Take a pill and your pregnancy worries are gone, right? That sounds easy enough! However, an abortion – any type of abortion – is a serious medical decision. Although “abortion pill” is the popular name given to this procedure by an abortion clinic, it is not one pill, and it is not as easy as advertisers would have you believe. Get the facts before you choose the abortion pill method.

What Is the Abortion Pill?

There are two types of abortion, chemical and surgical. The abortion pill method is known as a chemical or medication abortion. Sometimes it is also called RU-486. You are only eligible for a medication abortion if you are less than ten weeks into your pregnancy. After nine or ten weeks, you would need to have a surgical abortion.

The abortion pill is a two-step process rather than just taking one drug. Before the abortionist can begin the procedure, you must have an ultrasound. The ultrasound determines how far along you are in your pregnancy, and if your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy means a heartbeat is detected and the fetus is growing.

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

Once you have had an ultrasound and determined your pregnancy is less than ten weeks along, you begin the abortion pill procedure. To begin, you take the first drug, mifepristone (Mifeprex®). This drug blocks the production of the hormone progesterone which is commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” Progesterone helps the fertilized egg implant on the wall of your uterus. Mifepristone causes the lining of the uterus to thin and prevents the fetus from staying implanted.

You are given the second drug, Misoprostol to take hours or even days after the Mifepristone. Misoprostol causes your body to cramp to expel the fetus.

Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

Because it is powerful and highly regulated, only an abortion doctor is legally allowed to distribute the first drug. According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the drug is available legally to individual abortion facilities, including clinics, medical offices, and hospitals. It is not available in retail pharmacies.  One may not purchase the abortion pill or other prescription drugs online, as it is illegal to do so in the United States.

If you tried to illegally purchase the abortion pill online, you would not be able to verify the chemicals in the drugs. Since these online 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 the facility meets the necessary standards to protect your health.

Risks and Side Effects of the Abortion Pill

It is vital to be under a doctor’s supervision when considering any kind of abortion, including the abortion pill. Ask beforehand what the abortion doctor’s qualifications are and if they can help you in case of complications. Make sure they know your health history, too.

The Mayo Clinic lists these as potential risks of the abortion pill method:

  • Abdominal cramping as you pass the fetus.
  • Heavy bleeding with blood clots also occurs due to passing the fetus.
  • A fever, which could indicate a pelvic infection, should be checked by a medical professional.
  • Occasionally, your medication abortion is incomplete, and you will have to return to the clinic to finish the procedure.

Other Abortion Pill Side Effects

In extreme cases, death by sepsis can occur if the fetus is not completely expelled.

An abortion has emotional as well as physical side effects. Often, women describe feelings of guilt, shame, and sadness after an abortion. Some women become depressed and begin to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. In certain cases, post-abortion feelings can last a lifetime, so counseling is extremely important to work through your emotions.

What Should I Do Before Taking the Abortion Pill?

At the Palm Beach Women’s Clinic, we can help you understand the abortion pill procedure or other abortion methods fully. In addition, we can confirm your pregnancy with confidential, no-cost pregnancy testing. If you receive a positive result, we can also perform a no-cost ultrasound to tell you how far along your pregnancy is.

We truly care about you. Schedule your appointment today. Together, we will sit down and discuss all your options for your unplanned pregnancy. You do not have to do this alone.

You will never have this day again, so make it count.