*What is a Chemical Abortion?

Know The Risks

As it turns out, women may be making healthier pregnancy outcome decisions! According to the latest CDC data the number of abortions being carried out in the United States dips lower and lower each year[1].  That’s something to celebrate because here at the EPIC Center we know what women say about their abortion experiences. Not one has been happy to have done it, and all have experienced either mental or emotional hardship throughout the course of their lives.

Although it’s good to see surgical abortion numbers decrease, the number of women obtaining chemical abortions by ingesting an abortion pill is on the rise, and since there are some pretty notable risks involved, with symptoms that can last from several hours to several days we think it’s only right to let as many women as possible know. Ladies, these symptoms can be very intense and painful. They include:

  • The possibility of hemorrhaging to the point of requiring transfusions
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache[2].
  • Maternal deaths have occurred (most frequently due to infection or an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy[3])

Here’s How It Works

 Mifepristone (Mifeprex®; also known as RU-486 or simply “the abortion pill”) was approved by the FDA in September 2000 to chemically induce an abortion. Technically speaking, mifepristone is the first drug in a two-drug regimen. The second, misoprostol (Cytotec®), is taken 24 to 48 hours after mifepristone to induce uterine contractions intended to expel the remaining fetal tissue. Mifepristone is a synthetic steroid that acts as an anti-progestin to block the release of the hormone progesterone, a chemical critical for the pregnancy’s progression.

Progesterone is needed to stabilize the uterine wall and nourish the developing child. Mifepristone blocks progesterone from functioning as required, which leads to the deterioration of the uterine lining—thereby causing the unborn child’s death.  After taking the mifepristone, the patient is then sent home to take the regimen’s second drug, misoprostol, 24 to 48 hours after the mifepristone was taken. Misoprostol causes intense uterine contractions soon after ingestion. Misoprostol is needed to expel embryonic or fetal tissues from the uterus that were not expelled after the mifepristone was taken[4]. Using mifepristone alone frequently results in incomplete abortions; therefore, misoprostol is necessary in order for chemical abortion to be considered a viable alternative to surgical abortions.

Please Be Warned!

The process can be very traumatic and could take up to 30 days to complete5.  Incomplete abortion occurs up to 10 percent of the time and occurs more frequently as gestational age increases[6]. If an abortion is incomplete, a woman can be prescribed multiple doses of misoprostol. If that fails, a physician must carry out a surgical abortion to remove the fetal remains through the cervix by vacuum or suction aspiration[7].

Not only that, according to at least one scientific study it is highly probable that chemical abortions may cause significant psychological and physiological effects for women. This certainly coincides with the stories we here from our clients and volunteers at the EPIC Center.

Reverse! Reverse!

Yes ladies, there is a proven way to reverse the effects of a chemical abortion, despite the top 3-7 articles that may pop-up on your average Google search for “how to reverse a chemical abortion.” But you must act fast. An excerpt from the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s On the Science series states the following:

Abortion Pill Reversal Protocol

The Abortion Pill Reversal protocol is started within 72 hours after taking the first abortion drug, mifepristone, and before the second drug, misoprostol, is taken. The medical provider will prescribe bioidentical progesterone to outnumber and outcompete the mifepristone in order to reverse the effects of the mifepristone. An ultrasound is performed as soon as possible to confirm heart rate, placement, and dating of the pregnancy. The progesterone treatment will usually continue through the first trimester of pregnancy in an attempt to reverse the effects of the mifepristone.

Current Usage of Abortion Pill Reversal (APR)

Since the protocol was first used by physicians George Delgado (in 2009) and Matthew Harrison (in 2007), statistics now show more than 2,500 babies have been saved following use of the APR protocol.[23]

 Generally, APR is provided through the Abortion Pill Rescue Network, a global association of more than 1,000 volunteer medical providers and pregnancy help organizations. The Abortion Pill Rescue Network, which is operated by Heartbeat International, helps over 100 women per month to initiate the APR process.

Remember, we’re here for you. It is our prayer that you live and raise your families in physical and mental safety so that you may flourish. Providing our clients with information needed to make wise pregnancy outcome decisions is at least one thing we can do to help. Do not hesitate to call us if you need any of the services we provide!

*This blog post is a paraphrase of excerpts taken from a Family Research Council Issue Analysis (edited by Mary Szoch, M.Ed., “The Next Abortion Battleground: Chemical Abortion,”  No. IS19L02 (February 2022)

  1. The abortion rate has declined 24% between 2009 and 2018. Katherine Kortsmit, et al., “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2018,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/ss/ss6907a1.htm.
  2. “Full Prescribing Information – Mifeprex®,” Food and Drug Administration, 16-19.
  3. Charlotte Ellertson, et al. “Can women use medical abortion without medical supervision?” Reproductive Health Matters 5, no. 9 (1997): 149-161, accessed June 28, 2021,  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1016/S09688080%2897%2990019-7.
  4. “Full Prescribing Information – Mifeprex®,” Food and Drug Administration, 18, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/020687s022lbl.pdf#page=18.
  5.   “The Abortion Pill,” Planned Parenthood video, May 2019, accessed June 28, 2021, https://youtu.be/byhvmqAg3-E.
  6. Sanhueza Smith, et al., “Safety, Efficacy and Acceptability of Outpatient Mifepristone-Misoprostol Medical Abortion Through 70 Days Since Last Menstrual Period in Public Sector Facilities in Mexico City,” Reproductive Health Matters 22 (2015): 75-82, accessed June 28, 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25702071.
  7. “Medical management of first-trimester abortion,” Practice Bulletin No. 143, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2014), accessed June 28, 2021, https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/PracticeBulletins/Committee-on-Practice-Bulletins-Gynecology/Medical-Management-of-First-Trimester-Abortion.
A Note From Our Executive Director…

Not only do we provide ultrasound, which is nearly the most powerful tool in empowering women to choose life, we also help women become strong, healthy parents. To achieve this as a faith-based center we provide biblical parental education & peer counseling support. We also strive to engage with the father of that child, so he too is provided with the same support and care from other great fathers in our community. If you are unable to attend any of our fundraising events, will you consider making a donation today? Thanks in advance for your kindness and consideration. Your support helps us empower women to turn from being pro-abortion to pro-abundant life!