FAQs About Chemical Abortion

What is a chemical abortion?

  • Two-pill process intended to kill and expel a developing child from the womb in the first trimester of pregnancy  
  • The first pill is prescribed within the first 7-10 weeks of pregnancy and given at the office visit
  • The second pill is taken 6-48 hours after the first pill 
  • Can be dangerous to the health and life of the mother

How does a chemical abortion work?

  • The first pill blocks the flow of progesterone which provides the necessary nutrients to sustain a pregnancy
  • The second pill starts contractions for a woman to expel the baby 

What are the risks?

  • Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is when an embryo implants somewhere other than in the mother’s uterus (often in the fallopian tube). If a woman is unaware of her ectopic pregnancy and takes the abortion pills, her health will be in danger since her ectopic pregnancy symptoms would be masked by the severe pain and bleeding associated with the chemical abortion. 

Because a chemical abortion does not lead to the death of an embryo in the case of ectopic pregnancy, the embryo would continue to grow until the woman’s fallopian tube ruptures, potentially taking the woman’s life, as well as the baby’s.

  • Incomplete abortion

The farther along a woman is in her pregnancy, the less likely a chemical abortion will be effective and the more likely a woman is of having an incomplete abortion. In an incomplete abortion, the woman may not expel all or parts of the baby and placenta which can lead to infection and possibly death. Babies born after an incomplete chemical abortion may have birth defects.

Is it too late to go back if I took the first abortion pill?

  • If you have changed your mind and take the abortion pill reversal within 72 hours of taking the first abortion pill, it is not too late to reverse the effects.