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Abortion pill-by-mail

If you’re considering abortion, there are two ways of ending a pregnancy: in-clinic abortion and medication abortion (also known as the “abortion pill”). The method you choose will depend on personal preference and your situation. 

Planned Parenthood of Illinois is proud to now offer the abortion pill-by-mail, which means you can now access the care you need, when and where you need it.

The abortion pill is a safe and effective way of ending an early pregnancy up to 10 weeks. To qualify for the abortion pill-by-mail, patients must be 10 weeks pregnant or less. Patients must also have an Illinois address and be physically in Illinois at the time of their telehealth appointment.

To learn about PPIL’s other abortion options, please click here.

Why the abortion pill?

Safe

The abortion pill is a very safe and common method to ending an early pregnancy. Millions of people have used it safely in the U.S. for more than 20 years. There are many myths and misconceptions about the effects of abortion, but your doctor or nurse can answer any questions or concerns you might have. 

Legal

Mifepristone, also known as medication abortion, has been legal in the U.S. for more than 20 years. However, patients were previously required to travel to a physical health center to pick up their medication. In December, 2021, the FDA announced a permanent repeal of the in-person dispensing requirement, allowing PPIL and other providers to now send the prescription via mail. 

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Convenient

The abortion pill-by-mail is not only a safe method, but it also expands access to care for people who already face barriers to care, like people living in rural areas, immigrants, and people with low incomes. Now, you can have your medication abortion somewhere you feel safe and comfortable, and decide who is with you or if you prefer to be alone.

The Abortion Pill | Planned Parenthood Video The Abortion Pill | Planned Parenthood Video

How does the abortion pill work?

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the abortion pill work?

There are three steps to a medication abortion:

1. First, you take a pill called mifepristone. Pregnancy needs a hormone called progesterone to progress normally. Mifepristone blocks your body’s own progesterone, stopping the pregnancy from advancing further.

2. Second, you take the next medication, misoprostol, either right away or up to 48 hours later. Misoprostol causes the uterus to cramp and bleed. This process is very similar to a heavy period. 

3. Lastly, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your health care provider to ensure the procedure went smoothly.

What are the side effects?

Serious complications are very rare, but like all medical procedures, there can be some risks. Some of the side effects include:
 

  • The abortion pills isn’t effective and the pregnancy is not terminated
  • Pregnancy tissue is left in your uterus
  • Blood clots in your uterus
  • Bleeding too much or too long
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the medicine

These side effects are not common. If they occur, they can easily be treated with other medication or other treatment. Like all medications, the abortion pill is not right for everyone. Your doctor or nurse will help you decide if the abortion pill is right for you. 

What can I expect after taking the pill?

How you feel during and after a medication abortion varies from person to person. You may feel tired or crampy for a day or so, and you’ll have bleeding and spotting for a while. Most people go back to normal activities the day after a medication abortion.

People can also have a range of emotions after having an abortion. Most people feel relief, but sometimes people feel sad or regretful. This is totally normal. If your mood keeps you from doing the things you usually do each day, call your doctor or nurse for help.

Your doctor or health care center staff will give you written after-care instructions and a phone number you can call with any questions about abortion pill side effects or any other concerns. Follow all of your doctor’s directions during and after your abortion.

Who can get the abortion pill-by-mail?

Anyone pregnant 10 weeks or less can take the abortion pill. In order to receive the abortion pill-by-mail, patients must have an Illinois address and be physically in Illinois during the first telehealth screening. 

Out-of-state patients seeking abortion care may also recieve the abortion pill via telehealth, as long as they’re able to travel to Illinois for their video visit. Medication must be shipped to an Illinois address.

 

How do I get the abortion pill-by-mail?

To qualify for the abortion pill-by-mail, you must schedule a telehealth appointment, which will not take place in a health center. During your first appointment, a provider will discuss with you whether a medication abortion is right for you. 

The abortion pill will be shipped in a discrete package to your Illinois address and will arrive within 2 business days of your telehealth appointment.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost of a telehealth abortion pill appointment, including the medications and follow up, is $470. Payment is due in full on the day of the telehealth appointment. If you’re using private insurance or Medicaid, please provide your coverage information to PPIL prior to your visit. 

Financial assistance is available to help cover the cost of your abortion. To find out more, please give us a call at 877-200-PPIL.