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What is the Abortion Pill?

Updated: Dec 1, 2023



Woman with an abortion pill

An unplanned pregnancy can rip the rug out from under you. At a time like this, it’s crucial to get all the facts to protect your health!


Today, we’re exploring the abortion pill, so you can make an informed decision for your unplanned pregnancy! Keep reading to learn more!

How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

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


Mifepristone is taken first, usually in a clinic. This medication cuts the supply of the hormone progesterone to the embryo, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy. The embryo stops growing without a steady supply of progesterone.


Misoprostol is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This medication makes the uterus cramp and expel the fetus, which ends the pregnancy.

How Late Can You Take the Abortion Pill? 

The US Food and Drug Administration does not recommend taking the abortion pill beyond 10 weeks of pregnancy (or 70 days since the first day of your last menstrual period)[1]


When taken beyond 10 weeks gestation, the abortion pill becomes less effective. You could experience serious complications and may need emergency surgery to complete the procedure. 

Is Abortion Legal in Georgia?

Abortion is legal in Georgia until fetal cardiac activity can be detected. This usually occurs between 5 and 6 weeks gestation[2]. You are required to receive an ultrasound prior to abortion in Georgia.


Before taking the abortion pill, consider receiving a free ultrasound at The Refuge Center to determine how far along you are. If your ultrasound determines that you’re too far along for abortion, we will help you explore all of your pregnancy options, so you can make the best choice for your health and future!

Can I Get Abortion Pills Over the Counter? 

The FDA now allows certain pharmacies to dispense the abortion pill over the counter. However, you can’t purchase it in the same way you would Tylenol or allergy relief medication. You still need a prescription to take the abortion pill[3].

Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

The FDA warns against ordering the abortion pill online, as it bypasses safety regulations designed to keep you safe. Many online abortion pill providers are located overseas, so the pills they provide may not be FDA-approved[3]. These pills could be fake, expired, or even laced with harmful substances! It’s best to speak to a licensed medical professional first!

What are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

Like any medical procedure, the abortion pill does have some risks and side effects. Common side effects include[4]:


  • Spotting or bleeding that can last up to a month

  • Headaches

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea and digestive pain

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Abdominal cramping (caused by the misoprostol)


Severe abortion pill side effects include:


  • Allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to any ingredients in vaginal misoprostol, you could go into anaphylactic shock[5].


  • Hemorrhaging. It’s normal to bleed for a while after taking the abortion pill. However, if you soak through two full-size sanitary pads per hour, for two or more hours, you could be hemorrhaging[6].


  • Incomplete abortion. Incomplete abortions occur when some pregnancy tissue remains in the uterus after misoprostol has been taken. Emergency surgery may be needed to remove the remaining tissue and prevent infection[7]


  • Infection. If you experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever for more than 24 hours after taking the second medication, an infection may have developed. You may need antibiotics or even surgery to treat your condition[4].


  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the female reproductive organs. The symptoms to be aware of include abdominal pain, irregular periods, nausea and vomiting, painful urination, painful sex, and unusual vaginal discharge[8]

Abortion Pill Information in Conyers, GA

When your pregnancy test comes back positive, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make any decisions for you! Get the care and support you deserve at The Refuge Center! We offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unplanned pregnancy:  


  • Free pregnancy tests

  • Free ultrasounds

  • A safe place to explore your pregnancy options and process your emotions


Give us a call at (770) 922-5939 or schedule your appointment online today. All services are confidential and free of charge!



Please be aware that The Refuge Center does not provide or refer for abortion services. 

Sources

  1. FDA. (2023, September 1). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex  

  2. Georgia Pro-Life Laws. Americans United for Life. (2022, November 10). Retrieved from https://aul.org/law-and-policy/state-spotlight/georgia/ 

  3. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2023, March 23). Mifeprex (Mifepristone). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016, May 16). Mifepristone (Mifeprex). MedlinePlus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a600042.html 

  5. Shin, Hyun Joo, et al. “Anaphylactic Shock to Vaginal Misoprostol: A Rare Adverse Reaction to a Frequently Used Drug.” PubMed Central (PMC), 9 Aug. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137020

  6. FDA. (2016). Prescribing Information for Mifeprex. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/022348s014lbl.pdf 

  7. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, July 29). Medical Abortion. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687 

  8. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Symptoms, Treatments & Causes. Cleveland Clinic. (2020, November 23). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9129-pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid 

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