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· Abortion is legal in the United States through the second trimester (24 weeks).

· Abortion services past 13 weeks are more scarce and women may have to travel to other states for care.

· Some state laws may require parental consent or notification for minors, 24 hour waiting periods, and other regulations.

· Each year, over 1.5 million women have abortions.

· A medical abortion is one that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy.

· Either of two medications, methotrexate or mifepristone, can be used for medical abortion · Before any abortion can be done, a medical professional must confirm that a woman is indeed pregnant and determine exactly how long she has been pregnant · The length of a pregnancy is usually measured by the number of days that have passed since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period · Medical abortions can be performed as early as a pregnancy can be confirmed.

In fact, the shorter the time that a woman has been pregnant, the better the medications will work. Because they do not work as well later in pregnancy, medical abortion is often not an option after seven weeks · Methotrexate is usually given to a pregnant woman in the form of an injection or shot, although it can be taken orally. Methotrexate stops the ongoing implantation process that occurs during the first several weeks after conception.

· Mifepristone is taken in the form of a pill. It works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which is necessary to sustain pregnancy. Without this hormone, the lining of the uterus breaks down, the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb) softens, and bleeding begins.

· A few days after taking either methotrexate or mifepristone, a second drug, misoprostol, is taken. Misoprostol...