The Abortion Pill Process


A chemical abortion consists of two pills: Mifepristone (RU-486 or "Abortion Pill") and Misoprostol (Cytotec). A doctor will prescribe a woman Mifepristone during the first 70 days (10 weeks) of pregnancy. Mifepristone blocks the essential nutrients (progesterone) needed for a growing baby. The second pill, Misoprostol, is taken 24 to 48 hours after Mifepristone. This pill causes cramping and bleeding, which expels the baby. The woman will need to be examined by a doctor two weeks later to confirm the abortion was complete and to check for complications.


Side Effects


Women considering the Abortion Pill should be aware of the potential risks and side effects.

  • Vaginal bleeding for an average of 9 to 16 days
  • Stomach Cramps and hemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Vaginal inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Allergic reaction
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure
  • Death


Failure Rate


The failure rate for chemical abortion increases as the pregnancy progresses. According to the FDA's assessment, the failure rate of RU-486 rises to over 7.3% when administered in the 10th week. Other studies have found failure rates for RU-486 to be 5% at seven weeks and under, 8% at at eight weeks, and 10% at nine weeks.