Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)

Dilation and Extraction (D&X) (intact D&E, partial birth abortion)

There are no laws in Canada restricting abortion.  Since abortion reporting and recording is inconsistent and incomplete across Canada, it is not known if, or how many, abortions occur by this method in Canada each year. D&X abortion is a variation of the D&E method, and is used after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.  Laminaria treatment over several days causes wide cervical dilation.  The abortionist, guided by ultrasound, uses forceps to grasp the fetus and position it face down and feet first.  The fetus, intact and often still alive at this point, is delivered up to the head.  The head is too big to pass through the cervix.  After puncturing the base of the skull, the brain is suctioned out, the skull collapses, and the dead fetus is delivered.  Digoxin, potassium chloride, saline or urea are sometimes used to kill the fetus before delivery. Surgical Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) Approximately 6% of abortions reported in Canada in 2004 used this method. Local or general anesthetic is given to the mother before her cervix is dilated.  The cervix is dilated with laminaria or rigid dilators; sometimes, the prostaglandin Misoprostol is also given to soften and dilate the cervix. A loop-shaped knife called a curette is inserted through the cervix.  The curette cuts the fetus and its placenta from the uterine wall and breaks it up.  Then the fetal parts and the placenta are scraped out of the uterus through the cervix and discarded.

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All information provided regarding medical and surgical abortions in Canada has provided by:
Abortionincanada.ca, (2014). Methods | Abortion in Canada. [online] Available at:  http://abortionincanada.ca/methods/

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