Second-trimester surgical abortion practices: a survey of National Abortion Federation members

Dec 2008


The objective of this analysis was to assess the second-trimester surgical abortion practices of National Abortion Federation (NAF) members in North America and Australia.


In 2002, questionnaires were mailed to 364 active member clinics of NAF for completion by their clinic administrators and individual providers.


Two hundred eighty-nine (79%) clinics responded. Most NAF clinics (72%) offer second-trimester abortion services. The majority of second-trimester providers are obstetrician/gynecologists (63%), male (62%) and at least 50 years old (63%). We describe second-trimester surgical abortion practices in terms of patient eligibility, cervical ripening, ultrasound use, anesthesia and postoperative care.


Surgical techniques and postoperative practices for second-trimester abortions are similar among these respondents, suggesting that NAF's efforts to promulgate best practices using evidence-based guidelines are succeeding. The aging of skilled practitioners raises concerns about the future availability of second-trimester abortion.