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The Abortion Pill

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion “pill” is more than just a pill. It is a two-step regimen intended to end an early pregnancy (10 weeks or less).

Sometimes referred to as a chemical or medication abortion, this process is most effective (96%) if completed before eight weeks gestation, 94% effective at eight to nine weeks and 92% effective at nine to ten weeks.

How does the abortion pill work?

According to the FDA, step one of the regimen is to take 200 mg of the drug mifepristone, commonly referred to as RU486, or by its brand name, Mifeprex. Mifepristone blocks the body’s naturally producing progesterone which is needed to sustain a pregnancy.

Step two utilizes the drug misoprostol, also knowns as Cytotec. 24-48 hours after taking Mifeprex, 800 mcg of misoprostol should be taken buccally (in the cheek pouch) or vaginally at a location where the patient feels most comfortable. Misoprostol softens the cervix and prepares the body to expel the pregnancy.

You should follow up with your provider seven to 14 days after completing the abortion pill regimen to ensure the abortion was completed and no infection exists.

Do I need to have an ultrasound prior to taking the abortion pill?

Ultrasound is the most reliable way to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Additionally, ultrasound is the only way to confirm you do not have an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus. The abortion pill is not a reliable way to end an ectopic pregnancy. While it may terminate the pregnancy, it cannot remove the embryo from the uterus, therefore increasing your risk of serious infection.

Southside Women’s Services offers both free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. All ultrasounds are performed by a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and reviewed by our medical director. If there is any reason for concern, we will refer you to the local hospital for further evaluation.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

What will happen to my body after taking the abortion pill?

During a chemical abortion, particularly after taking misoprostol, you will likely pass large blood clots – up to the size of a lemon – as well as the fetus or embryo. It is important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for this process, particularly if your pregnancy is eight weeks along or later. There is no right or wrong way to feel so it is important to have your trusted support system in place to help you process your emotions.

What side effects are possible with the abortion pill?

Side effects include:

  • Cramping and vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Fever/chills
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

What should I do if my side effects persist?

Go to the nearest emergency room if:

  • You are bleeding through two regular-sized sanitary pads per hour for more than two hours
  • You are passing blood clots larger than a lemon
  • You have a fever of 100.4˚ F or higher for longer than four hours
  • You have persistent nausea, stomach pain, or weakness

In order for emergency room personnel to properly diagnose and treat you, it is important that you be upfront and honest about taking the abortion pill.

According to an article published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute and backed by the research of Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, abortions miscoded as miscarriages in the ER were more likely (by as much as 78%) to result in hospitalization. Furthermore, they were twice as likely to be admitted for surgery for retained products of conception (RPOC).

Where can I get more information?

At Southside Women’s Services we believe true empowerment lies in information. We provide real answers to your questions regarding abortion, adoption, parenting and more so you can leave feeling focused, assured, and confident to make the best decision for YOU.

Our services range from pregnancy testing to STD information to ensure your sexual health is put first. We have medical staff on site to confirm a pregnancy and provide you with the support you need going forward. All at no charge.

Learn more about the abortion pill and schedule an appointment today.

Three of our FAQ’s About Abortion in Chicago

If you are considering abortion, there is a lot of conflicting information and it can be hard to get a straight answer to your questions. Southside Women’s Services is here to help and give you the truth about abortions in Chicago.

1.) Will Southside tell anyone that I came in for a pregnancy test or information about an abortion in Chicago?

When you choose our services, you can know with great confidence that any information shared with us will be kept in the strictest confidence. You don’t have to worry if your family or friends will find out that you were utilizing any of our services. We’ll do everything we can to protect your privacy.

2.) How do I know if I’ve been exposed to an STD and why does it matter when thinking about getting an abortion?

If you’ve been sexually active orally, anally or vaginally, you have put yourself at risk for an STD or STI. It’s just that simple. With so many types of STD’s and STI’s at record high rates according to the CDC, it’s important to be tested often. It’s also important to understand that when you’re looking for information about abortion in Chicago, you also need to be looking for a place to be tested and potentially treated for STD’s and STI’s. If you have your abortion procedure prior to being tested and treated, you put your future health and possibly even your life at risk. If you choose our services, we take care of that step in our free pre-abortion screening. It’s just one more reason why you can trust Southside when you’re considering abortion in Chicago.

3.) What if I don’t have any insurance?

Next to the high-quality and compassionate care, it’s probably our best asset; all of our services are free. We are supported by individuals in the community who truly care about your health and well-being, so we can offer professional medical services to you for the best price in town, free. This also means whether you have insurance or don’t have insurance, it makes no difference to us. If you’re looking for information about abortions in Chicago, there’s no better place to go to get started with a FREE pre-abortion screening.

So, what are you waiting for? We’re here for you. You don’t have to walk this journey alone. Our pro-woman services are available to every woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who is considering abortion in South Side Chicago. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Attracting Positive Vibes


I’m sure we’ve all heard of that quote before, but how do we truly become this best version of ourselves? It starts with an internal shift. Once we change our own behaviors, moods and thoughts, this will attract other like-minded people to you. Start with these simple steps and see what starts to change in your life and start attracting positive vibes.

Be the type of person you want to meet.


The Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. Take a moment to step into someone’s shoes. Think about their daily experiences and thoughts, then decide how you might react to a situation. Be friendly. Be helpful. Be patient. Lend a listening ear. Simply take time to think what YOU would want from someone if you were in their situation.


Happy Feet: Do you have that one song that just puts a smile on your face and makes your feet start to dance? Make a playlist of all those songs! Songs that warm the heart also warm your mind and thoughts. Wake up, start the playlist and begin your day with positive, upbeat tunes.


Look for The Good: Train your mind to see in the good and positive in every situation. You have the power to create your fortune. If you keep your head down, you’ll miss all the wonderful opportunities in front of you!


Be Present: Put down your phone and unplug. Enjoy the moment – right here, right now. Living life through the screen of your phone can invite comparison and take you away from appreciating your surroundings. Wherever you are, be ALL there.


Try incorporating these 4 simple steps into your daily routine and see what attracting positive vibes can do for your life!

Own All Hours in Your Day, Don’t Let the Hours Own You

If there was one sentence that I have never said before, and I know with confidence this will be my first and last time saying it, would be, “I wish there were less hours in the day!”  Come to think of it, I have never heard anyone ever say those words.  We all get 24 hours, every single day.  With those hours, we can do with them whatever we want.  Unfortunately, we all know that with work, and school, and other priorities, it doesn’t always seem like we have a choice with how we spend our hours.  But, it is possible to claim some of those hours back, that seem to be slipping away.  Here’s how:

  1. Block your days out on your calendar. If you have your “to do” list, and you have 8 hours at work, block out each day in hour segments, and do as much as you can in the time that you have.  Same goes for your evenings.  How long will dinner take?  How long will your workout take?  Do you have time for other things?  Laundry?  Dishes?  Block it out!  It will make you stay on schedule and you won’t be wandering around wondering what to tackle next.
  2. Plan ahead. This goes hand in hand with #1.  If you have a couple minutes to sit down and plan out your future week/days/nights, whatever it may be, you will spend less time in the moment debating on what you have time for.
  3. When necessary, it’s okay to say no. If you have something on your calendar, that is a priority, and you have been planning it for a long time, it’s okay to say no to other things that might come up at the same time.  Actually, you will feel much better if you say no and actually accomplish what you hoped you would on your calendar.
  4. Keep a calendar. This is a theme that has been woven throughout the first three items on this list.  However, none of the above is possible without a calendar.  Whether it be digital, or paper, it makes no difference.  Just keep track of your schedule!

*Disclaimer: you still have to enjoy life, and you still have to be flexible.  So, when you are putting stuff on your calendar, don’t over-commit yourself, and know with confidence that things will happen, and plans will change.  However, having a plan is a great start!

Personality Tests: Proceed with Caution

There are two types of people in this world. Those who love personality tests such as Meyers-Briggs, the Temperaments, the Love Languages, the Colors, etc, etc, and those who hate them. The former group will say that they love personality tests because they provide valuable insights which help you to understand both yourself and others. The latter will explain that they despise personality tests and types because they put people in boxes.

As with anything, much of it comes down to your attitude. If you take a free, online personality test, receive a result, and embrace your personality diagnosis so much that it becomes your identity, and you only act in accordance with the prediction of your newfound personality type, that is an unhealthy extreme. That is placing yourself in a box. If you use it to put others in boxes, and as way to avoid having to actually get to know people, that is also an unhealthy extreme, and an example of having the wrong attitude towards them. Personality tests are not meant to be a shortcut to getting to know people, or a definition that applies to every person with the same result.

So, what is the purpose of personality tests? And what is the proper attitude? Personality tests are meant to be a tool that can enhance your understanding of people on a deeper level. Personality tests are not all-encompassing and do not claim to be. Each of them measures different aspects of a person. Some are specifically designed to evaluate people’s suitability to certain work environments, some of them look at people’s instinctive, unchanging dispositions and natural reactions, and some look at the ways people give and receive love, and on and on. They do not claim to be the key to understanding all aspects of a person, and if you come across one that does it is probably not credible.

People are complex, complicated, incomparable entities. One of the mysteries of life is that we will never be able to fully understand another person. However, the science of psychology makes a study of the human mind and how it works and can make certain conclusions based off those observations. These conclusions can be used to help us understand certain aspects of both ourselves and others. So, for example, instead of abusing personality tests by taking every single word to heart and feeling pressured to make sure that you identify with each part of your personality description, a better way to use it is as a guide. For example, once you identify your personality type you can study about the observed strengths and weaknesses of this type. This is one way that knowing your personality type can provide some perspective for you which can help on the path of self-improvement. In a similar way, they can be very useful in improving communication skills between people who are naturally very different.

The first part in understanding personality tests is realizing that, like anything, they are a tool that can be used well or poorly. It is up to you. So, now that you have been forewarned to proceed with caution… go take some tests and do some self-discovery! A good one to start with is the Meyers-Briggs 16 personality types.

By Colleen McCrum

Interview Tips for College Students

Whether you’re an underclassman looking for your first internship, a graduating senior trying to get your first “grown up” job, or even a first-year student just trying to get some practice, interviews can be intimidating. After all, these are people who might hold your future employment in their hands – you sure don’t want to mess it up! Even if this isn’t your first interview, it can still be scary, so here are a few tips to help you feel more confident and prepared:


  1. Run through some practice questions. Be prepared to talk about your previous work experience, or any internships or volunteer positions you’ve had, and how they’ve prepared you for the position you’re interviewing for. Even if you just run through a list of potential questions once or twice, it can help you feel less overwhelmed when they actually get asked in the interview.
  2. Dress for success. Now might not the time to break out that brand new outfit you’ve never worn – not because it isn’t interview-appropriate, but because you might not be totally comfortable. If this is your first interview, something new might be your only option, but if you have the choice it’s probably better to wear something that you’re comfortable in.
  3. Be confident but be honest. Just like you wouldn’t lie or embellish the truth on your resume, you definitely shouldn’t do it in an interview. But don’t sell yourself short, either! Just because you don’t have work experience in a particular field, that doesn’t mean you don’t have experiences and training that can help you in the position, so be confident in your abilities!
  4. Ask questions. It’s pretty common for interviewers to dedicate time at the end of the interview for any questions you might have, so take advantage of this time! Even if you think you’ve gotten all the information you need, it’s best to have a few backup questions in mind so that you have something to ask. Getting clarification on job responsibilities, for example, is never a bad idea.
  5. Follow up. Though you might breathe a big sigh of relief when you leave the room, you’re not done yet! Get contact information for the people who interviewed you and make sure to send them a thank you card or email. Not only is this simple politeness, it confirms your interest in the position and gives you a place to bring up any questions or points you might have forgotten in the moment.


There’s no doubt that interviews make a lot of us pretty nervous – no matter how much we prepare, there’s no getting around the fact that they’re a pretty big deal. But there are lots of ways to help you feel more prepared and present your best in your interview, and these are just a few!

How to Start a Running Routine

Running is a great form of exercise, but there’s no denying that it can be intimidating if you’re a beginner. After all, there are people out there running marathons, and some of us can barely manage a tiny fraction of that. But every one of those marathon runners started at the beginning, too – probably a lot earlier, but at the beginning all the same. So, while it can seem impossible when you’re just starting, it’s absolutely possible to find a running routine that works for you. Here are just a few tips to get you started:


  1. Get the right gear. Unlike a lot of types of exercise, running doesn’t require a lot of special equipment, but a good pair of running shoes is one of the most important things that you do A running store will be able to give you good advice, depending on the way you run and the measurements of your feet, which can do a lot to help prevent injuries.
  2. Start slow. A lot of people, when they first start running, make the mistake of starting off too fast. After just a little while they’re huffing and puffing and decide that running is awful and definitely not for them. Instead, it’s important to start off slow by taking walking breaks when you need them and not trying to do too much. Not only will this help prevent injury, it will also keep you from burning out early on.
  3. Set goals. And don’t be afraid to start small – even your first run around the block without stopping might be a huge accomplishment if you’re a complete beginner. Of course, you want to have bigger goals, too, but setting smaller ones is an important part of keeping your motivation up and improving. There are plenty of running plans on the internet that can help you set reasonable goals.
  4. Find a friend. Not only will it make your running more fun, it’ll also keep you accountable when the going gets tough. Having someone who’s planning on you being there to run is a great motivator when you really don’t want to get out of bed in the morning or when the thought of putting in even one more mile seems miserable.


The most important thing when making a running routine is to stick with it, even on the days when you wonder why you ever started. There are so many benefits of regular cardio exercise (like running) and running can also be a great stress reliever. So, lace up your shoes and get started!

Easy Stress-Relieving Activities to Fit into Your Day

Stress seems kind of unavoidable these days, doesn’t it? We’re all so busy and have so many commitments at work, at school, or in our social lives, that it can be hard not to let all the stress and pressure pile up. There are all sorts of articles and bits of advice out there on how to reduce your stress levels, but sometimes they can seem kind of vague, or maybe you’ve tried them, and they didn’t work for you.


Never fear! The big thing to remember about handling stress is that it’s different for everyone. Sure, there are some things that seem to work well for most people, but everyone’s situation is different, so everyone’s stress relief will be different. That said, here are a few fun activities you can try that have been shown to help reduce stress levels:


  1. Reading. Whether you prefer light beach reads, serious non-fiction, or page-turning mysteries, spending some part of your day with a book (or an e-reader) is a great way to relieve stress. When you’re concentrating on what you’re reading, you aren’t as focused on other distractions or stressors, giving you much needed time to relax and destress. Reading is also good for your brain, which only adds to the benefits!
  2. Exercising. Exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, right? Regular activity such as running, biking, or swimming is good for your heart and has been shown to improve self-esteem and mood. Moving your exercise outside instead of going to the gym can help reduce the temptation of comparing yourself to others, another way to help avoid further stress.
  3. Gardening. Whether you have a full-fledged garden in your yard, or simply a potted plant or two in your apartment, being around plants can have a big positive impact on your mood. Fresh flowers have been shown to promote relaxation and positive feelings and tending to plants can be a good distraction from the stress of work or school.
  4. Baking. Or cooking, but who doesn’t like to pop in a tray of chocolate chip cookies when they’re feeling stressed? Focusing on a recipe or mixing up something delicious takes your mind off of what’s stressful for you, and you get something tasty out of it at the end, which sounds like a win-win situation!


Stress can seem inevitable these days, with all the commitments that we have and the constant negativity that we get from the news and even from our social media feeds. While there are lots of great ways to reduce stress, you’ll probably find that some work better than others. Don’t be afraid to try something new if you’re finding yourself stressed – there’s sure to be a stress-relieving habit or activity for you!

Write That Down: The Importance of Taking Notes

It seems like common sense to take notes on the topics your professors cover in class, but a surprising number of college students choose not to. Even if you have the best memory in the world, there will still be things your professor mentions – maybe even important things that will show up on an exam – that you’re going to forget. No matter how hard we try, there is no way we can remember everything.


Whether you’re just starting to take notes in class or you’re trying to update your note-taking routine to adjust to a new class or professor, here are a few tips for making your notes as helpful and painless as possible:


  1. Try different methods. If you’re struggling to keep up with your notes or staying engaged with them during class, try out different note-taking methods. From the Cornell Method to outlining to mind maps, there’s sure to be a style out there that works for you. It might even help to use different methods for different classes or subjects, depending on the material being covered.
  2. Use technology. If taking notes by hand isn’t your thing, see if your professors will allow you to take notes on a laptop or tablet. Many will, but some won’t, so make sure you check before bringing your device to class. Typing your notes directly into an empty document is the simplest method, but there are also lots of apps and programs that can help keep your notes organized by class or subject.
  3. Use shorthand. This doesn’t mean you need to go learn a bunch of new symbols or an entirely new writing system. But using abbreviations, or phrases in place of complete sentences, can help you take notes faster while still getting the most important information. Just make sure that when you read over your notes later you’ll be able to understand the abbreviations you used – notes you can’t read don’t help you at all!
  4. Don’t try to write everything down. Even if you’re using abbreviations and short phrases, you probably still won’t be able to get down everything that your professor says or puts on the board. And that’s okay! Pay attention to your professor and what kind of information shows up on the tests to make sure that you’re taking notes on things that you’ll really need to know.
  5. Review your notes later. It’s all well and good to take notes in class, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t review them later! It’s best to read over your notes soon after class, but if that’s not possible then try to review them at least a few times before your test.


I know you think you’ll remember everything important that your professors say in class, but you don’t want to get to the exam and realize that you would have remembered the information more if you had written it down. Note taking is such an important tool for college students, so don’t forget your notebook and pen the next time you go to class!

Finding a Healthy & Productive Morning Routine

We’ve all been there – maybe you hit snooze one too many times, or you got caught up scrolling through Facebook, and then you have to rush to get to work or class on time. It’s always stressful, and more often than not it leads to forgetting something important that leads to even more stress later in the day. It can seem like the only thing you can do to solve this is to just get up earlier, but if you’re not a morning person that can seem impossible.


While setting your alarm a little earlier to give yourself more time in the morning can be a great option, a good routine can help get your morning in order without waking up earlier. Creating a morning routine that works for you may take some trial and error, but here are a few things to think about when you’re getting started:


  1. Pick a time that works for you. Yes, multiple studies have shown that people who wake up earlier tend to be more productive. But if you’re the opposite of a morning person, getting up earlier may not help you all that much. Instead, find at time that works for you, while still giving you enough time to get ready for the day.
  2. Make decisions the night before. A productive morning can actually start as early as the night before. Whether you lay out your entire outfit before bed, pack your lunch or work bag, or even write out your task list ahead of time, doing so means fewer decisions to make in the morning and more time to spend on other things.
  3. Start with what absolutely needs to be done. Breakfast is a good beginning, and making any decisions like what to wear and what you need to bring to work or class (if you didn’t do it ahead of time). We’ve all got a lot of things that should get done each day, but focus first on the things that need to get done.
  4. Count backwards from when you leave. If you’re really not sure how long to give yourself in the morning or how late you can sleep, start from when you leave the house and work backwards, adding in time for all the things you need to get done.
  5. Set your phone down. Spending too much time scrolling through social media is the downfall of a good morning routine. While it’s important to keep up with friends and family and to know what’s going on in the world, your phone might be more distracting than helpful. Don’t hesitate to put it away while you get ready in order to keep yourself on track.
  6. Stick with it. Starting any habit can be hard, and new morning routine is no different. Whether or not you’re getting up earlier, making changes to how you do things when you first get up can take some time to get used to. Don’t be afraid to change things around if one routine isn’t working or if you find yourself struggling to get everything done.


A good routine can help turn your mornings from rushed and stressful to more relaxed and productive, even if you cringe at the idea of waking up even earlier. It can set the tone for your day, helping you start your day feeling more positive and more productive!

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