Although the “abortion pill” is the popular name given to a medical abortion procedure, it is not one pill. The abortion pill, also known as RU 486, is two pills. Taking pills sounds like a simple way to deal with a difficult situation, but like every medical procedure, it can have serious side effects.
Whether performed medically or surgically, abortion is a serious medical procedure. The abortion pill method is a two-step process. The first pill, Mifepristone (Mifeprex®), is taken to stop the production of the hormone progesterone. This hormone helps the fertilized egg implant on the wall of your uterus. The second pill, Misoprostol, causes cramping to expel the fetus from your body.
Side effects from the abortion pill method include severe abdominal cramping, nausea, and heavy bleeding with blood clots as you pass the fetus. It is possible to get a pelvic infection, as well. Without visiting a health-care provider, you run the risk of having no one verify if it was a complete procedure or if an infection has developed.
While searching online, you may come across a site that claims to sell and deliver real abortion medication. Known as “self-managed abortions,” these pharmaceutical sites are often located in other countries. Lawmakers recently discovered some pills were prescribed by an abortionist in the Netherlands and filled by a pharmacy in India.
It is currently illegal to purchase Mifeprex over the internet. According to the FDA, the drug is only available legally to individual health care facilities, including clinics, medical offices, and hospitals. It is not available in retail pharmacies.
There are time restrictions for the abortion pill procedure to work. Only women under 10 weeks into their pregnancy are eligible. This means it can be taken up to 70 days after the first day of your last period. If you are later than 10 weeks, you will need to have a surgical abortion. The medications will not terminate your pregnancy entirely due to the advanced development of the embryo.
The only way to be sure of your pregnancy’s exact gestational age is to have an ultrasound. In fact, an ultrasound provides a lot of information necessary before you have an abortion. You will also find out if the pregnancy is viable (a heartbeat is detected) and where the embryo is located.
When you purchase the abortion pill online, you cannot verify the chemicals in the drugs. Since these drugs are not required to comply with FDA safeguards, you have no assurance of their quality. Oversight by the FDA assures the manufacturing process and facility meet the necessary standards. Besides, you would have no information on side effects or complications from the different pills. You can’t even confirm if the dosage is the same.
Even the FDA has admitted that the abortion pill can be deadly if not given with medical oversight. The drug’s warning label states, “WARNING: SERIOUS AND SOMETIMES FATAL INFECTIONS OR BLEEDING.” They encourage a medical professional to inform a patient about the risk of this happening. Because of these serious risks, Mifeprex is available only through a restricted program.
Abortion is an emotional as well as physical decision. It is essential to know you are not alone in the process. Many women have reported a feeling of loss or guilt after their abortions. Being alone, in your home, may not be the best option. Not only are you by yourself if there are complications, but you are alone emotionally as well. Isolating yourself is not the answer to this serious life-altering experience.
If you are considering an abortion and need help processing your decision or exploring other options, please contact us to schedule an appointment today.