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The Abortion Pill

The abortion pill (also known as medication abortion) actually consists of two pills: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is taken first. It 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.[2] Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours later resulting in cramping and bleeding that usually expels the embryo.[3]

 

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 How Late Can You Take the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is only FDA-approved for up to 10 weeks from your last menstrual period.[1] If you take the abortion pill later on in your pregnancy, the risk of serious complications increases. You may need emergency surgery to stop heavy bleeding or complete the procedure if it fails or is incomplete.[4]

Can I Get Abortion Pills Over the Counter?

No, a prescription from a provider or physician who is registered to prescribe the abortion pills is necessary. However, the FDA does permit pharmacies to become certified to dispense the abortion pill with a proper prescription.[5]

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Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

The FDA advises against ordering the abortion pill from online overseas websites or groups because these drugs are not FDA-approved and therefore are not evaluated for safety, effectiveness, or quality.[6] The abortion pills could be counterfeit, expired, or contaminated. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid ordering the abortion pill online.

Get the Facts on the Abortion Pill at Pregnancy Decision Line

When your pregnancy test comes back positive, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make the final decision for you. Get the care and support you deserve at . We can connect you with local pregnancy centers that offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unplanned pregnancy:

  • Free pregnancy tests
  • Free ultrasounds
  • A safe, non-judgemental place to explore your pregnancy options and share what’s on your mind

Give us a call to learn more. All services are confidential and free of charge.

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REFERENCES
  1. Food & Drug Administration. (2023, January). Mifepristone medication guide. https://www.fda.gov/media/164654/download
  2. Davenport, M. L., Delgado, G., Harrison, M. P., & Khauv, V. (2017). Embryo survival after mifepristone: A systematic review of the literature. Issues in Law & Medicine, 32(1). 
  3. Medical Abortion. Cleveland Clinic. (2024, January 16). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21899-medical-abortion  
  4. Redinger, A., & Nguyen, H. (2022, June 27). Incomplete Abortions. U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559071/ 
  5. FDA. (2023, September 1). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex   
  6. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2023, March 23). Mifeprex (Mifepristone). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information 

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.