Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Important Pre-Abortion Procedures

The following is a description of important pre-abortion procedures to be conducted by a licensed health care provider. Sources for the information are also included.


Physician Counseling
Laboratory Testing

Physician Counseling

  • Assessing that the decision to have an abortion has been made freely by the patient.
  • Medical and psychosocial history must be obtained.
  • Physical exam should be performed dependent upon medical history and patient symptoms.
  • Information provided regarding potential risks, complications and benefits of abortion.
  • Information provided regarding the procedure and its alternatives.
  • Informed consent obtained.
  • Information provided regarding fetal growth and development.
  • Information regarding the probable gestational age of the unborn child.
  • Information regarding the medical assistance benefits available if the woman would decide to carry the child to term, i.e. prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care.
  • Information regarding the father's liability to assist in support of her child.
  • Voluntary and Informed Consent, South Dakota Codified Law 34-23A-10.1.

Laboratory Testing

Pregnancy Test

Blood type


Ultrasound detects difference in tissue density by directing high-frequency sound waves into tissue and measuring the reflected echoes from the internal structures. The result is an image of the fetus and intrauterine environment. Real time imaging offers the benefit of being able to visualize fetal breathing, tone, movement, urination and heart activity. A targeted ultrasound scan offers a detailed study of fetal anatomy. Ultrasound is a valuable tool for assessing fetal age and growth, and ectopic pregnancy.


Anemia: Reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin.

Ectopic pregnancy: Implantation of the fertilized ovum outside of its normal place in the uterine cavity. Locations include the abdomen, uterine (fallopian) tubes, and ovaries.

Fetal anatomy: The organs and structures inside the body of the fetus.

Gestational age: In fetal development, the number of completed weeks counting from the first day of the last normal menstrual period or as determined by ultrasound.

Hematocrit: A blood test to measure the volume of red blood cells.

Hemoglobin: A blood test to measure the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen to vital organs.

High frequency sound waves: Sound that has a higher frequency than humans can hear. The sound waves bounce off an object and produce an echo that can be seen on a screen.

Intrauterine environment: Refers to the placenta, amniotic sac and fluids surrounding the fetus.

Medical history: Information that details any medical concerns, illnesses, surgeries, etc. that have occurred prior to this event.

Psychosocial history: Information that details psychological or social events in your life.

Real time imaging: This type of ultrasound provides pictures of the fetus in motion.

Rh factor: A protein or marker on a red blood cell. If it is present, you are Rh +. If it is not present, you are Rh -.

Rhesus immunoglobulin: Solution of blood protein that contains Rh antibodies. This prevents sensitization of Rh-negative women who have been exposed to Rh positive red blood cells.


Medfusion: Connecting Physicians and Patients Online

Ingalls and Salerno's Maternal and Child Health Nursing, Ninth Edition
Julie C. Novak, DNSc, RN, CPNP; Betty L. Broom, PhD, RN
Mosby, Inc. 1999

Clinical Policy Guidelines 2002
National Guideline Clearinghouse

Maternal-Infant Nursing Care, Third Edition
Elizabeth Jean Dickason, RN, MA, Med; Bonnie Lang Silverman, RNC, MS, NNP; Judith A. Kaplan, RN, ACCE, PhD
Mosby, Inc. 1999

Maternity Nursing, Fifth Edition
Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, RNC, PhD, FAAN; Shannon E. Perry, RN PhD, FAAN; Irene M. Bobak, RN PhD, FAAN
Mosby, Inc. 1999

Share via: