Is At-Home Abortion Safe?

The shock of an unplanned pregnancy can make you feel unsure about your decision. As you decide, you’ll want to have all the facts about your options and unbiased abortion pill information. Keep reading to learn about the abortion pill and what you need to know beforehand!

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

With the abortion pill, a woman takes medication to intentionally terminate her pregnancy. Abortion pills may also be called RU-486, Medication Abortion, Medical Abortion, Chemical Abortion, Mifepristone, Mifeprex®, and Plan C.

The process involves two medications. Mifepristone is taken first. This medication cuts the supply of the hormone progesterone to the embryo, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy.1 Without a steady supply of progesterone, the embryo stops growing and eventually dies over the next several days.2 The second medication, misoprostol, causes the uterus to cramp and expel the pregnancy.3

How Far Along Can You Take the Abortion Pill?

The FDA approved the use of the abortion pill up to 10 weeks (or 70 days) from your last menstrual period.4

Gestational age can be estimated based on a woman’s last menstrual period, but an ultrasound is a far more reliable way to determine the gestational age and to know for sure that the pregnancy is in the proper location.

Pregnancy Decision Line can connect you with a local pregnancy center that provides free ultrasounds. Contact us to get started.

Call 866-406-9327 and get help now.

How Long Does the Abortion Pill Take to Work?

During the abortion pill regimen, a woman takes mifepristone first. Then, 24 to 48 hours later she takes misoprostol which causes her uterus to cramp and to expel the pregnancy. She may continue to experience bleeding for about 9 to 16 days and could bleed up to 30 days.5 She should follow up with a provider 7 to 14 days after taking the abortion pill to evaluate for complications.6

Is Plan B an Abortion Pill?

Plan B is an emergency contraception and is also called the morning-after pill. Emergency contraception and abortion pills are different. Plan B primarily works by preventing the egg & sperm from meeting (so there is no conception, no embryo). However, it may also work by interfering with the implantation of a newly formed embryo, resulting in the loss of that life.7

Where Can I Go to Get an Abortion Pill?

The abortion pills are only available through certified providers of mifepristone.8 Depending upon your state laws, women access abortion pills through in-person clinics or telemedicine (“virtual”) clinics. Both settings may use pharmacies to dispense the drugs. Both the abortion provider and pharmacy must be certified with the abortion pill manufacturers and follow the FDA-approved protocol.9

In states where abortion is not legal, the law typically prohibits residents from receiving abortion pills in the mail. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions against getting abortion drugs from online or foreign pharmacies because they have not been approved for safety and effectiveness and there are legal risks.10

Can Your Gynecologist Give You the Abortion Pill?

Most practicing obstetricians and gynecologists don’t perform abortions.11 In states where abortion is legal, only certified providers can prescribe abortion pills.

How Much Does the Abortion Pill Cost?

As of June 2024, abortion providers charge up to $800 for medical abortion or abortion pills.12 This may or may not include fees for ultrasounds, blood tests, medications, and follow-up appointments, depending on the provider.

Pregnancy Decision Line can connect you with a local pregnancy center that provides free ultrasounds and abortion pill information. Contact us to get started.

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What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill?

Like any medical procedure or medication, the abortion pill has risks. First, women seeking an abortion should make certain they have a pregnancy inside the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy develops outside of the uterus and can be life-threatening if not properly treated.13 So, before taking abortion pills, it is recommended that a woman receive an ultrasound.

Further complications after taking mifepristone and misoprostol include hemorrhaging14, infection15, or an incomplete abortion16, which could require further medical intervention.

Call 866-347-7208 to find a local pregnancy center where you can confirm your pregnancy. Your life may depend upon it.

Does the Abortion Pill Hurt?

Everyone tolerates pain differently, but on average, women report a higher level of pain than they expected: they describe the pain as worse than menstrual cramps and compare it to labor contractions.17

Call Pregnancy Decision Line for Abortion Pill Information

Weighing the pros and cons of abortion can feel overwhelming. But you aren’t alone! Contact Pregnancy Decision Line to speak with our qualified and compassionate staff. We provide accurate, unbiased abortion pill information and a non-judgmental space for you to process your questions and concerns.

  1. Mayo Clinic. (2022, July 29). Medical abortion. Top-ranked Hospital in the Nation – Mayo Clinic. 
  2. See source #1.
  3. See source #1. 
  4. FDA. (2023, September). Questions and Answers on Mifepristone for Medical Termination of Pregnancy Through Ten Weeks Gestation.
  5. Danco Laboratories, LLC. (2022). MEDICATION GUIDE: Mifeprex.
  6. See source #5.
  7. Noé G, Croxatto HB, Salvatierra AM, Reyes V, Villarroel C, Muñoz C, Morales G, Retamales A. Contraceptive efficacy of emergency contraception with levonorgestrel given before or after ovulation. Contraception. 2011 Nov;84(5):486-92. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Apr 27. PMID: 22018122. 
  8. See source #4. 
  9. See source #4. 
  10. Food & Drug Administration. (2023, September 1). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex: Has FDA ever taken action regarding the sale of mifepristone online? Retrieved from  
  11. Stulberg DB, Dude AM, Dahlquist I, Curlin FA. Abortion provision among practicing obstetrician-gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Sep;118(3):609-614. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822ad973. PMID: 21860290; PMCID: PMC3170127.
  12. As advertised by abortion providers as of June 2024.
  13. Ectopic Pregnancy – Symptoms & Causes. Mayo Clinic. (2022, March 12).
  14. Food & Drug Administration. (2023). Mifeprex label prescribing information. 
  15. See source #14.
  16. See source #14.
  17. Georgsson, S., & Carlsson, T. (2019). Pain and pain management during induced abortions: A web-based exploratory study of recollections from previous patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 75(11), 3006–3017.

Call 866-406-9327 and get help now.

All of our services are 100% free and confidential. We exist to provide accurate medical information and support to women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy. Our pregnancy centers do not offer or refer for pregnancy terminations or birth control. Information is provided as an educational service and should not be relied on as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.