Reply To: Abortion in Shanghai

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his is a tough decision made tougher by the lack of support in this forum. It sounds like you’ve made it, though, and you need some advice and support.

Abortion is legal in China, don’t worry about that.

You’ve probably done some internet searching and are aware that there are “medical” abortions (take some pills) and “surgical” abortions (D&C, using a tool to clean out the inside of your uterus). Both options are available in China.

Before you get an abortion, you will probably get an ultrasound to confirm the fetus in the uterus and how advanced the pregnancy is.

If the ultrasound shows you’re less than 8 weeks pregnant, your best option is to try a medical abortion first (mifepristone/RU 486 and a second drug like misoprostol or gemeprost a few days later) which is about 95% effective. Expect stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. In the West, many clinics ask that women return in 3 days and again in 2 weeks for a recheck. If medical abortion fails, then you can get a surgical abortion.

If you’re more than 8 weeks pregnant, many doctors will still use pills first, though the success rate is lower. A surgical abortion is often performed, and you should talk to the doctor about exactly what’s required, as it depends on how advanced the pregnancy is. It will probably involve some anaesthesia and will definitely involve sticking a tool or a tube into your uterus.

In Shanghai, a medical facility has to be licensed in order to provide an abortion. Probably the best place to go is Red House Hospital/Hong Fangzi Yi Yuan on 566 Fang Xie Lu. This will be much cheaper than expat hospitals (which might not be licensed to do abortions), and if you get a medical abortion, I imagine the price won’t be more than a few hundred RMB–a total guess, though. Also, each district has its own Women’s Health Center, which will be able to help–they’re called Fu Bao’s.

Please consider posting your experience here in a few weeks to help future women in your position make a good decision.

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