Abortion: Frequently Asked Questions

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The OHSU Center for Women’s Health offers:

  • Appointments, including for virtual visits, for people who are in Oregon or Washington. All care and treatment related to ending a pregnancy, including pregnancy termination and follow-up care, must take place in Oregon or Washington.
  • Cash pricing for those without insurance or who need or want to pay out of pocket.
  • Detailed counseling about options.
  • Privacy, comfort and convenience.
  • Care for pregnancy loss and pregnancy termination in Oregon and Washington.

OHSU Family Medicine also offers abortion care at some clinics. If you are an established OHSU Family Medicine patient, please call your clinic to help schedule an appointment.

Please note: The following information is subject to updates and is not intended to replace the advice of your health care provider.

An abortion is a health service, by medication or procedure, that ends a pregnancy.

An abortion is not:

  • A miscarriage: A miscarriage happens when a pregnancy ends on its own.
  • Emergency contraception: Contraception prevents pregnancy.
  • Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy: In an ectopic pregnancy, a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, most often in a fallopian tube. It is a dangerous condition that must be treated, usually with medication but sometimes with surgery.

Yes. Oregon law allows anyone who is in Oregon to use abortion services provided in the state. All care, including pregnancy termination and follow-up care, must be completed in Oregon.

If you are 14 or younger, Oregon law requires you to get consent from a parent or guardian for medical care, including abortion. At OHSU, we can connect you with confidential help if getting consent isn’t an option for you.

One option is the Repro Legal Helpline, 844-868-2812, with free and private help for those who want an abortion but can’t tell their parents or guardians. 

Abortion is also legal in Washington. OHSU provides virtual visits for abortion for those who are physically in Washington. All care, including pregnancy termination and follow-up care, must be completed in Washington.

Abortion is legal in Oregon at all stages of pregnancy. Your options will depend on your situation.

OHSU offers appointments. Call the Center for Women’s Health at 503-418-4500.

Find other abortion providers in Oregon:

  • Find a Clinic, Oregon Health Authority
  • Call 211
  • Text HEALTH to 898211 in Oregon

For other states as well as Oregon:

No. Oregon does not require a waiting period for an abortion. Your care may require more than one visit depending on your situation and what kind of abortion you have.

No. At OHSU, you can choose whether to see ultrasound images and what information you would like to know. We can provide an image to take home if you like. We will give you only information that meets accepted medical standards.

There are two types of abortions, and both are safe and effective:

  • Medication abortion: A person takes pills to end a pregnancy.
  • Procedural abortion: A person has a procedure in a clinic or hospital to end a pregnancy. The type of procedure varies with the length of pregnancy.

If you are 11 weeks (77 days) or less into your pregnancy, you can use medication to have an abortion. A medication abortion uses two medications, taken as pills, to end a pregnancy.

  • At OHSU, you take the first medication, mifepristone, in the clinic with us or at a private location (such as your home or another location you choose) in Oregon or Washington.
  • You take the second medication, misoprostol, at a private location in Oregon or Washington one or two days later. 
  • You will need a follow-up visit to make sure the abortion is complete. This visit may be in person, on the phone or with a scheduled blood test. You will need to be in Oregon or Washington for this visit.

You will have cramping and bleeding similar to a heavy period, and this can last several hours. It’s normal after that to have spotting or bleeding for two to four weeks. You may also have side effects such as fever, chills, nausea, dizziness and diarrhea.

Later in pregnancy: Medication abortions are also done later in pregnancy. At OHSU, these are done in the hospital with a different process.

Yes. At OHSU, we offer virtual visits through Zoom video calls for medication abortions at 11 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. You’ll need to register as a patient (call 503-494-8505) and create a MyChart account. Then call us at 503-418-4500 to make an appointment.

You must be physically in Oregon or Washington during your visit, the abortion process and the follow-up visit. Your provider will ask you to confirm your location.

After your virtual visit with OHSU, the abortion medication (pills) will be mailed to you at a location in Oregon or Washington. You will need to take them and complete the abortion process, including pregnancy termination and follow-up care, in Oregon or Washington.

At OHSU, we do not recommend a medication abortion if you:

  • Have an IUD (intrauterine device); an IUD needs to be removed before a medication abortion
  • Have an ectopic pregnancy
  • Are allergic to the pills (very rare)
  • Take a blood thinner or certain steroid medications
  • Have certain medical conditions, including:
    • Bleeding or clotting disorders
    • Certain heart diseases
    • Chronic adrenal failure
    • Severe kidney, liver or lung disease

Procedural abortions are also known as surgical abortions.

Your options will depend on your health and the length of your pregnancy. A provider will review the options and what you can expect during and after the procedure.

We offer various pain relief options. Depending on the option you choose, a procedural abortion can occur:

  • In one visit if you are less than 12 weeks along
  • Over one to two visits if you are more than 12 weeks along, to gently prepare the cervix for the procedure

Most patients do not need a follow-up visit.

At OHSU, we offer varying levels of pain relief during and after an abortion:

  • Local anesthetic with numbing medication around your cervix
  • Medications taken by mouth to help you relax and control pain
  • Moderate sedation with IV medication
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia in an operating room

Depending on the pain relief option you choose, you may need someone to drive you home.

  • Costs may vary if you use private insurance. Check with your insurance plan to see how much of the cost of an abortion it will cover.
  • OHSU offers a flat rate of $400 for a medication abortion virtual visit for those who lack insurance or who can’t or don’t want to use insurance. Call 503-418-4500 to learn more or for information on other flat rate options.
  • If you are on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid), you qualify for an abortion at no cost at any Oregon clinic that provides abortions, including OHSU.
  • People who do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan because of their immigration status do not have to pay for an abortion. Call or visit any Oregon AbortionCare clinic, including OHSU's clinic, to learn more.

Private insurance: Under an Oregon law called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, most Oregon private insurance plans are required to cover the entire cost of an abortion. A 2019-20 state audit found, however, that many insurers are not complying with the law. In addition, abortion may not be covered for people with private insurance that isn’t regulated in Oregon. Check with your insurance plan to see if your policy covers abortions.

  • If you have commercial insurance through a policy in someone else’s name (such as a spouse or parent), your insurance plan will send that person information about any health care that you get. This information could arrive as an “explanation of benefits” letter, for example.
  • If you would like your insurance plan to send information about your abortion appointment only to you, you can submit a confidential communication request to your insurer before your visit. If your insurer has this option available to you, it may take up to 30 days after receiving your request to process it. The confidential communication request applies only to insurers and may not affect information from OHSU.

Oregon Health Plan: If you are on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid), you qualify for an abortion at no cost at any Oregon clinic that provides abortions.

Immigrants who don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan: Under the Reproductive Health Equity Act, the state pays for abortions for people who don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan because of immigration status. Call or visit any Oregon AbortionCare clinic to enroll in this coverage.

  • Out of pocket: OHSU offers a flat rate of $400 for a medication abortion virtual visit for those who lack insurance or who can’t or don’t want to use insurance. Call 503-418-4500 to learn more or for information on other flat rate options.

Payment help:

Yes. If you are:

  • 18 or older, one healthy adult (18 or older) may come with you.
  • Under 18, two healthy adults may come with you.

See OHSU’s visitor policy.

Depending on the pain relief option you choose, you may need someone to drive you home after the abortion.

Yes. Your fertility can return very quickly after an abortion, within eight to 10 days. If you would like to prevent pregnancy, we can counsel you on options and provide the method of your choice. 

Resources

Information and options

Emotional support

  • All-Options, promotes judgment-free support for people no matter their decisions and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption 
  • Cascades Abortion Support Collective, 503-610-0692, a volunteer-run organization that offers free support
  • Connect and Breathe, free confidential listening
  • Exhale, provides support for well-being after an abortion 
  • Faith Aloud, compassionate, judgment-free support from trained clergy and religious counselors for those considering options or who want to talk about an abortion experience

More abortion FAQ

Make an appointment

Schedule a surgical abortion or a medication abortion (in-person or virtual):

503-418-4500

Log in to MyChart to see test results, set appointments and communicate with your team.

Location

Kohler Pavilion
Center for Women’s Health, seventh floor
808 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 9729
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