General Information

Medication abortion – sometimes called abortion by pill, RU-486, the abortion pill, or the early option pill, is a process similar to miscarriage, induced by a combination of medications. It requires two visits to the Health Center, as well as a 24-hour period during which you will pass the pregnancy at your own home.

In order to be eligible for medication abortion – abortion by pill:

  • You must have started your last period no more than 63 days before you begin the medication abortion process.
  • You must be able to come to the health center for two required appointments.
  • You must be able to clear your schedule for a 24 hour period after you take the second medication.
  • Ideally, you should have a support person who can be available to be with you for up to 24 hours.
  • It is essential that you have access to a phone and reliable transportation in the event of a medical emergency.

What to Expect at Your Appointment

When you call to schedule an appointment for an abortion procedure, please be aware that we will be reviewing a great deal of information with you, so give yourself about 10-15 minutes of private time to speak with us. We will need to determine how far you are into your pregnancy, as measured from the first day of your last normal period (LMP).  During this time we will discuss which abortion procedure is right for you, medication or surgical.

Once you have made your abortion by pill appointment, if you can, please download, print, read, and complete the following set of forms: Instructions for your Medical Abortion Appointment

On the day of your medication abortion, plan to be at the Health Center for approximately 2 hours. You will need to have several labs completed including a urine pregnancy test and blood tests for Rh typing  and anemia. You will meet with our medical practitioner, who will review your medical history and do a brief physical exam and pregnancy-dating vaginal ultrasound

Afterwards, you will speak privately with a health care worker. At this time, we will discuss your options with you, answering any questions you may have. It is important that you understand the risks and complications associated with all three of the pregnancy options; and that you make a choice regarding your pregnancy of your own free will. Your health care worker will provide you with in-depth information regarding the abortion procedure and answer any questions or concerns you may have about the procedure or your decision to terminate the pregnancy.

Your health care worker will also help you examine the different methods of birth control and other related considerations as you determine which method of contraception is best for you. It is important to remember that all birth control methods try to prevent pregnancy, but most do not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. If you are sexually active and using a form of birth control, it is important to pick a method that you will remember to use as directed to reduce possible failure.

They will give you the first medication, Mifeprex, which you take by mouth in the office. You will be given our Equality Health Center handout Equality Health Center Medical Abortion Home Care Instructions which provides detailed instructions and what to expect.

Between 24 and 48 hours after you take the Mifeprex in the office, you will take Misoprostol at your home, at a time you have agreed on with your practitioner.  After taking  Misoprostol you should expect to have moderate to heavy bleeding and cramping that can be mild to severe at times. The pregnancy tissue is usually passed within six to eight hours from the time you take the Misoprostol, but it may take longer, which is why we ask you to clear your schedule for 24 hours.

Equality Health Center staff are on-call 24-hours a day, 7 days/week to respond to medical emergencies, answer questions and provide support to those undergoing the medication abortion procedure at home. We urge those choosing this method to call us if they have any concerns about the process or their symptoms.

Follow-Up Care

If you had a medication abortion (an abortion by pill), it is essential that you return one week after your first appointment to be sure that the procedure is complete. There is no cost for this visit. It is covered in your initial fee and takes about 30 minutes.  At this visit you will have a follow-up vaginal ultrasound and brief physical exam. We will be talking to you about how you are doing both emotionally and physically. You will also have an opportunity, if you haven’t already done so, to discuss birth control options and choose a method, if needed, to start that day.

Important Documents