Can I take the morning after pill instead of the abortion pill?

One of the best things about the 21st century is our access to information. With the help of Siri and Google, we can have the answer to most of our questions within seconds, whether we’re looking for a new recipe for dinner or wondering where to take our car to get an oil change.

The internet is also where many people go when facing things like an unplanned pregnancy to answer their questions. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation online that, if followed, can lead to damaging health problems for women trying to self-medicate their abortions.

We recently talked with someone who had read and heard stories about how you could induce an abortion by taking the morning-after pill. Here’s the information we shared with her about why this is a dangerous idea.

What is the morning after pill?

The morning-after pill is an emergency contraceptive pill designed to be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. It is a hormonal medication that helps prevent you from getting pregnant and is available over the counter.

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is actually a series of two pills – mifepristone and misoprostol. They are prescribed by a doctor and can be taken at home. The first pill, mifepristone, blocks your body’s supply of progesterone from reaching your pregnancy. The second pill, misoprostol, is taken at least 24 hours later and causes contractions to expel the pregnancy.

These two prescriptions are very different and serve different purposes. The advice to use multiple dosages of the morning after pill in place of the abortion pill is very dangerous for these reasons:

First, it likely won’t end your pregnancy. It’s not designed to be used as an abortion, and therefore wouldn’t have any impact on the pregnancy. 

Second, If you were trying to save money by taking this route, you’d end up actually spending more in the long run because you’d still need an abortion. Depending on how far along you are, you may not be eligible for the abortion pill and would need a surgical abortion which can sometimes be more expensive.

Third, you don’t have doctor oversight and protection. When you take the abortion pill, the doctor who prescribed it is supposed to follow up with you two weeks later to make sure it worked correctly and that any side effects you experienced are subsiding. This physician oversight is very important for your own health, both now and down the road.

Fourth, misusing these pills could keep you from getting the care you need if your pregnancy is not viable or is ectopic. The FDA requires a woman to get an ultrasound before pursuing a medication abortion for this very reason – because if the pregnancy is not viable, you don’t need an abortion, and if the pregnancy is ectopic, then you need other medical attention and care.

Taking the morning-after pill for an abortion is an ineffective way to self-medicate an abortion, which is never a safe or good idea. You deserve the care and oversight a doctor can provide, and don’t deserve for your health to be compromised by using pills in a way in which they weren’t meant to be used.

If you need help understanding your options or have questions about abortion, please contact us for an appointment today. We offer free ultrasounds to provide vital information about your pregnancy and also offer free options consultations so you can make a fully-informed decision.