Procedure for an Abortion
There are 2 main types of abortion procedure, depending on the gestation of the pregnancy
For early pregnancies 3 months (12 weeks) and below, the procedure is called vacuum aspiration. This usually involves being put to sleep for about 10 minutes, during which time a small tube is placed into the womb via the vagina. An attached vacuum will then remove all the pregnancy contents of the womb.
For pregnancies 3 to 6 months (13 to 24 weeks) , the procedure is known as Mid Trimester Pregnancy Termination (MTPT) which is a more complicated affair. Hospitalization is usually required for a day or two, during which medicine is inserted into the vagina to induce natural expulsion of the pregnancy. After the foetus and placenta are aborted, the process of evacuation of the womb follows. This is basically the same procedure as used in vacuum aspiration; it ensures that the womb contents have been thoroughly evacuated.
The second method takes a little longer and is messier, so it is far preferable that an early decision for abortion be made, before 3 months if possible.
Abortion is not allowed if a pregnancy has progressed beyond 24 weeks.
The legal limit of termination of pregnancy in Singapore is 6 months, or 24 weeks, beyond which abortion of any pregnancy is illegal. Most doctors would not initiate abortion beyond 23 weeks as the abortion has to be completed by 24 weeks. The only exception to this rule would be a severe or lethal foetal abnormality but even then, special approval would have to be sought from the authorities before the procedure can be done.
Limit to how early in a pregnancy the abortion can be performed
A woman choosing to have the procedure, should make an appointment as soon as possible in order to date and to locate the pregnancy so that the timing of the procedure can be planned. This is important because is not advisable to have the procedure too early in the pregnancy, as the risks of retained products and a "missed" abortion is higher.