What does it mean for abortion to be “safe and legal?”
If you or someone you love is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering an at-home abortion, it’s important to take time to explore the potential risks and side-effects related to the abortion pill.
At-home abortions are often sold as an “easy fix” option, however, medication abortion can be accompanied by serious physical and mental side-effects. Before we dive into the risks of the abortion pill, let’s talk a bit about what the drugs in the abortion pill actually do.
The abortion pill is a two-pill process that ends a pregnancy within the first 70 days of gestation. The process starts with taking Mifepristone, a drug that inhibits the production of progesterone, a natural hormone created by the body to help the pregnancy develop. While the first step is typically administered at a doctor’s office, the second pill, Misoprostol, is taken at home. This pill causes contractions and forces the pregnancy from the uterus.
At-Home Abortion Pill Side Effects
Some common side-effects of the abortion pill include abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition to these side effects, you might encounter some more serious complications associated with the abortion pill.
Here at Mosaic Health, we believe that women are entitled to all of the information they need to make an informed and educated decision about their pregnancy.
Here are the top five risks of at-home abortions you should know about before scheduling an appointment with the abortion facility:
1. Incomplete Abortions
Incomplete abortions occur when the abortion pill isn’t effective in ending the pregnancy and expelling the tissue fully. When this happens, emergency surgery is required immediately. If left unattended, the tissue from an incomplete abortion can cause life-threatening infections or hemorrhaging.
2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Did you know that a chlamydia infection at the time of abortion can increase your chances of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) by 23 percent? 1 Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning. PID can cause a host of other serious health conditions such as ectopic pregnancies, abscesses, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility.
3. Mental Health Issues
Unlike other serious medical procedures, medication abortion isn’t fully administered in a healthcare setting, leaving women to complete the abortion at home, without much or any emotional support and no medical supervision. Some women report experiencing “significant mental health issues that are caused, triggered, aggravated, or complicated by their abortion experience.” 2
4. Infertility in Future Childbearing
The Mayo Clinic reports that medical abortions can decrease your likelihood of conceiving in the future, especially if you…
- Use an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Are already at a high risk of uterine rupture
- Have high blood pressure
- Are diabetic
- Have heart, blood vessel, severe liver, kidney, or lung diseases
- Take blood thinners or certain steroid medications
- Smoke regularly
5. Trouble Bonding with Future Children and Partners
Another emotional side-effect of medical abortions includes difficulty bonding in close relationships following the procedure. Couples often struggle to stay connected after an abortion with the rate of breakups and divorces following the event at 40 to 75 percent. Women who do go on to have children in the future also reported an inability to connect with their children. 3
If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, it’s normal to be worried or anxious. Even women who planned to get pregnant commonly experience feelings of anxiety.
Before making a decision about your pregnancy, take the time you need to learn about the options available to you. One of the best ways to learn about your pregnancy options is to get an ultrasound. This will give you unique insight into your body and pregnancy and help you determine which route is best for you.
Here at Mosaic Health, we believe all women should be equipped to make the best decision for themself and their futures through access to free and confidential pregnancy healthcare.
- Westergaard L, Phillipsen T, Scheibel J (1982). “Significance of cervical Chlamydia trachomatis infection in postabortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 68(5): 668-90; Ovigstad E, et al. (1983). “Pelvic inflammatory disease associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection after therapeutic abortion.” Br J Vener Dis, 59: 189-92; Heisterberg L, et al. (1987). “The role of vaginal secretory immunoglobulin a, gardnerella vaginalis, anaerobes, and Chlamydia trachomatis in post abortal pelvic inflammatory disease.” Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 66(2): 99-102.
- Reardon DC. The abortion and mental health controversy: A comprehensive literature review of common ground agreements, disagreements, actionable recommendations, and research opportunities. SAGE open medicine. 2018;6: 1–38. 10.1177/2050312118807624 . [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
- Women’s Health After Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence Paperback – April 1, 2002. Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy (Author), Ian Gentles (Author)