Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) About Choices Women’s Medical Center
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at Choices Women’s Medical Center include information about our services – abortion, gynecology, prenatal, behavioral health – and the history of our clinic. Choices is woman-owned and operated with mainly women staff.
How long has Choices been in business?
Choices was founded in 1971 and has been offering the highest standard of care with complete confidentiality since that time.
Are you a free clinic that offers free abortion?
No. Choices is privately owned by Merle Hoffman who founded Choices in 1971 shortly after New York State made abortion legal and two years before it was legalized nationally. At the same time, we help patients work out financing so that abortion can be free or low-cost. We accept most insurance plans as well as NY Medicaid. New York State residents, including Nassau and Suffolk County residents, can apply for Presumptive (Emergency) Medicaid on site for an appointment that day. We also accept cash and all major credit cards. We partner with funding agencies that can help cover the cost.
Do you provide the “Morning After” Pill?
Yes, we do provide the “Morning After” Pill at Choices. Plan B, or the “morning after” pill, is also covered by most insurances and Medicaid.
Do you offer free pregnancy testing?
Yes, Choices offers free urine pregnancy testing. The urine pregnancy test detects pregnancy approximately four weeks after conception or about two weeks after your first missed period. This test can detect pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception. All testing can be performed on a walk-in basis.
Do you have any female physicians available?
Yes, we have women doctors available for all services.
Is everything confidential?
All of our services are completely confidential. Patient information is never released without the signature and authorization of the patient.
Do I have to give you my real name?
It is always important to give accurate and current information on medical records. Your correct name, address, phone number and medical history are important for many reasons, particularly in case of emergency.
Does my partner need to know?
No. Your partner does not need to know. Your services are completely confidential. If you are using insurance to pay for services, it is possible that your partner will have access to the information from your insurance company if you are jointly insured. In this case, you can consider paying by cash or money order.
Will my parents find out?
Our Insurance Specialists can help you contact your insurance company to discuss their policy on abortion confidentiality. Emergency Medicaid and other payment methods can be completely confidential.
Do I have to make an appointment for an abortion?
Appointments are always recommended. You may also walk-in for specific services. You can call 718-786-5000 to speak to one of our representatives or make an online appointment for any of our services. Chat is available 9am to 5pm on Monday to Saturday from links on most pages of our website.
Do I need a pregnancy test done at your clinic before scheduling an appointment?
No. Your pregnancy test is performed when you arrive for your appointment.
Do you offer birth control?
Yes. Before your procedure, your counselor will talk with about your needs and help you choose the method that is right for you.
Up to how many weeks do you terminate pregnancy?
We can terminate pregnancy up to 24 weeks, the legal limit in New York State.
What is the earliest you can be in a pregnancy to terminate?
In most cases the abortion can be performed as early as the EPT pregnancy test shows positive results or at approximately 5 to 6 weeks. Make an appointment with us if your period is two weeks late.
How much does it cost to have an abortion?
The fees for an abortion vary depending on type of service (surgical or non-surgical abortion), type of anesthesia (local anesthesia or general anesthesia) and length of gestation.
What kind of insurance do you accept for abortion? Is it covered?
Choices accepts most private insurances, subject to verification based on the service you are receiving:
Consumer Health Network
United Community Health/Essential Plans
Choices also partners with the following funding agencies for abortion coverage: NYAAF (New York Abortion Access Fund), NNAF (National Network of Abortion Funds), and WRRAP (Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project).
Please click here to view our financial assistance page on our website for more information.
Can I use my parent’s insurance?
If I have no money can you help me get a free abortion?
We can help NYC and Nassau and Suffolk residents apply for Presumptive (Emergency) Medicaid when you come in for your appointment.
Is it dangerous to have an abortion?
The procedure is very safe. Fewer risks exist with abortion than childbirth. The physician performing the surgery is highly skilled and specializes in this procedure. Our staff is trained to offer the highest standard of medical care available.
How soon can I get an appointment?
Appointments are available for the same day or the following day. Choices is open Tuesday through Saturday.
Will somebody talk to me before the procedure?
Yes. A licensed social worker will talk with you to make sure you understand the procedure, feel certain about your decision and answer any questions you may have. She will review your medical history, pre- and post-operative instructions and discuss birth control options.
How will I feel emotionally after the abortion?
It has been our experience that the majority of our patients feel relief after the procedure. Every patient is unique, however, and may experience different and varied emotions. We understand that abortion may be a difficult decision for some patients, and the entire Choices staff are dedicated to serve you with compassion and sensitivity.
How will you know how far I am in my pregnancy?
You will be given an ultrasound by our Ultrasound Technician, and our medical practitioner will perform a pelvic exam to determine the length of gestation.
What if I am RH negative?
A blood test performed in our lab will determine your RH factor. If your blood is RH negative, you will be given an injection of MicroRhoGAM following the procedure.
How will I know that the abortion was successful?
The contents of the uterus are sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The results of the analysis are sent to the doctor within 5 days of the procedure. You are also advised to return to the clinic two weeks after surgery for a postoperative evaluation which is included in your fee.
What happens if I have some complications/problems after my abortion?
Professional medical staff is available to our patients 24 hours every day. If you have any questions or are experiencing post-operative problems, please call Choices at any hour of the day or night. A RN will speak with you and may ask that you return to our clinic for evaluation.
Can I still get pregnant in the future after my abortion?
Yes, there is no evidence that having an abortion has any effect on future pregnancies.
If a patient is a minor, do they need to have parental consent to have an abortion?
No. Minors in New York State are not required to notify parents or get their consent.
About Surgical Abortion
How is the surgery performed?
The surgery is a simple procedure performed by aspiration (suction). This procedure is referred to as a D&C (Dilation and Curretage) and takes about 2 to 5 minutes. If you are over 13 weeks pregnant, you will first have your uterus dilated with a sterile product made specifically for cervical dilation. You will return for the actual surgery on the second day. This procedure is referred to as D&E (Dilation and Extraction). The dilation procedure takes just a few minutes and you will be in the clinic for approximately 2 hours the day or days that you are dilated.
Is it a doctor who performs the surgery?
Yes. All of our doctors are licensed by the State of New York and specialize in pregnancy termination.
How effective is surgical abortion?
In most cases, surgical abortion is completely effective. A small percentage of cases will require reaspiration if unusual bleeding occurs or if there is retained tissue.
How will I feel after my surgical abortion?
Most patients experience some cramping. If the cramping is not relieved by over the counter medications such as Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil, we ask the patient to call our 24-hour emergency number. You may take a shower or tub bath after surgery. Do not douche, use tampons or have intercourse for two weeks. Avoid any products that contain aspirin as aspirin promotes bleeding.
Will it hurt?
If you have chosen general anesthesia you will be completely asleep during the surgery so you will not feel any pain. After the procedure you may experience cramping, which can range from mild to moderate. In most cases Extra Strength Tylenol, Aleve or Motrin will alleviate the cramping. If the cramping is not alleviated with these remedies, you should call us immediately.
How long will I be under general anesthesia?
You will be asleep for 5-10 minutes, depending if the procedure is performed in the first or second trimester.
I am afraid I won’t wake up after general anesthesia. Can that happen?
The anesthesia that we offer is safe, effective and short acting. You will be asleep from 5-10 minutes depending on the procedure. There is always some degree of risk with any surgery. Serious complications with general anesthesia are very rare at Choices. Most complications occur when a patient has ingested food or liquid within 8 hours of surgery. Tell your Counselor if you have had prior complications with anesthesia, you have any allergies to medicine, or if you have had anything to eat or drink within 8 hours prior to your surgery.
Can I return to work? Or Should I take off for a few days?
The majority of our patients return to work or school the following day. Your Social Worker and medical staff will explain the DO’s and DON’Ts after surgery.
Do I need to bring someone with me? Can I take the subway or bus home?
We ask that your partner or another trusted adult over the age of 18 to come with you for your appointment and accompany you home. What means of transportation is best will depend on how you are feeling.
How long will I bleed after surgery?
In most cases the patient experiences bleeding for 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery. However, some patients do not experience any bleeding, and other patients have spotting or bleeding off and on.
When will I have my next period?
Normally, your regular menstrual cycle will resume 4 to 8 weeks after the surgery.
What if I do not get my period soon after the abortion?
It is important that you return for your 2-week post-operative check up to monitor your recovery. If you do not have a period in 8 weeks, please call us.
Can I use tampons after my surgery?
You should not use tampons after surgery. Sanitary napkins should be used to decrease the possibility of infection and to monitor the amount you are bleeding.
Can I do aerobic exercise after surgery?
You should avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting (over 15 pounds) for two weeks after the procedure.
When can I have sex again after the surgery?
You should not have sex for two weeks after your procedure. When you return for your two-week checkup, the practitioner will advise if you can resume sexual intercourse. We recommend that you abstain from sexual activity for two weeks because following your procedure you are more susceptible to infection and new pregnancy.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
When general anesthesia is administered, gag reflexes are temporarily suppressed. If food or liquid remain in the stomach, vomiting can occur resulting in asphyxiation.
Can I have someone come into the surgery or recovery room with me?
Your driver, friend or family member may not enter the surgery or recovery room with you, as we must protect the confidentiality of all of our patients. They can wait for you in the waiting room, or leave and come back to accompany you home after you are released
What happens to the fetus that was removed from me during the abortion?
The tissue is sent to a licensed and accredited Laboratory for analysis and is disposed of in accordance to the mandates of State law.
About the Abortion Pill
What is medical abortion?
Medical abortion is a method to terminate pregnancy non-surgically with medication. This method is available to women under ten weeks of pregnancy. The medication used is Mifeprex and Cytotec tablets.
What if the pill doesn’t work?
In a small percentage of cases, the tablets given for non-surgical abortion do not cause miscarriage. In these cases, the patient could require a surgical pregnancy termination.