Abortion Risks

Sac Valley Women's Health

Sac Valley Women’s Health in Sacramento does not offer or refer for abortions or emergency birth control. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered professional medical advice.

Abortion: One of Many Choices

If you’re scared about being pregnant, abortion may seem like an easy fix. Not only is abortion a serious medical procedure, it can be a life-changing event with physical and emotional costs. What you are about to read is a lot to take in.  We want you to know that you have choices and we are here to talk about them with you. Call Sac Valley Women’s Health in Sacramento at (916) 451-2273 (CARE) or make an appointment online.

For more detailed information on possible risks, complications on various abortion procedures, and statistical occurrence of possible risks and complications, please see links below:

  1. https://health.alaska.gov/dph/wcfh/Pages/informedconsent/abortion/risks.aspx
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21899-medical-abortion
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/mifepristone-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20067123
  4. https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/health-encyclopedia/he.dilation-and-evacuation-d-e.tw2462

Timeframe for Having an Abortion

The medical term abortion means ending a pregnancy. In California, abortion is legal anytime during pregnancy, whether or not the baby would be able to live on its own. California law states that an abortion may be provided after viability, but only if in the good-faith medical judgment of the physician, the continuation of the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s life or health. (Reference- California Health & Safety Code 123464 – 123468)

Abortion Risks

All abortions have risks. These risks increase with abortions performed later in pregnancy.


Although some bleeding is normal, if the cervix is torn or the uterus is punctured, there is a risk of severe bleeding, which may require a blood transfusion. Even the abortion pill can require surgery to stop bleeding.


Anytime medical instruments are placed in the uterus, there is a risk of infection. Sometimes fetal parts are mistakenly left inside, which carry additional infection risks. This can require antibiotics and a repeat abortion to empty the uterus. If the woman has an STD at the time her abortion is performed, the infection can spread, leading to sepsis (total body infection), pelvic inflammatory disease, impaired fertility and even death. The abortion pill can cause sepsis, which has caused death for a number of women.

Organ Damage

Abortion instruments can cut, tear and damage the cervix, uterus and nearby organs such as the bowel and bladder. This can cause excessive bleeding, requiring surgery. Instruments also can cause permanent scarring of the uterus. Complications can result in removing the uterus, which means you will never be able to carry a baby. Risk increases with the length of the pregnancy.

Emotional Problems

The decision to have an abortion is a difficult one. Feelings of guilt, shame and depression are known to happen. Preexisting mental health issues and exposure to sexual abuse may increase the chances of emotional difficulties after an abortion.


While death is rare, it has occurred from complications such as excessive bleeding, infection, organ damage and reactions to anesthesia.

If you have questions, we can help! Call us at (916) 451-2273 (CARE) or request an appointment online.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered professional medical advice. We do not perform abortion services.