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'll deliver pills. This might not last, so read up while you can! Learn more
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 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 people out of 1,000 will have serious 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.
- There is no legal risk to people who get abortion pills from a health care provider who is licensed to provide services in the United States and take those pills as instructed by the provider.
- There may be legal risk when people find and use the pills on their own, without a prescription from a licensed health care provider or with a prescription from a provider who is not licensed in the United States. This risk may vary by state.
- On July 13, 2020 a federal court ruled that health care providers can safely and legally prescribe abortion pills via telehealth, virtual, or drive-through appointment and then send them to patients by mail or courier in most states. In January 2021, the Trump administration persuaded the Supreme Court to put the lower court’s ruling on hold while the administration fought the case in court. We hope that the Biden-Harris administration will withdraw from this lawsuit and instruct the FDA to follow the judge’s order. That has not happened yet. In the meantime, many clinics are requiring patients to pick up their pills in-person, but some clinicians have decided to interpret the FDA’s rules more expansively, and are delivering the pills after an online consultation. The situation is fluid and we will keep this information updated.
No. The morning-after pill is a form of emergency contraception (aka birth control) taken within a few days of unprotected sex in order 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 important 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 that can last for several days and may be heavier than a normal 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!
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, 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.
Medication Abortion Info
Get additional health facts on abortion with pills (aka medication abortion).