What will you decide? Being informed is part of making a good decision. (No sound on video)

Video dated from fertilisation, add 2 weeks to match pregnancy weeks since LMP* on this page.

What happens?

Instruments are used to cut or crush the baby and then remove them from the womb in pieces.

More Information

It may be done with:

  • Local anaesthetic (to numb the cervix, the neck of the womb)
  • Conscious sedation (you are awake, but may feel less anxiety and pain)
  • Deep sedation or general anaesthetic (you are asleep)

Cervical preparation is usually given before surgical abortion at all gestations, either a few hours or 1–2 days before. This is to start the unnatural opening of the mother's cervix. Normally it only opens during the birthing process.

It is done in different ways including one or more of the following: medications to be taken and matchstick-sized rods put into the cervix (absorbent dilators that swell - hydrogel or laminaria/seaweed).

Usually, an ultrasound scan is performed to confirm the baby's age and position.

Vacuum (suction) aspiration

Usually weeks 5–14.

Medical tools are used to force the cervix more open.** 

A narrow tube (cannula) is then inserted into the womb, and attached to a vacuum source (manual or electric). The force of the suction rapidly tears the baby apart, passing through the tube into a collection container. 

Manual vacuum abortions use large syringe-like instruments, though the suction is more gentle, the death is often slower for the baby.

The tissue must be examined to make sure that the placenta and all the baby's body parts are accounted for.***

Click here to see what abortion would do to your baby at 10 weeks. 

At 10 weeks the baby has a heartbeat, arms and legs, fingers and toes, but its bones are still weak and fragile. 

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

Usually weeks 15–24.

Medical tools are used to force the cervix more open. (If needed this includes a series of metal rods - dilators - that increase in thickness.)

The amniotic fluid surrounding the baby is drained or a suction tube inserted into the womb to remove it (which the baby is too large to fit through).

The abortionist dismembers and decapitates the baby using a Sopher clamp. This is a metal instrument with rows of 'teeth' used to grab, twist and pull the baby's arms and legs, along with the intestines, spine, heart and lungs.

The head is crushed with forceps if it is too big to be removed intact, and a suction tube removes any remaining parts.

Then all the baby’s parts are reassembled with the placenta to make sure nothing is left behind to cause an infection.***

If you are 23 weeks pregnant or more, a lethal injection into the baby stops their heartbeat before the rest of the procedure takes place. See Induction abortion page.

Click here to see what abortion would do to your baby at 17 weeks.

A baby at 20 weeks gestation is the length of an adult male hand, from head to rump not counting the legs. 



Physical complications include:

  • Heavy bleeding and haemorrhage 
  • Infection and sepsis 
  • Injury to the womb or cervix (perforation or laceration) 

Emotional potential risks include:

  • Sadness and depression
  • Anxiety, anger and guilt
  • Emotional numbing
  • Anniversary grief
  • Nightmares or flashbacks of the abortion
  • Increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

Whether immediately or years after an abortion, many speak of deep emotional pain. See FAQ for more information.

We understand you might wish 'the problem' wasn't there... but every abortion ends a human life. We are here to listen and offer help, please:

Get in touch


See My body and Hope for you pages and Her Truth.

If you are suffering distress after abortion, find friendship with others recovering, and peace and hope in Jesus: Post Abortion Support for Everyone – PASE

*LMP – last menstrual period

** In the UK, the series of metal rods mentioned in the suction abortion video, might not be needed at this stage of pregnancy.

*** In the two Live Action videos the former abortionists mention that sometimes a curette (long-handled curved blade) is used to scrape the lining of the womb to make sure that no parts are left behind to cause an infection. Currently, in the U.K The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) states: 'During vacuum aspiration, the uterus should be emptied using only a suction cannula (and forceps if required). The procedure should not be routinely completed by sharp curettage... Dilatation and sharp curettage (D&C) is an obsolete method of surgical abortion and should not be used.'  (Making Abortion Safe, Best practice in abortion care, April 2022)