If you are unexpectedly pregnant in Florida, you may be wondering what to do next. There’s been a lot of talk about the new abortion law, but some of the information is confusing or misleading.

We’re here to help. This blog will explain the new law, its requirements, and how it might affect you. You’ll also learn about our no-cost services and programs that can help during this time.

What is Florida’s Heartbeat Protection Act?

Florida Senate Bill 300 prohibits abortions after six weeks gestation. Generally, this is when the embryo’s heartbeat can be detected by an ultrasound machine, which is why it’s commonly called a heartbeat bill. 

If you are pregnant in Florida, it’s important to know the gestational age of your pregnancy. With the new law’s six-week limit, this information will determine which options are available to you.

Gestational age measures the length of your pregnancy. You can estimate this number by counting the weeks and days that have passed since the first day of your last period. 

Unfortunately, this method isn’t always accurate. You may have misremembered the date your period started. You may also have had implantation bleeding or spotting, which can be mistaken for a period. In both cases, you may be farther along in your pregnancy than you think.

To know your true gestational age, you will need to have a pregnancy ultrasound. 

In the early stages of pregnancy, all embryos grow at about the same rate. Measuring the embryo will show how far along you are. This is the most accurate way to find the age of your pregnancy.

You can get a no-cost ultrasound to learn your gestational age at Thrive Orlando.

What is Florida’s Heartbeat Protection Act

What should I do if I have an unplanned pregnancy in Florida?

1. Get a medical-grade pregnancy test

If you suspect that you are pregnant, you should make an appointment to get a medical-grade pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are usually, but not always, accurate. You may get a false positive result.

This step is especially important if you plan to take the abortion pill. You should never take either mifepristone or misoprostol without seeing a medical professional first. Taking the abortion pill without medical supervision or if you aren’t actually pregnant can put your life and health at risk.

2. Schedule an ultrasound to learn your gestational age

Schedule an ultrasound to learn your gestational age

If your pregnancy test is positive, an ultrasound is the next step. At Thrive Orlando, you may qualify for a free ultrasound if your pregnancy test is positive. You can usually get the ultrasound during the same appointment to save time and hassle.

Along with revealing your gestational age, your ultrasound will offer critical information about your pregnancy.

The sonographer will look for signs of a possible miscarriage. If your pregnancy isn’t viable (healthy), you may need to seek additional medical care. A miscarriage also means that you won’t be affected by the new abortion law.

Your ultrasound may reveal potential pregnancy complications as well. During the scan, the sonographer will look to see that you have an intrauterine pregnancy. This means the embryo is in your uterus, where it’s supposed to be.

In some pregnancies, the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. Often, it will implant in the fallopian tube. This condition is called an ectopic pregnancy or a tubal pregnancy.

Without treatment, an ectopic pregnancy may rupture. This may be fatal.

If you may have an ectopic pregnancy, the FDA warns, you should not take the abortion pill. You may experience a ruptured ectopic pregnancy or develop a serious, life-threatening infection if you do.

An ultrasound is crucial for your health and for understanding your options.

3. Learn about your pregnancy options

Once you have confirmed your pregnancy and determined your gestational age, you can explore your pregnancy options.

Before your ultrasound, you will speak with a patient advocate who will explain all of your options. She will offer details about different abortion procedures, adoption, and parenting. You can ask questions to make sure you understand which options are available to you. The patient advocate will also provide brochures, information, and other resources to help you make an informed decision.

If you are farther along than six weeks, your patient advocate will help you understand your pregnancy options in Florida.

In some cases, it may be difficult to confirm a pregnancy. If so, you can make a follow-up appointment. We’ll give you another ultrasound that will determine if the pregnancy is developing as expected.

Find options and support at Thrive Orlando

We know this is a scary time. You may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed about your potential pregnancy. But you are not alone in this.

You can find answers and help at our clinic. We’re here to help you feel comfortable and confident in the decision you make for your pregnancy.

Make a free appointment for a pregnancy test today.

Find options and support at Thrive Orlando
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