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What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy. “Abortion pill” is the popular name for using two different medicines to end a pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. It can also be called a medication abortion.

You will take mifepristone first. Mifepristone blocks your body’s progesterone, which is a hormone the pregnancy needs to continue to grow. Misoprostol causes the uterus to cramp, bleed, and pass the pregnancy. The process can be similar to having a really heavy crampy period and is very similar to an early miscarriage. Unlike the in-clinic procedure which is completed in the health center, the abortion pills allow you to pass the pregnancy at home.

Abortion is legal in Maryland, Virginia, and DC

Patients should plan to take both mifepristone and misoprostol in Maryland, Virginia, or DC. Each of our health centers (Suitland, MD, Gaithersburg, MD, and Washington, DC) offer medication abortion. 


Before your abortion pill appointment

There are two types of appointments you can make to receive the abortion pill:

  • In-clinic: you come to any of our health centers to meet with our staff and a clinician or physician. You take your first pill at the health center and receive the other pills to take at home.
    • These appointments are offered up to 11 weeks and 0 days after the start of your last menstrual period.
  • Video visit / telehealth: you have a video conference appointment and your medications are mailed to you in discreet packaging.
    • These appointments are offered up to 10 weeks and 6 days after the start of your last menstrual period.

Appointments can last from 1-3 hours, video visits will be shorter.

Abortion pill services are available by appointment only.


  • Prior to your appointment, you can eat and drink normally.
  • If you take any medications, please continue to take these medications normally before your appointment. Let the PPMW clinician or staff know about any medications you take.
  • Please do not bring children with you to the health center. You will be busy throughout your appointment and it is unsafe for children to be left unattended in a medical setting. Please arrange for 1-3 hours of childcare. If it is difficult for you to access childcare, and your last menstrual period was less than 10 weeks and 6 days ago, you may consider our at-home medication abortion option.


In-clinic abortion pill / medication abortion appointments

Your appointment will be at the health center where you will take the first medication (mifepristone) and be given the second set of pills (misoprostol) to use at home. Appointments can last from 1-3 hours.

The abortion pill is offered up to 11 weeks and 0 days after the start of your last menstrual period. Abortion pill services are available by appointment only.

During your visit, you may be given the following:

  • a pregnancy test
  • a chance to speak with a trained staff person about all of your choices: abortion, adoption, and parenting
  • a conversation with the health care provider about your health history
  • lab tests/blood work
  • a pelvic exam
  • an ultrasound
  • medications to make the abortion more comfortable
  • medications for the abortion
  • birth control information
  • a birth control method of your choice, if desired

Payment is due at the time of service. We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. We do not accept checks.   

Please bring your health insurance card with you, even if you are not planning on using it for the procedure. It can be used for birth control, STI screenings, and other lab tests. You have to bring proof of insurance if you are using it for your visit. We recommend contacting your insurance company directly to confirm your eligibility and benefits. Co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurances are due at the time of your appointment. Please bring a referral if your insurance requires one to pay for your visit.


  • You will need to follow up within 4-5 weeks to make sure your abortion is complete and that you are well.
  • There are three ways to follow up:
    • An ultrasound in 1-2 weeks
    • Two different blood tests at the clinic or lab (to check levels of the pregnancy hormone)
    • A phone call in one week, followed by a home pregnancy test in five weeks.

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