A second trimester abortion between 20.1 and 23.6 weeks of pregnancy requires two visits on consecutive days. On the first day, the physician will dilate the cervix and insert Laminaria. This is done under local anesthetic. Laminaria is made from sterile, natural material that absorbs moisture from the walls of the vagina and expands slowly overnight. This process helps to better dilate the cervix, making the procedure safer to complete. Once the Laminaria is inserted, the physician will place sterile gauze into the vagina to ensure the Laminaria stays in place.

On the second day, the patient educator will administer misoprostol tablets to help dilate and soften the cervix. This may take from 1 ½ - 4 hours to take effect.