abortion. Not all doctors are willing or able to do this, so it’s a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. For example, maybe your friend has a doctor they trust, or you could ask at the sexual health clinic for a recommendation.
There are no clinics in Lethbridge to get a surgical abortion. The closest city with an abortion clinic is Calgary. In Calgary, you can make an appointment at the Kensington Clinic, which specifically provides abortions, or you can make an appointment at the Peter Lougheed Centre, which is a hospital. For more information about making appointments, check out the Kensington Clinic website. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for more info on abortions in general. You can phone the Kensington Clinic at 403-283-9117, and the Peter Lougheed Centre at 403-943-5716.
You will need someone to accompany you to Calgary if you make an appointment to get a surgical abortion! You will be unable to drive after the procedure, so make sure they can give you a ride home too. Grab a trusted friend or family member. If you can’t find a ride, ask a leader at the MAT or another adult you trust to connect you with one – lots of people in Lethbridge are happy to help you out.
Important: Abortions are covered by Alberta Health Care! If you have an Alberta Health Card, it’s free.
Want to learn more? Check out these resources!
Making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy? All-Options offers a non-judgemental, open-hearted talkline to help you understand your options.
If you want to talk to someone after an abortion, Exhale offers a free non-judgemental talkline.
Some ideas for taking care of yourself after having an abortion.
All About Abortion from Scarleteen, a pro-choice sexual education website. This is an American website so keep in mind that abortion laws and the health care system in Canada are slightly different!
This site addresses some common questions and myths about abortion (again, this is an American website)