Complications from the Abortion Pill(s)

Bottle of pills and a syringe

In 2015, the #ShoutYourAbortion Twitter campaign drew a lot of attention encouraging women all over the country to share their abortion stories. It was an attempt to portray abortion as normal, and to show that women live after an abortion without “sadness, shame or regret.”

However, it’s a false promise.

There’s a lot of misinformation about abortion through media outlets and social media. Advocates and activists often say that an abortion is safer than having your tonsils removed or that the abortion pill is safer than Tylenol, but that’s not the case. There are a variety of physical reactions that women experience, some potentially life-threatening. She may also encounter emotional issues that affect her for the rest of her life. Abortion is not a “safe, simple medical procedure.”

What is the Abortion Pill?

The “abortion pill” is actually a combination of two different medications taken 24-48 hours apart. The pills can be used up to 10 weeks of gestation. Around 25 percent of women purchase the abortion pill, also known as a chemical or medical abortion, over a surgical abortion.

During a chemical abortion, a woman is given 200 mg of mifepristone, also known as RU-486, to take at the abortion center, usually under the abortionist’s supervision. Mifepristone starves the preborn baby of oxygen and food by blocking the essential pregnancy hormone progesterone. As a result, the preborn usually dies.

Abortion Pill Reversal: Though controversial, it is possible to reverse the effects of the mifepristone but action must be taken quickly. Providers can give a woman a high dose of progesterone to counteract the effects of mifepristone within 24-72 hours after the initial dose. Women can visit or call (877) 558-0333 to see if treatment is possible. The reversal rate is approximately 55 percent.

To help expel the dead preborn baby, a woman takes misoprostol at home 24-48 hours after taking the dose of mifepristone at the abortion center. The dosage of misoprostol is too high for a single pill, , so a woman must take four at once. These can be taken orally, by placing them between the gums and the cheeks where the pills dissolve, or vaginally. It has been discovered that taking mifepristone vaginally has a higher rate of infection and death, so most providers tell the women to take the pills orally.

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