Campaigns, Consumer Health Info

Safe, Online, Delivered: How to Get the Abortion Pill By Mail

Publication Date: March 08, 2021

By: NWHN Staff

Safe and effective FDA-approved abortion pills (aka medication abortion) are now available by mail in several states — without an in-person clinic visit.

At-Home Medication Abortion Care Is…

  • Safer than Tylenol
  • Now available without a clinic visit
  • Available by mail in just a few days


There are several states with US-based clinicians who will deliver pills. This might not last, so read up while you can!

Learn More About Abortion Pill Delivery

Plan C


There are several states with US-based clinicians who currently prescribe and mail FDA-approved abortion pills following an online or phone consultation. Our partners at have compiled this guide to finding providers based on where you live.


What exactly are abortion pills?

Abortion pills, also called medication abortion, can be used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks from the first day of your last period. The most effective process involves taking two different FDA-approved medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

How much do abortion pills cost?

Abortion pills can cost anywhere from $40 to $600. Many services accept private insurance, and some states permit the use of Medicaid. Many services also offer discounts to those who can’t pay. Check with your local provider or preferred online service for a more precise explanation of costs.

How safe are abortion pills?

Medication abortion is so safe that it could be sold over-the-counter (OTC)  without a prescription if not for political considerations. Fewer than 4 out of 1,000 will have severe complications requiring hospitalization, infusion, or surgery. To put that into perspective, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., sometimes accounting for nearly 25% of emergency department visits per year.

Additional Information

No. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception (aka birth control) taken within a few days of unprotected sex to prevent a pregnancy. If you are already pregnant, emergency contraception will NOT induce an abortion.

FDA-approved abortion pills work by inducing a miscarriage. From your body’s perspective, a medication abortion and a spontaneously occurring miscarriage are the same physical process (though the emotional experiences may be very different.) The physical process, risks, warning signs, potential complications, and treatments are the same. Further, there is no test to determine if you have taken abortion pills. If you aren’t comfortable telling a medical provider that you’ve had a medication abortion instead of a spontaneous miscarriage, it is not necessary to do so. Your body won’t give you away.

The most effective way to induce an abortion with FDA-approved abortion pills (99% effective) is:

  • Step 1: swallow a 200 mg tablet of mifepristone with a glass of water to block the hormone progesterone, which helps line the uterus during pregnancy.
  • Step 2: up to 48 hours later, take an 800 mcg dose of misoprostol to increase uterine contractions. Misoprostol can be taken by holding the pills in your mouth or your vagina and allowing them to dissolve, so it’s essential to follow the instructions that come with the pills.

When taken this way, the two medications prompt your body to initiate a miscarriage that is physically indistinguishable from a spontaneously occurring one.

You will experience:

  • Bleeding or spotting can last several days and may be heavier than a standard period.
  • Cramping (uterine contractions) and abdominal pain within a few hours of taking misoprostol.

You MAY experience:

  • Nausea, diarrhea, hot flashes, slight dizziness, and/or mild fever
  • You may see blood clots or tissue that looks gray

Other things to note:

  • Avoid putting anything in your vagina (tampons, fingers, sex toys, penises — anything!) for up to 2 weeks to help prevent infection.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks after an abortion before taking a pregnancy test to avoid a false positive.
  • Your first menstrual cycle will return in 4 – 8 weeks and could be heavier than normal.
  • You could ovulate within 1 – 2 weeks after an early pregnancy ends — before your period returns! So, use condoms after the 2-week waiting period.

Seek help if you experience any of the following rare complications:

  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Fever lasting longer than 24 hours or higher than 102.2F
  • Very heavy bleeding (soaking a pad in an hour), severe pain, or nausea/vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Increased bleeding or blood that is bright red


Persistent cramping or pain that cannot be relieved through over-the-counter medication.



Phone & Text Support Line

Plan C has partnered with doctors, counselors, doulas, and peer networks dedicated to supporting folks having abortions and miscarriages.

View Ways to Connect

Medication Abortion Info

Get additional health facts on abortion with pills (aka medication abortion).

Read Consumer Health Info

Join the Fight

We hope this information has been helpful as you navigate the new restrictions on abortion in your states. If, like us, you believe these restrictions are unconscionable and a clear attack on women’s health, we hope you’ll consider joining the fight for choice by becoming a National Women’s Health Network Member today. Your annual contribution of just $15 makes it possible for us to create timely content like this.

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website are for general public information purposes only.

Get Involved

New ways to empower health care consumers across the nation.