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Deciding to have an abortion (termination of pregnancy) can be a very difficult decision. If a woman believes that an abortion is in her or her family's best interests, then she should have access to safe, supportive and non judgmental advice and help from expert clinics. No one else should pressure her into either continuing with the pregnancy or having an abortion. In North Somerset we aim to make the processes as straight forward as possible
The following information is for anyone who may be considering an abortion. It provides you with information on the options available, and also tells you how and where to get support in order to make an informed decision.
First, get a pregnancy test so you know if you are pregnant. You can get a free pregnancy test from most GP surgeries, at the WISH clinic (01934 881234) and if you are under 21 from the No Worries Teenage Health Service.
You can also buy pregnancy test kits at pharmacies and supermarkets - they cost a few pounds and if you follow the instructions carefully are very accurate.
You can walk to healthcare workers - your doctor, nurse, health advisor and counsellors about your feelings and options available to you. The following help lines may also be of use:
Make an appointment with the Central Booking Service on Tel: 0845 450 3965. This service is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. They will take referrals from GPs and other health professionals, as well as self referrals. They will then work with you to book an appointment with one of the NHS North Somerset abortion providers - Weston General Hospital, St Michael's Hospital, Southmead Hospital, Marie Stopes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Please ensure appointments are booked through the booking services and not directly unless you are planning to pay privately for treatment.
If you are thinking of having an abortion, call as soon as possible after missing your period and getting a positive pregnancy test result. Under the law in England, Wales and Scotland, the procedure can be carried out up to the 24th week of pregnancy. The type of abortion you get will depend on how early or advanced your pregnancy is. The earlier it is done, the safer it is and the more choice you will have.
Early Medical Termination: Available to women who are up to 9 weeks pregnant at the time of 2nd visit (abortion day). In rare cases you may need up to 3 visits in total. Usually no anaesthetic or operation needed.
Early Surgical Termination: Available to women who are up to 12 weeks pregnant. Choice of general anaesthesia, conscious sedation or local anaesthesia. You can usually go home the same day if someone can look after you at home.
Surgical Termination: Between 13 - 19 weeks pregnant. You may be offered the choice of having a general anaesthesia or conscious sedation. You cab usually go home the same day if someone can look after you.
Late Surgical Termination: Between 19 - 24 weeks pregnant. You will need a general anaesthetic and might also need to stay overnight in hospital or clinic.