We want to make sure our clients have full knowledge of the different options they have for their unplanned pregnancy before they make a decision. It is our job to give clients up-to-date and accurate information regarding abortion, adoption and connecting clients with organizations that can help if they choose to parent. We also remain mindful of the teachings of the Catholic Church in all that we do. Volunteers and staff are offered many educational opportunities throughout the year to learn how to present the Gospel to our clients in the actions we make. Our number one priority is to help our clients. We do not require a commitment to faith from clients nor do we try evangelizing. We show our faith through the love we share.

 

This area was designed with the intent of educating educating our staff, volunteers and supporters on the information we present to our clients and the theology that guides our work.

Arizona Abortion Laws

Abortion is one option that women have when it comes to handling an unplanned pregnancy. Like all medical procedures, abortions come with risks and potential complications. There are also certain laws abortion providers must follow when a woman seeks an abortion. Get all facts before making your decision.

The following are Arizona laws that were in affect as of January 1, 2018 regarding abortion:

  • Abortion providers are required to give women in person, state-directed counseling and an ultrasound prior to performing an abortion. Counseling must include information that may discourage women from having an abortion. An ultrasound must also be performed with the option for the client to view the image. Women must wait 24 hours after counseling and the ultrasound before having the procedure done.
  • Health plans obtained through the Arizona health exchange and policies for public employees only cover abortion if the mother’s life or health is in danger.
  • Doctors cannot administer medication for abortion through telemedicine.
  • Minors MUST have parental consent before an abortion is performed.

 

https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-arizona
Medical Abortion

A medical abortion is a regimen of medications taken by a woman to terminate a pregnancy during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Mifeprex (mifepristone or “abortion pill”) is used in combination with misoprostol over a span of 24-48 hours to end the pregnancy and to expel the embryo or fetus.

How does a medical abortion procedure work?

Mifeprex is taken by mouth at an abortion clinic. Mifeprex works by blocking progesterone, a hormone needed for a pregnancy to continue. Some vaginal bleeding may occur after taking Mifeprex but the abortion is not complete at this stage.

24-48 hours after taking Mifeprex, misoprostol is taken as directed by the clinic. Misoprostol is used to induce cervical softening, dilation and uterine contractions for the fetus to be expelled. You will experience strong cramps and heavy bleeding not too long after taking misoprostol. Symptoms are similar to a miscarriage.

A follow-up with a health provider is needed within 14 days after taking Mifeprex to ensure the abortion was completed. A pelvic exam, pregnancy test or ultrasound should be administered at this visit to ensure the abortion has been completed. If the abortion is not completed, a surgical abortion is necessary.

Who can’t take Mifeprex?

Mifeprex should not be taken by women who:

  • are more than 10 weeks pregnant
  • have an ectopic pregnancy
  • have problems with adrenal glands
  • is currently being treated with long-term corticosteroid therapy
  • has had an allergic reaction to mifepristone, misoprostol or similar drugs
  • have bleeding problems or is taking blood thinning drugs
  • have an intrauterine device (IUD)

What are the side effects of Mifeprex?

Aside from cramping and heavy bleeding, women may experience nausea, weakness, fever, chills, vomiting, headache, diarrhea and dizziness within the first two days of taking both medications.

Other adverse events that have been reported in women that have taken Mifeprex include death resulting from an ectopic pregnancy, several cases of sepsis and a non-fatal heart attack.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following:

  • fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher for more than four hours
  • severe abdominal pain
  • heavy bleeding that soaks through two thick full-sized sanitary pads per hour for two hours in a row
  • stomach pain, weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol
https://prochoice.org/think-youre-pregnant/im-pregnant-what-are-my-options/abortion/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760893/
http://www.earlyoptionpill.com/
Suction Abortion

Surgical abortions that happen within the first 12-14 weeks since the last missed period (LMP), are typically vacuum aspirations, or suction abortions. 

Before the Procedure

Some women may need their cervix dilated before the abortion. Laminaria, sticks made of sterilized seaweed, are sometimes placed into the cervix to help absorb moisture and expand the cervix. This is usually done a day, or hours, before the abortion is performed.  The abortionist will perform an ultrasound and pelvic exam before the procedure.

The Procedure

The abortionist will swab the cervix with Betadine, an antiseptic, hold the cervix with a clamping tool and then inject anesthetic into the cervix to numb it. If further stretching of the cervix is needed, metal rods of different diameters are inserted into the cervix. Next, a plastic or metal tube called a cannula is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The cannula is attached to a vacuum that is used to suck the baby out of the uterus. A curette may also be used to scrape the sides of the uterus to ensure that no parts of the baby are left in the uterus. While it is recommended that abortionists use ultrasounds during the procedure, not all abortionists do so. After the baby is taken out of the uterus, the baby’s tissue will be examined to determine if all pieces of the baby’s body were removed.

A suction abortion is typically completed in 3-10 minutes.

After the Procedure

After a suction abortion is completed, the woman will be observed in a recovery room for about 30 minutes and will be given antibiotics. Women will experience bleeding and cramping after a suction abortion. Bleeding can last up to two weeks after the abortion. A follow up visit is typically scheduled 2 weeks after an abortion.

Risks

All surgical procedures come with possible risks and complications. Some potential complications include pelvic infection, excessive bleeding, cervical injury, incomplete abortion, perforation of the uterus, complications due to the anesthetic and ongoing pregnancy.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Soak through 2 maxi pads per hour for 2 hours
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Fever lasting more than one day
https://www.webmd.com/women/abortion-procedures#2-4
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/in-clinic-abortion-procedures/what-happens-during-an-in-clinic-abortion
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70914/1/9789241548434_eng.pdf
Dilation & Evacuation

 Abortions performed during the second trimester of pregnancy are called dilation and evacuation, also referred to as a D&E.

Before the Procedure

Due to the bigger size of the baby at this stage of pregnancy, more preparation of the cervix is required. Laminaria sticks may be inserted into the opening of the cervix and left in overnight. Women may also be given misoprostol, either by mouth or through the vagina, to soften the cervix and uterus. A pelvic exam and ultrasound are performed prior to the D&E.

The Procedure

The procedure for a D&E begins like a suction abortion: the cervix is numbed and metal rods are used for further dilation. Some abortionist may then administer a shot into the woman’s abdomen, depending on how far along the pregnancy is, that will stop the baby’s heart before it is removed from the uterus. Next, forceps are used to dismember the baby so it can be removed from the uterus. Finally, a curette is used to scrape the sides of the uterus to ensure all the baby’s body parts have been removed. Abortionists may not use an ultrasound to guide them through a D&E. The baby’s tissue will be examined to ensure all body parts have been removed from the uterus.

A D&E is typically completed in 10-30 minutes.

After the Procedure

After a D&E is completed, the woman will be observed in a recovery room for about 30-60 minutes and will be given antibiotics. Women will experience bleeding and cramping after a D&E and should plan to rest for the following few days. Bleeding can last up to two weeks after the abortion. A follow up visit is typically scheduled 2 weeks after an abortion.

Risks

All surgical procedures come with possible risks and complications. Some potential complications include pelvic infection, excessive bleeding, cervical injury, incomplete abortion, perforation of the uterus, complications due to the anesthetic and ongoing pregnancy.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Soak through 2 maxi pads per hour for 2 hours
  • Worsening abdominal pain
  • Fever lasting more than one day
https://www.webmd.com/women/abortion-procedures#2-4
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion/in-clinic-abortion-procedures/what-happens-during-an-in-clinic-abortion
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70914/1/9789241548434_eng.pdf
Adoption

Choosing to create an adoption plan for your unborn child might seem impossible. In actuality, it is extremely empowering for expecting mothers because they are the major decision maker during the adoption planning process. All adoption agencies work differently. Reachout Women’s Center works closely with Christian Family Care Agency and Adoption Solutions. These licensed counselors are one phone call away and can provide you with pregnancy and family counseling at no obligation to you.

There are a lot of myths about adoption. Below are some of the most common myths and the facts behind them.

Myth 1:

Birth mother's do not give up their babies. It takes a lot of thought and courage to place a baby with an adoptive family. Women choose to create an adoption plan for their child because they love their unborn clid so much that they want what is best for their baby. That is not an act of selfishness.

Myth 2: Placing a baby for adoption is an easy way out.

Placing a baby for adoption is by no means an easy way out. Creating an adoption plan is a heart wrenching decision that takes a tremendous amount of strength and selflessness. An adoption plave gives life not only to the baby but also to one of the many adoptive families waiting to share their love.

Myth 3: I can't trust strangers with my baby.

Adoptivefamilies are some of the most loving families out there and are rigorously vetted. An adoptive family does not get to shop for a baby. Birth mothers work closely with their adoption counselor on choosing the family they want to place their baby with. Many times, birth mothers build a relationship with the adoptive family and become an extension of their growing family.

Myth 4: Birht mothers are unwed teens, drug addicts, homeless, promiscuous, etc.

Birth mothers come from a vast array of ethnicities, religions, walks of life and the list goes on. Every woman that chooses adoption has a story of her own that comes to the same decision in life of creating an adoption plan for their child. These women are extremely brave in deciding to share a huge part of their lives with another family.

Myth 5: Being a birth mother is expensive.

This myth could not be further from the truth. The adoption counselors we work with help cover many, if not all, expenses for birth mothers. Most times, this includes medical and some living expenses. Each adoption agency does work differently.

Myth 6: Once an adoption plan is made, the birth mother cannot back out.

Placing a baby in the hands of another family can be one of the hardest things a birth mother will have to do. There are times where birth mothers change their minds and want to keep their baby. That is okay! A baby is not handed over to their adoptive family as soon as it is born. There is a timeframe where legal paperwork needs to be signed by the birth mother before the baby is placed with the adoptive family.  A birth mother can change her mind during this time and keep her baby.

Myth 7: I'll never hear from my child again.

The amount of contact you want to have with your child after the adoption, is completely up to you. During the adoption planning process, birth mothers sit down with the adoptive family, of her choice, to come up with a schedule of how oftern she would like to see her child. The adoption agencies we work with strongly encourage open adoptions and choose families that are open to mainataining contact with the birth mother. An open adoption does not mean that the birth mother will co-parent with the adoptive family. It simpley means that she will be able to see her child grow up.

Myth 8: Open adoption is confusing for children.

This is simply not true. Raising a child to know that they are adopted is far healthier for the child than keeping a huge secret from them until they figure out the truth. When a child is raised knowing they are adopted, it becomes normal to them. This also goes for other children the birth mother or adoptive family may have. Children are smart and will understand the rolse of their parents if it is taught to them at a very young age. Kids are also smart enough to figure out if they are being life to if their adoption is kept secret. It is human for everybody to know where they come from. An open adoption gives adopted children the opportunity to learn where they come from as they grow up instead of going on a quest later in life to figure our who they are.

Theology of the Body

Coming soon!

Catholic Teaching on Life & Human Dignity

Coming soon!