|Intentionally ending a pregnancy early through various means of abortion continues to be one of the most controversial topics of our time. One method of abortion is RU-486, or the Abortion Pill, which is a medicine that is taken to end a pregnancy early.
There are many misconceptions about what the Abortion Pill is and how it can be used to terminate a pregnancy early. This article explores the facts behind the pill to help clear up some of the false information surrounding the abortion pill.
How the Abortion Pill Works:
- The abortion pill works by releasing a steroid into the body. This steroid blocks the hormone needed to continue a pregnancy. Your doctor or health care provider will give you the abortion pill at the clinic. You will then be required to take antibiotics to begin taking after the abortion pill.
- In addition to the RU-486 pill, there is another pill, a prostaglandin. This causes uterine contractions to help expel the embryo. Taking this second pill is planned between you and your doctor. It can be taken up to three days following taking the first abortion pill. Many women and teens may start to bleed before taking the second medicine. However for most, the bleeding and cramping begin after taking the second medicine, which usually lasts a few hours. There may be large blood clots or tissue at the time of the abortion. The abortion process is usually completed within a few hours after taking the second pill. However, for some, it may take up to a few days.
- Heavy bleeding will follow for the next few weeks. It is important to keep track of your bleeding. If there is too much or if it persists for too long, it is important to consult your doctor or physician.
Abortion Pill Facts:
- Many doctors or health care professionals at local clinics like Planned Parenthood offer the abortion pill.
- The cost of the pill typically varies from $350 to $650 depending on location and if there extra exams or visits required.
- For pregnant teens under age 18, there can be restrictions on the ability to take the abortion pill without parental consent or notification. This rules on this vary from state to state. However, in some cases the situation may be appealed to a judge to waive this requirement for the pregnant teen.
- The abortion pill can only be used for early-term abortions, up to 9 weeks (or 63 days) past the woman’s last period. Beyond that, a woman or teen seeking to end a pregnancy must have an in-clinic abortion.
- Mifepristone is the generic name for RU-486. In the United States, RU-486 is sold under the brand names Mifeprex® and Early Option®.
- RU-486 was the common name mostly used during the development of the abortion pill.
- The abortion pill is now used in 20 percent of all abortions.
- Out of the 1.2 million abortions completed by the use of RU-486, there have been over 30 reportedly related deaths to the medication as well as over 200 hospitalizations.
RU486 – Abortion Pill Risks:
- Serious complications can occur in cases of allergic reaction to the pills.
- Incomplete abortion can cause serious problems that can be potentially fatal
- Infection can also occur if antibiotics are not used or not used correctly
- In cases of an undetected ectopic pregnancy, death can also result
- Very heavy bleeding can also cause serious complications
While there are some risks involved in any abortion or serious medical procedure, it is important for any pregnant teen facing the decision to end a pregnancy early to meet with a doctor or health care professional to find out all of the details involved with a medicated abortion. Knowing the risks and procedure involved with taking RU-486, is the best way to minimize serious complications throughout the process.
Sources: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/abortion/abortion-pill-medication-abortion-4354.asp, http://townhall.com/news/religion/2010/10/12/ru_486_two_more_us_deaths_revealed, http://www.ru486facts.org