A safe abortion with pills is possible.
The "abortion pill" is actually a combination of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, also referred to as medication abortion.
The combination of the two pills is the most effective method of medication abortion (95-98% effective in the first trimester). However, if mifepristone is unavailable, women may use misoprostol alone, which has also been scientifically proven to be safe and effective (ending 80-85% of pregnancies when taken in pregnancies up to 10 weeks from last menstrual period).
Every year, millions of women all over the world choose a medication abortion as a safe, private, and effective at-home method to end an early-term pregnancy. They may choose to use these pills on their own because they lack access to clinic-based abortion services (due to legal restrictions, cost, or logistical challenges), or they may simply prefer the convenience and control that comes with self-use.
But information about self-use of this safe and effective method has not been widely shared in the United States.
Why do so few of us know about self-use of medication abortion?
- Some people believe it is not safe for women to use these pills without advice from a clinician, in spite of the scientific evidence showing that women around the world have safely self-managed their abortions.
- Because abortion in the United States is highly political, access to abortion pills has been severely restricted.
- Anti-abortion groups understand that if these pills are available, they cannot stop women from using them.
- Abortion is taboo and carries a lot of stigma.