A medical abortion is a procedure that terminates a pregnancy through the use of chemical drugs. This process is most commonly referred to as the “abortion pill.”
With many changes happening in legislation and the distribution of the abortion pill, it’s important to be aware of the full scope of risks of abortion pill. Many women who may be seeking the abortion pill (and even trying to access it online or through the mail) are not aware of all of the emotional or physical effects that could occur.
Caring Network’s six pregnancy centers are here to assist women who may be seeking the abortion pill or procedure. Our expert staff are equipped with highly accurate and up-to-date information regarding the abortion pill process and any potential risks. We believe it’s important for women to be informed about their options, while also receiving compassionate care that offers hope and empowers them to choose life. Learn more about how you can support our work today.
How Does the Abortion Pill Work?
The abortion pill is FDA-approved for use up to 10 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual cycle. The abortion pill is actually often two different types of pills – mifepristone and misoprostol.
The first drug, mifepristone, inhibits a hormone called progesterone, which is necessary for the unborn child to receive nutrients. Without this hormone, the lining of the uterus begins to break down. This process slowly terminates the life of the baby.
Often, approximately 24-48 hours later the next drug, misoprostol, is given to induce cramping and the expelling of the pregnancy from the uterus.
This is often done at home and the mother is then expected to dispose of the “uterine contents” by herself. This can be traumatizing to some women, as they see and experience this process.
How is the Abortion Pill Administered?
Currently a woman has to be examined by a medical expert before being allowed to take the abortion pill. Depending on a state’s individual laws, the medical expert does not have to be a doctor. In Illinois, some nurses are allowed to administer the pill.
However, first they have to ascertain how far along a woman is in her pregnancy. There are risks in taking the abortion pill after the FDA-approved 10 weeks gestation. If a mistake is made when determining how far along a woman is in her pregnancy, she may take the pill beyond the FDA- approved 10 weeks, and when the baby is larger and further developed.
Also, an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, can also cause the pill to have complications. There are also general risks of side effects such as excessive bleeding, infection, fever, and digestive issues.
What Are The Abortion Pill After Effects?
The abortion pill can damage women both emotionally and physically. Women don’t always realize how well developed their baby is when they decide to have an abortion.
They may not be educated about what to expect during the process and aftermath of the abortion pill. With nurses dispensing the abortion pill, sometimes a doctor isn’t even involved in their decision. If they change their mind after taking the first pill, they may not have been informed about the option of an abortion pill reversal.
This can undo the effects of mifepristone with a large dose of progesterone, the pregnancy hormone that the pill is designed to block.
Women may be sent home soon after taking the pill and left to deal with any complications that arise as best they can on their own.
And even more concerning, in some states, the abortion industry is now seeking to deregulate the abortion pill further by cutting out the visit to the abortion clinic entirely, and simply mailing the abortion pill to women, performing telemedicine abortions or providing over the counter abortion pills.
This leaves a woman completely on her own, with no one to help guide or assist her with any concerns, questions, or reservations she may have, in addition to side effects or complications after the fact.
De-regulating the abortion pill not only increases access to abortion, but also puts women at risk. At Caring Network, we prioritize the health and safety of women, ensuring they receive medically accurate information, vital services, and nonjudgmental support. If you are suffering from negative emotional effects following an abortion, we’re here to help. Reach out to our Restore After Abortion program to start your path towards healing. To learn more about how to get involved in the work at Caring Network, contact us today.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2021, April). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex
- Mayo Clinic. (2020, May). Medical Abortion. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687
- Guttmacher Institute. (2021, July). Medication Abortion. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/medication-abortion