Abortion Pill Facts

Before taking pills for an abortion, get information from a reliable source so that you understand how it works and the possible side effects. Women have trusted Today's Choice Women's Resource Center with pregnancy decisions since 1987.

We are here to answer your questions. What do you want to know?



What Is It?

The abortion pill is a combination of two drugs- mifepristone and misoprostol - that cause early abortion. If should not be used if it has been more than 70 days since your last period. 

The abortion pill is NOT the same thing as the Morning After Pill, which is a form of emergency contraception commonly sold under the trade-names PlanB One-Step® or EllaOne®. 

How Does It Work?

Abortion medications break down the uterine lining and the growing fetus is shed from the uterus over a period of about 12 days. For this type of abortion, a person may need as many as three appointments. 

The approved Mifeprex dosage is:

  • Day 1:  Mifeprex taken 
  • 24 to 48 hours after taking Mifeprex: misoprostol is taken.
  • 7 to 14 days: follow-up with the healthcare provider to make sure the abortion is complete

Possible Ways Abortion Pills May Affect Your Health

  • Side effects may include heavy bleeding, headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramping.
  • The fetus is usually expelled while you are at home. For some women, seeing this can be traumatic.
  • Because of the risk of serious complications, Mifeprex is only available through a restricted program. This program requires abortion providers to warn patients about the risks and what to do if complications happen.

Complications Requiring Immediate Medical Care

Women who have taken Mifeprex should seek immediate medical care for the below symptoms as they could be a sign of serious complicatons. 

  • Sustained fever, severe abdominal pain, prolonged heavy bleeding, or fainting.
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, or general malaise ("feeling sick", including weakness, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, with or without fever) for more than 24 hours after taking misoprostol.

Can I Change My Mind?

Have you taken the first dose of the abortion pill, Mifepristone and wish you could reverse the effects of the abortion pill? There is an effective process for reversing the first dose of the abortion pill, Mifepristone. For more information about Abortion Pill Reversal, call the 24-hour hotline: (877) 558-0333



This center offers accurate information about all pregnancy options. While we do not offer abortion services or abortion referrals, we can help you understand your pregnancy and your choices, discuss and explain your abortion options, and equip you to make an informed decision. This information is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional and/or medical advice.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Post market Drug Safety Information for Patients and Providers (2016). Mifeprex (mifepristone) information. Retrieved from: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm111323

New England Journal of Medicine, April 30, 1998, Vol. 338 No. 18. Washington Post, February 4, 1997, Robin Heterman
Citizen: “Deadly Temptation” January 2000, by Matthewes-Green

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