The abortion pill is a form of medical abortion that can be prescribed for women who are pregnant up to 10 weeks (70 days after the first day of your last menstrual period).
The abortion pill, also known as “Plan C” or Mifeprex, ends a pregnancy by first stopping the growth of the pregnancy with one type of medication, and then expelling it using a second.
Many of the abortion pills for sale online are counterfeit pills, expired medication, or scams. Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect yourself.
The abortion pill is a powerful drug with the risk of some severe side effects. As such, the FDA has approved it for use only with the prescription and oversight of a licensed doctor.1
While this does not specifically exclude obtaining the abortion pill online, it does mean that patients still need to consult with a doctor who is licensed to prescribe the medication.
You will also still need to receive pregnancy testing at a doctor’s office or lab for pregnancy verification, as well as an ultrasound to confirm exactly how far along the pregnancy is and to verify that the pregnancy is not ectopic or carrying other high risks of abortion complications.
Although you may have seen the abortion pill or “Plan C” pill advertised online, the vast majority of those products are not FDA-approved and might be ineffective, counterfeit, tainted, and unsafe.
Unfortunately, many unlicensed online pharmacies are operating without the approval of the FDA and taking advantage of women in the difficult position of an unplanned pregnancy to sell them illegitimate products—or in some cases, to completely scam them and steal their payment information, according to recent reports by WebMD. In fact, 96% of online pharmacies are illegitimate2 and are violating laws that were put in place to protect patients from harmful black market drugs.
There are also a number of health situations where a medical abortion would be unsafe for a patient, so buying the abortion pill online and taking it at home without the prescription and care of a doctor would put her at risk for severe complications. You should not take an abortion pill if:
For patients without these complication factors, the abortion pill still comes with a variety of risks and side effects, with approximately 35% of medical abortions resulting in an emergency room visit.6
For these safety reasons, the FDA strongly recommends not to buy the abortion pill or its generic version over the Internet, but to obtain it in person from a licensed healthcare provider who can provide important oversight to ensure your safety.7
Doctors also frequently prescribe anti-nausea and prescription pain medication alongside the abortion pill to help manage its symptoms and side effects. Working with a doctor to obtain the abortion pill is not only safer than ordering it online yourself, but also offers help and resources throughout the process.
In Florida, women under 18 years of age are required to notify at least one parent or guardian 48 hours before an abortion—even if it is for the abortion pill. They must also obtain permission from a parent OR get approval from a judge through a process known as judicial bypass.8
If you experience complications from the abortion pill and need to seek medical attention, it is important for healthcare professionals to know that you have taken the abortion pill in order for them to give you proper care and ensure your safety.
Many times, women report that they are having a miscarriage because they are afraid to tell doctors they have taken an abortion pill, but this only puts patients at further risk for complications.
If you have taken an abortion pill you purchased online, even if it did not meet state or federal standards, you will not be penalized for the abortion. Don’t be afraid to give your doctor as much accurate information about your health as possible to ensure your safety.
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