An online or at-home abortion involves seeking the abortion drugs (also known as the “abortion pill”) online and then taking the drugs at home. Since abortion is currently illegal in Missouri (except in medical emergencies), seeking abortion drugs online means trying to obtain them illegally. This puts your health and safety at risk.

Read on to learn more about how the abortion drugs work and why seeking them online puts your health at risk. 

Or, if you want to talk to someone about your pregnancy options, contact Pregnancy Help Center of South County today to be connected to one of our caring team members. All appointments and services are free and confidential. 

How Do the Abortion Drugs Work?

The abortion drugs include mifepristone and misoprostol. 

Mifepristone is taken first and works by blocking progesterone in your body. Progesterone is critical for sustaining a pregnancy, and without it, your pregnancy will end.

Misoprostol is taken next. It forces your uterus to contract, which expels the pregnancy through your vagina.

Risks of the Abortion Drugs

The abortion drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is 11 weeks gestation or younger. Taking these drugs when your pregnancy is further along puts you at a greater risk of experiencing physical complications, which can include: 

  • Incomplete abortion, which is when parts of the terminated pregnancy remain in the uterus
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure doesn’t work
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort

Risks of Seeking Abortion Drugs Online

The abortion drugs you can find online are not FDA-approved, and the FDA advises against this because it puts your health and safety at risk. 

Since the abortion drugs you can find online aren’t FDA-approved, their safety, efficacy, and source can’t be guaranteed—you won’t know where they’re coming from, their ingredient source, or the correct dosing. 

Importance of an Ultrasound

Before seeking abortion drugs, it’s essential to get an ultrasound. This simple scan will give you the key details you need to know about your pregnancy to stay safe, including:

  • Gestational age: This is essential, as taking the abortion drugs when your pregnancy is further than 10 weeks gestation puts you at risk for potentially serious health complications.
  • Location: Sometimes, a pregnancy develops outside the uterus. This is a life-threatening condition known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it requires emergency medical treatment (and makes you ineligible for the abortion drugs).
  • Viability: Roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. An ultrasound will look for signs of life and determine if you’ve experienced a miscarriage. If so, you will need medical follow-up to ensure you don’t have complications.

Next Steps

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can feel overwhelming, especially as you consider your options. But you’re not alone in this. At the Pregnancy Help Center of South County, we’re here for you with no-cost resources and services—including ultrasounds—to give you the information you need to make a confident and safe decision moving forward.

Contact us today to schedule a private appointment.