Abortion Pill by Mail
Since the overturning of Roe v Wade, you may have heard that some places are offering at-home abortions with the abortion pill by mail. Before you spend your money, there are some important things you should know.
There are many websites that have popped up online claiming to sell the abortion pill (sometimes called Plan C) without a prescription. According to the FDA, it is illegal to order the pills without having a prescription. Abortion pills bought without a prescription are not FDA approved and risk being contaminated, counterfeit, or containing varying ingredients. The FDA also advises against buying abortion pills over the internet because you risk bypassing important safety guards that protect your health.
For example, some clinics are offering telehealth appointments and if you qualify, they will then send you the abortion pill by mail. While the idea of never having to leave your home sounds quick and easy, this new process bypasses important procedures – such as having an ultrasound and STD testing done – which protect YOUR health.
Why should I get an ultrasound and STD testing done before buying the abortion pill?
- You will need to know exactly how far along you are. The abortion pill is only approved for use through 70 days gestation (or 10 weeks from your last menstrual period). Irregular periods or inaccurate menstrual dating can cause a miscalculation of gestational age. The most accurate way to determine gestational age is through an ultrasound. Being off by even a few days may mean that the abortion pill might not work in terminating your pregnancy.
- You need to make sure it is an intrauterine pregnancy. The abortion pill is not effective in terminating an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that grows outside of the uterus – can be life-threatening if not treated). A positive pregnancy test does not tell you if you have an intrauterine pregnancy. We recommend you have an ultrasound done to confirm the location of the pregnancy before paying for an abortion pill.
- You need to make sure you don’t have an STD. Untreated STDs or infections can cause serious complications for those who have an abortion. We strongly recommend getting tested for STDs before undergoing an abortion.
- You should find out if it is even a viable pregnancy. 10-25% of known pregnancies are not viable and end naturally in miscarriage – usually within the first 13 weeks. Having a positive pregnancy test does not mean that you have a viable pregnancy that will carry to term. We recommend having an ultrasound to confirm viability before you pay for an abortion pill.
Before spending your money on an at-home abortion, you should have an ultrasound scan and STD testing done. Although Focus Women’s Center in McHenry, IL does not offer abortions or abortion referrals, we may be able to provide you with a free ultrasound scan and STD testing as part of your Pregnancy Verification and Consultation appointment. To schedule your free appointment with a nurse, call or text 815-322-1585.
Mosbergen, D. (2022). Websites selling unapproved abortion pills are booming. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/websites-selling-unapproved-abortion-pills-are-booming-11661079601
FDA. (2021). Mifeprex (mifepristone) information. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/mifeprex-mifepristone-information
Reader, R. (2022). The web is home to an illegal bazaar for abortion pills. The FDA is ill-equipped to stop it. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2022/07/29/the-web-is-home-to-an-illegal-bazaar-for-abortion-pills-the-fda-is-ill-equipped-to-stop-it-00048802
RxList Inc. (2020). Mifeprex RU486. Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/mifeprex-ru486-drug.htm#description
American Pregnancy Association. (2019). Miscarriage. Retrieved from https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/miscarriage/