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Medication Abortion: Navigating the Abortion Pill With Compassionate Care

In recent years, medication abortion (most commonly referred to as “the abortion pill”) has become increasingly prevalent, making up approximately 63% of all abortions performed in the United States. The number of abortions in general in the US is continuously increasing. Last year alone was the first year in more than a decade that over 1 million abortions were performed in the United States. Imagine with me a packed football stadium filled to capacity with fans. Now, multiply that stadium by 20. That’s approximately what 1 million people would look like. So what role does the abortion pill play?

We can’t stop every abortion from happening (although we sure can and will keep praying for this…), but what we can do is give our best effort in supporting and educating those who believe they don’t have another option when they’re staring at and processing the fear of a positive pregnancy test. The first step is educating ourselves as much as we can and understand the problem and draw that the abortion pill has to the women who decide to take it. 

What is Medication Abortion and How Does it Work?

Let’s take a minute to talk about what the abortion pill is and how it affects a woman’s body. When a woman decides she wants a medication abortion, she can get an abortion consultation via telehealth at an abortion clinic or other licensed provider, and they will prescribe her two pills to be taken 24-48 hours apart. 

The first pill blocks the progesterone hormone, which is the hormone that is necessary for the fetus to continue to develop. Without progesterone,  the thick uterine lining where the embryo has implanted will be disrupted, thus starving the developing child of nutrients. The second pill is taken to empty the uterus. Essentially, the uterus begins to contract as if it is in labor and pushes the contents of the uterus (including the fetus) out of the body.

What are the Side Effects of the Abortion Pill?

There aren’t many common symptoms associated with the first pill. However, many women experience symptoms after taking the second dose. As soon as a couple hours after a woman takes the second pill, she may begin to experience some of the following symptoms: 

  • Painful cramping and heavy bleeding (similar to what is experienced during a miscarriage)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Chills and fever that can last approximately 24 hours

The further along she is in her pregnancy, the more intense the symptoms are likely to be. 

After the first 24 hours of taking the second pill, she is likely to feel tired and experience a wide range of emotions. Her hormones are completely unbalanced as her body is shifting from pregnancy to decreased progesterone, to not being pregnant. It can take about a month for these hormones to subside and to be within normal limits once again. 

What are the Risks?

The abortion pill has levels of risk, it is possible to experience complications after taking the pills, including:

  • Remaining fetal tissue in the uterus, necessitating an emergency surgery
  • Risk of infection 
  • Blood clots
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Possibility of the procedure not being successful
  • Potential trauma in seeing the body of the dead baby being removed from the body
  • An abortion of any type comes with the emotional risk of intense grief and loss

Is the Abortion Pill Reversible?

After the first pill is taken, there is still a chance the baby could be saved if the mother changes her mind and seeks help immediately. The success rate of abortion reversal is 68% and chances increase if she acts quickly. The reversal requires the woman to take progesterone, which will essentially reverse the effects of the first abortion pill, allowing the pregnancy to continue. 

HELP Pregnancy Aid is able to assist women who have taken the first abortion pill and have changed their minds. So spread the word! If you know of someone looking for help with an abortion pill reversal, have them call 877-558-0333 right away.

What Can We Do About It?

The abortion pill is often appealing to women because it is convenient, can be taken at home, and is fast-acting. The abortion pill is attractive because it puts distance between a woman and her growing fetus. If she does not have to look at an ultrasound, physically go into a clinic, or spend much time waiting for an appointment, it’s easier for her to ignore the growing human behind her pregnancy. There is nothing compassionate about the care these women receive. There is no one physically there to support them. 

HELP Pregnancy Aid is here to offer compassionate care to every woman who walks through our doors. We aim to equip and educate women on all of their options. We want them to feel supported and empowered as they step forward in life during and after their pregnancy.

Your generous donations support essential classes, equipment, and staff that help these women. Thank you for sharing our mission. Together, we can continue to fight against the abortion pill and bring compassion back to women’s care.


HELP Pregnancy Aid is a non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids, MI that provides women with unexpected pregnancy support services including encouragement, information, and material resources. Help us continue our mission of empowering pregnant and young mothers in a Christ-like manner.