Finding and taking abortion pills to end a pregnancy without the help of a doctor or nurse is called “self-managed abortion” (which some people call an “at-home abortion”). Research shows that self-managing an abortion with abortion pills (mifepristone and/or misoprostol) can be safe and effective. It’s a fairly common practice, especially in places where abortion is illegal.
In the United States, where many states are banning abortion, people are starting to look for ways to have abortions on their own. Research shows that self-managing an abortion with abortion pills (mifepristone and/or misoprostol) can be safe and effective. This is especially true for people who:
- Usually have regular periods and are fairly sure of the first day of their last period.
- Are less than 10 weeks from the first day of their last period.
- Have access to good information about how to take the pills, what to expect, and warning signs for possible complications.
- Don’t have medical reasons why they shouldn’t use the pills (such as hereditary bleeding disorders, heart or kidney disease, if you still have an IUD inserted, and/or think you may have an ectopic pregnancy).
- Could get to urgent care, if needed.
There’s a lot of helpful information about abortion online, and unfortunately there’s also a lot of misinformation. And at the same time, it’s important to know there may be legal risks to buying and using abortion pills outside of the health care system (Repro Legal Helpline has more information about this). So getting reliable information and resources is essential.
The Plan C website (available in English and Spanish) has more information about the difference between getting an abortion from a doctor or nurse, like the staff at your local Planned Parenthood, and a self-managed abortion, including legal considerations.
Lastly, there are a number of hotlines that provide various forms of support:
- If you can't get in touch with a Planned Parenthood health center, but still have questions about a miscarriage or abortion, the Miscarriage + Abortion Hotline is a private and secure phone and text hotline, staffed by medical professionals. They aren’t affiliated with Planned Parenthood, but they may be able to provide helpful information.
- The Reprocare Hotline offers logistical or emotional support.
- The All Options hotline offers counseling and emotional support. They can also refer people to other professionals depending on their need.
- The Exhale text message hotline offers emotional support.
- The Repro Legal Helpline offers legal information and support (it's free and confidential).
- There are also different organizations where you can seek financial aid.
Planned Parenthood health centers are here for you. Our health care professionals will do everything they can to make sure you can get abortion care, where it's legal, as well as information. Contact your nearest Planned Parenthood health center to learn more about your options. Because everybody deserves to make their own decisions about their bodies, their health, and their lives. PERIOD.