Abortion Pill Information

The abortion pill comes in the form of two pills. This is also known as medical abortion. This is used to end a pregnancy. It is usually performed during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Having a medical abortion is a significant decision with emotional and psychological impacts. Having a support system around you will be important. If you’re considering this procedure, it is important to learn all you can about what it is, how it works, and potential side effects, possible risks, complications, and alternatives.

A doctor must prescribe the abortion pill, and they may carry out additional steps, such as blood work or an ultrasound, before prescribing it. The abortion pill is not available over the counter. Most abortions performed at week eight or earlier in the United States are medical abortions.

How does the abortion pill work?

The abortion pill requires a pregnant person to take two different medications in the following order:   

Medication 1 is Mifepristone. This stops the pregnancy from growing. It blocks the body from producing the progesterone hormone necessary for a pregnancy to continue. Without progesterone, the pregnancy will end.   

Medication 2 is Misoprostol. This is taken 1–2 days after the Mifepristone and it will induce cramping and bleeding to cause the uterus to empty it contents, specifically a pregnancy.  

Follow-up care  

You must keep close contact with your doctor if you have any complications. Medication abortions also recommend a follow-up appointment to ensure that the termination of the pregnancy went as expected and completed to 100%.   

When should I seek treatment for side effects?  

If you have any of the following, please go to the emergency room or contact your medical provider immediately: 

  • Significant or continued bleeding that involved soaking two (2) or more pads an hour for several hours  
  • Blood clots larger than expected that continue more than two (2) hours  
  • Severe or unusual abdominal or back pain 
  • Running a fever, especially lasting more than one (1) day 
  • Continued on-going symptoms of your pregnancy 
How effective is the abortion pill?

In the first nine weeks of pregnancy, a medical abortion that consists of 200 milligrams of mifepristone and 800 micrograms of misoprostol has a 95-98 % success rate.

Is the abortion pill legal in my state?

Since the overturn of Roe V Wade, the decision around the specific laws for abortion policy vary by state.  For the most up to date information check with your local state government.

How do you get the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is not available over the counter. A doctor must prescribe it.

What are the possible side effects and complications of the abortion pill?

A medication abortion still has possible side effects that can include nausea, vomiting, cramping, chills, fever, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache.   

Even when a medication abortion is effective in ending the pregnancy, certain complications can develop, including heavy bleeding or hemorrhaging, the pregnancy contents not entirely passing, and infection.

Is the abortion pill the same as The Morning After Pill, Plan B, or Emergency Contraception?

The abortion pill is not the same as Plan B or the “morning after” pill. Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that you can take within 72 hours of having sex without contraception. It works by blocking ovulation and fertilization to prevent pregnancy from occurring. It does not end a pregnancy.

This information is provided for educational purposes and not intended to treat or diagnose.  As with all medical decisions, talk with your doctor. If this is an emergency, please go to your local emergency room. Discuss your questions and potential risk factors with a doctor to determine if the abortion pill is the right option for you.