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What Is the Abortion Pill?

The abortion pill is a medical abortion procedure and it goes by many names, including at-home abortion, online abortion, mail-order abortion, medication abortion, Plan C, and self-managed abortion.

Regardless of the name, it uses the same two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. It’s also not one pill, like the term “abortion pill” suggests. It’s two drugs taken generally over the course of forty-eight hours and sometimes it consists of more than two pills (depending on the prescription).

How Does it Work?

The abortion pill terminates a pregnancy by first blocking progesterone through the drug mifepristone. This will stop the pregnancy from progressing and cause the uterine lining to thin. The embryo will no longer be able to stay implanted or grow. 

Second, misoprostol will trigger uterine contractions to expel the pregnancy through cramping and bleeding. 

Why So Many Names?

The abortion pill goes by many names and each indicates a different aspect of the abortion pill. Here are a few reasons for all the names and the characteristics they represent.

  • Self-Managed Abortion – Since the abortion pill is outpatient, this relates to how women must self-manage the abortion by taking the drugs at certain times and monitoring their symptoms and health.
  • At-Home Abortion – This name refers to the fact the abortion pill process takes place at home, even if it starts in an abortion clinic.
  • Mail-Order Abortion – Unlike a surgical abortion procedure, the abortion pill can be delivered through the mail. It’s critical to only receive pills through legitimate, licensed pharmacies.
  • Online Abortion – This name refers to how women can sometimes order pills online. The same note about ordering through legitimate pharmacies applies.
  • Plan C – This plays off of the emergency contraceptive “Plan B,” indicating that if Plan B doesn’t work, Plan C is an option. However, there are other pregnancy options to consider in addition to abortion, so make sure you’re informed on each before choosing one.

How Can I Learn More About it?

If you’re pregnant and considering your options, schedule a free appointment to receive information and early pregnancy services. A Pathways Registered Nurse can also determine your medical eligibility for a no-cost ultrasound scan.We can answer any of your questions and provide more support during a pregnancy confirmation appointment. Schedule yours today!

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