Journey House Pregnancy Resource center

Do I Need The Abortion Pill? What You Need To Know

If you missed your period and have had a positive result on a pregnancy test, you might be thinking about the abortion pill. Did you know that the abortion pill is not necessary if your pregnancy is not viable? A viable pregnancy is one which is capable of growing and developing. 

Find Out If Your Pregnancy Is Viable.

While a pregnancy test detects the presence of the hCG hormone, which is present only in pregnancy, it doesn’t confirm that a pregnancy is viable. For a pregnancy to be viable, it must meet two qualifications:

1) The gestational sac and fetus must be implanted in the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable because the fetus has implanted outside of the uterus in the fallopian tube, ovary, cervix, or abdominal cavity.  Ectopic pregnancies, which account for about 1-2% of all pregnancies, cannot survive and will need to be surgically removed. The abortion pill will not resolve an ectopic pregnancy. This is a serious condition, that if left untreated, is life-threatening to the mother.

2) There must be a presence of a heartbeat, or fetal heart tones. The heart begins to beat at 5 weeks and 1 day. The abortion pill is unnecessary if there is no heartbeat. The body will either naturally miscarry the pregnancy, or you will need to be seen by a doctor who can perform a D&C (dilation and curettage) to clear the uterine lining of placental tissues, in order to prevent infection.

Ultrasounds confirm pregnancy viability. Ultrasounds provide vital information, including where the gestation sac and fetus are located, and whether there are fetal heart tones. Measurements taken during an ultrasound will show how far the pregnancy has progressed. The abortion pill should only be taken before 10 weeks LMP. Taking the pill later than the FDA recommends increases the risk factors and may result in an incomplete abortion.

Recently, a client came to the Center. The ultrasound confirmed the presence of a gestational sac, but there was no fetus visible and no heartbeat detected. She had an abortion scheduled later that week. In addition to informing her that an abortion may be unnecessary, we encouraged her to return to the Center for a follow-up ultrasound a week later, per our Medical Director’s authorization. When the sonographer measured the gestational sac again the following week, our suspicions were confirmed. The gestational sac remained empty and there had been no change in the measurements. We helped our client schedule an appointment with a local doctor.

A blighted ovum, or anembryonic pregnancy, occurs in about 20% of known pregnancies. This happens when an embryo stops or fails to develop and is reabsorbed into the body, leaving an empty gestational sac. If a fetus is visible, but no heart tones are detected, this likely indicates a miscarriage. The treatment for a miscarriage is similar to that of a blighted ovum. Under the direction of a doctor, your body may naturally miscarry (within a couple of weeks) or your doctor will either prescribe medication or schedule a D&C. Either way, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the best course of action.

Did you know that Pregnancy Centers provide pregnancy tests and limited OB ultrasounds free of charge? They also provide information about the abortion pill and can answer your questions. Pregnancy Centers are here to help, regardless of your decision. They want to provide a safe space to explore your options as well as help and support for your future. Contact your local Pregnancy Center to schedule your free appointment. (Link to https://optionline.org/ and phone number? 800-712-4357)

Be Informed

After confirming a viable pregnancy, there are three things to consider before purchasing the abortion pill.

1) Know what to expect. The abortion pill, also known as a medical abortion or RU-486, is actually two pills. The first pill (mifepristone) is prescribed by a doctor and taken at an abortion clinic within 7 – 10 weeks of a confirmed pregnancy. This pill blocks the effects of progesterone. The second pill (misoprostol) is taken at home within 6-48 hours of the first pill. This pill causes cramping, bleeding, and induce the body to empty the uterus.

Since every medical procedure carries the risk of complications, it’s important to ask what risks are involved in taking the abortion pill. For some women, bleeding can last anywhere from 4-45 days and after-effects can range from mild to severe. Find out whether the clinic provides follow-up or emergency care, in the event of unforeseen complications.

2) Know your rights. No one can force you to have an abortion against your will. Parents cannot force minors, husbands cannot force spouses, etc. Your decision must be voluntary (non-coerced). If you feel pressured to get an abortion that you don’t want, you can contact the police or your local Pregnancy Center for help.

You have the right to know the name of the physician performing the abortion and whether he is licensed and board-certified. You have a right to refuse signing the Release of Liability, which releases the physician from any responsibility for injury caused during the procedure.

3) Know that you can change your mind. If you have taken the first or second pill, know that it’s not too late if you change your mind. APR, or Abortion Pill Rescue can reverse the effects of the abortion pill and allow the pregnancy to continue with about a 65% success rate.

Madison* was a senior in high school when she found out she was pregnant. Her plans to attend college meant it wasn’t a good time to have a baby, plus she feared her parent’s reaction. She took the first abortion pill at the clinic and immediately regretted her decision. Instead of taking the second pill, she contacted our Center. We put her in touch with the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline. The doctor called in a prescription for progesterone, and she had another ultrasound a few days later to make sure everything was okay. She recently sent us a picture of her happy baby boy with a note of thanks for walking with her each step of her journey.
*Pseudonym

WARNING: Do not risk your life by taking an abortion pill purchased online.

We are so accustomed to scrolling and clicking on the things we want and need, that buying the abortion pill online might seems like a simple solution. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) oversees the safety of all drugs and medications and warns against purchasing medication online. It is unregulated and can have serious complications. We’ve all fallen prey the online images of that cute dress, but when it finally arrives the color is off, the cut is wonky, and it just doesn’t fit right. The wrong dress only means disappointment. Taking unregulated medication can have life-altering implications. Don’t put your body or future reproductive health at risk.

Contact your local Pregnancy Center for confidential and free services, help and support.

We are here for you

If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
Our services are always confidential.