What is an abortion with pills?

An abortion with pills is a non-surgical termination of a pregnancy. The safest, most effective type of medical abortion requires the use of two different pills. These medicines, called Mifepristone and Misoprostol, provoke the spontaneous expulsion of the pregnancy from the uterus. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, which is required to sustain a pregnancy. Without this hormone, the attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterine wall is disrupted, and the uterus contracts. Misoprostol enhances contractions and helps to expel the products of conception from the uterus.

Mifepristone and Misoprostol are listed on the Core Model List of Essential Medicines of the World Health Organization. 

Medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol is highly effective and safe. The effects include cramping and prolonged menstrual-like bleeding. Common side effects are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The World Health Organizations suggests that individuals can self-manage their abortions until 12 weeks of pregnancy.