The information presented here is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.
If you just found out that you’re unexpectedly pregnant, limited abortion access after Roe v. Wade was overturned can be really scary. It can feel like you have nowhere to turn, and it can feel really lonely!
Even in the midst of all these feelings though, it is so important to understand that some options are not always as safe as they might seem, especially in a moment when you feel desperate for options.
One of these options is ordering abortion pills online. Safety concerns include timing + cost, vague instructions, and harmful contents. It’s best for your mental, emotional, and physical health to take a moment and consider some risks and precautions before moving forward!
1. Timing & Cost
Timing + cost is something to consider. When ordered online, abortion pills usually arrive from another country. Because of this, some can take 5-6 weeks to arrive, which can mean that you are well into your pregnancy before they get to you. Sometimes, websites that distribute abortion pills will say that it is safe to take the pills up to 12 or 13 weeks of pregnancy. The FDA, however, has only approved the abortion pill to 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion pills online can cost anywhere from $100-$600. If the pills do not arrive in time, however, this can be a waste of your resources.
2. Vague instructions
The most common type of medication or chemical abortion is commonly called the abortion pill and includes two rounds of pills.
First, you will take Mifepristone, also called Mifeprex. This will block the pregnancy hormone which will cut off the “lifeline” to the growing embryo and causing the embryo’s death. It is important to note that the process can often be reversed at this stage. If you are experiencing regret, it is important to act quickly.
A few days later, you will swallow Misoprostol, also called Cytotec. This will cause severe cramping and heavy to extreme bleeding, which can be prolonged. The uterus will contract and expel the fetus through the vagina.
After ordering abortion pills online, they often arrive unlabeled and with no instruction for use. This can be dangerous and confusing, especially if you plan to go through the process alone.
3. Unsafe contents
In addition to lack of instruction, abortion pills ordered online often come with more misoprostol, also called Cytotec, than is needed. Cytotec is considered a high risk, high alert drug. Taking more Cytotec than needed can cause:
- Uterine rupture
- Uterus contractions
- Cramping and bleeding up to 24 hours
- Incomplete abortion
These side effects can all occur when taking the recommended dosage, but the risk is increased if a higher dosage than needed were to be taken by mistake.
5. Safety precautions
If you do decide that ordering abortion pills online is the best choice for you, there are some precautions you should take.
- It is important that you don’t isolate yourself while going through the process. Tell someone you trust what you are doing, or even have them with you.
- It is important to contact an OBGYN and discuss the process, or follow-up, with a medical professional.
- It is important to be honest with emergency staff if you do experience serious side effects or complications. There is no reason to give healthcare professionals misinformation.
No matter what decision you make, you should never feel scared, unsure, or alone.
Helping you make a well-informed and safe decision is a priority for the Cline Center. We are here to offer you reproductive care, advocacy, and support options!
If you have questions about the abortion pill, reach out!