An unexpected pregnancy can send anyone into a panic. It may feel like you need to make a major life decision at a moment’s notice. You likely have a lot of big questions and even bigger fears.

Take a deep breath. Bakersfield Pregnancy Center is here to help you make an informed and empowered decision! Today, we’re exploring California abortion law and the importance of ultrasounds in your unexpected pregnancy journey!


Why are Ultrasounds Important?

Although California abortion law doesn’t require you to receive an ultrasound before an abortion, we strongly recommend it! Ultrasounds determine three key things:

  • How far along you are
  • Whether you’re likely to miscarry
  • Whether you’re experiencing an ectopic pregnancy

Having all of this information will help you make the ideal plan for your unexpected pregnancy!


How Late Can You Have an Abortion in California?

It’s important to know how far along you are in your pregnancy (called your gestational age), as California abortion law only allows abortions to be performed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy [1]. The abortion pill has an even smaller window of around 9 weeks [2]. Knowing your gestational age is the first step in creating your unexpected pregnancy plan.


Do I Need an Abortion for Miscarriage?

The Mayo Clinic [3] estimates that about 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage – that’s very common! If you are experiencing a natural miscarriage, abortion is not necessary.

An ultrasound diagnoses a miscarriage by detecting a fetal heartbeat (or the lack thereof). If a heartbeat can’t be detected, a miscarriage may have occurred. Some common miscarriage symptoms are:

  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Cramping in your stomach or lower back
  • A sudden gush of liquid from the vagina
  • Tissue passing from the vagina


Is an Ectopic Pregnancy Considered an Abortion?

Abortion is defined as the voluntary termination of a viable pregnancy–meaning, a healthy pregnancy that can continue normally. Conditions such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy are unviable and outside of anyone’s control. Therefore, ectopic pregnancies and the treatment methods used are not considered abortion.


What is Ectopic Pregnancy?

The placement of your pregnancy is extremely important! A fetus can only develop properly inside the uterus. If the fertilized egg implants somewhere else, such as in the fallopian tube or on an ovary, it becomes an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy can’t progress normally. The fertilized egg can’t survive and eventually causes a rupture if left untreated. This leads to life-threatening internal bleeding and requires immediate emergency care.

Early intervention is key to preventing serious complications. A transvaginal ultrasound reveals the exact location of the fertilized egg. As mentioned earlier, an abdominal ultrasound can detect whether there is a heartbeat, and even evaluate for internal bleeding! Thanks to ultrasounds, ectopic pregnancies are diagnosed much earlier. In fact, 85% of cases are discovered before a rupture happens! [4]

Ectopic pregnancy also eliminates the need for abortion. Once the ectopic pregnancy is confirmed, contact your doctor immediately to receive treatment.


Free Ultrasounds in Bakersfield, CA

No matter where you are in your unexpected pregnancy journey, you aren’t alone! Our trained team of client advocates is here to provide the support and vital information needed to make an informed decision.

We offer free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds – all in a safe, compassionate environment. We are a CDPH-licensed Primary Care free clinic and will never profit off of the choice you make.

Don’t wait to get the care you deserve! Schedule your appointment today.


  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (2022). Abortion. UC Davis Health. Retrieved from
  2. Medical Abortion. Cleveland Clinic. (2021, October 21). Retrieved from
  3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, October 16). Miscarriage. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from
  4. Dvash, S., Cuckle, H., Smorgick, N., Vaknin, Z., Padoa, A., & Maymon, R. (2021, April). Increase rate of ruptured tubal ectopic pregnancy during the covid-19 pandemic. European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology. Retrieved from
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