Abortion Pill Information

IMPORTANT MEDICAL SAFETY ALERT! Some abortion pill providers are putting the health of women at risk by not requiring proof of pregnancy or an ultrasound before prescribing or dispensing the abortion pill. It is vital to confirm every pregnancy with an ultrasound exam!

Considering an abortion?

If you think you are pregnant and are considering taking the abortion pill, it is vital for your health and well-being to know for sure if you have an actual growing pregnancy. Ultrasound is a simple way to know if there’s a pregnancy inside the uterus, if the baby has a heartbeat, or not, and to get an approximate measure of how far along you are, which determines available abortion procedures. Without this knowledge, you could have a pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic) which can be life-threatening. Also, a significant number of early pregnancies end naturally with miscarriage. You need to find out for sure before going through an unnecessary procedure or suffering significant complications.

Alternatives Pregnancy Center cares about your health and well-being. We are here to provide you with a safe, judgment-free space to access high-quality medical care, including a free, limited pregnancy ultrasound. Our licensed, professional medical staff is here to walk you through this process to give you a medically accurate picture of your pregnancy so you can make an informed decision.

Remember, you have the legal right to receive full informed consent before undergoing any medical or surgical procedure. Alternatives does not refer for or perform abortions or provide abortion pills, however, we believe it is imperative that you take time to educate yourself on the immediate and long-term physical and emotional risks of any medication or procedure.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill, also called medication abortion, refers to the two medications—mifepristone and misoprostol—taken to terminate a pregnancy.

The first pill, mifepristone (also known as RU-486 or Mifeprex) blocks the effects of progesterone—a natural hormone that women produce to provide the essential nutrients needed to support a pregnancy. Without progesterone, the development of the embryo stops, and the lining of the uterus thins, which prevents the embryo from staying implanted in the uterus. The second drug, misoprostol (also called Cytotec), is usually taken within 24-48 hours after taking mifepristone and causes cramping and bleeding as your uterine muscles contract to expel the pregnancy. Misoprostol has been associated with birth defects, uterine rupture and premature birth. https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/cytotec/warnings#BOX


It is possible to interrupt the effects of the first abortion pill and stop the abortion from happening. If you’re having second thoughts after taking the first abortion pill, it is important to act quickly. While Alternatives does not provide this service, there are options for you:  

  • In Colorado, contact Bella Health + Wellness at 303.789.4968 or visit their website here.
  • If you are not in Colorado, please call the Abortion Pill Rescue Network at 877.558.0333.

Things to consider with a medication abortion:

  • An ultrasound needs to be performed prior to taking medication to determine the gestational age, location and viability of the pregnancy. An abortion is not necessary if the pregnancy is not viable. Note: If your pregnancy is ectopic (outside of the uterus), mifepristone will not affect the pregnancy, which could turn into a life-threatening emergency.
  • Patients typically experience cramping and bleeding heavier than a period, may pass clots, and will see contents of the uterus once they are expelled. Mifepristone – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
  • Risks and adverse effects may be abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, heavy bleeding and maternal death most likely due to infection, and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. Mifepristone – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
  • Due to the effects of medication abortion, have a support person present while undergoing the abortion both for emotional support and in the case of a medical emergency.
  • Incomplete abortion – If abortion is not complete, the patient will sometimes be given a second dose of Misoprostol or given a surgical procedure to complete the abortion. Executive summary – Abortion care guideline – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
  • STD/STI testing needs to be performed prior to a medical abortion. Undiagnosed infections at the time of an abortion can cause infection to spread from the vaginal canal/cervix to other reproductive organs. Complications related to induced abortion: a combined retrospective and longitudinal follow-up study – PMC (nih.gov)
  • Emotional side effects – Many people do not realize the potential for emotional and mental side effects related to an abortion. Some may immediately feel relief, but as days or weeks go by, they can experience depression and anxiety. If these symptoms occur, please seek free and confidential support through Counseling After Abortion.

Note: If you are experiencing suicidal ideation, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call 911.

Do I need a prescription?

Abortion pills are prescription medication in the US. People can get a prescription for the pills from abortion clinics, telemedicine services and some medical offices. However, people are buying abortion pills from online services without a prescription.

What are the additional risks with telemedicine visits or ordering the abortion pill online?

  • Ordering the abortion pill online eliminates any opportunity for a doctor to perform an in-person physical exam to determine any health risks before beginning the procedure.
  • Without having an ultrasound, no accurate dating of your pregnancy is available. Up to half of women are wrong about their pregnancy dates. Abortion mortality rates increase with gestational age. Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States 1998–2010 – PMC (nih.gov)
  • By ordering the pills online, you have no way to know exactly what is in your pills, which could come from over 100 online sources. PG-8-Medication-Abortion.pdf (aaplog.site)

Without an in-person ultrasound scan, a medical provider cannot evaluate for possible miscarriage, which occurs in up to 26% of all pregnancies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532992/

What are possible abortion pill side effects?

  • Hemorrhaging – If you experience this abortion pill side effect, you may have heavy bleeding (more than a pad an hour), this is considered an emergency, so go to the ER.
  • Infection – If you have an infection as an abortion pill side effect, you may experience:
    – A fever greater than 100 degrees
    – Chills
    – Cramps that are not relieved with Ibuprofen or Tylenol
    – A foul-smelling discharge

All of the above symptoms could be an emergency, so go to the ER.

Note: If you are experiencing suicidal ideation, dial 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call 911