For women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, ordering the abortion pill online could have come to mind. But is ordering an abortion online really safe and effective? Is it legal?

While all forms of abortion are currently illegal in Missouri except in cases of life endangerment, we know women in our state still consider this option. We encourage you to learn about the risks of ordering the abortion pill online before making any decisions. 

Let’s begin with how the abortion pill works.

How the Abortion Pill Works

The abortion pill uses mifepristone and misoprostol, two separate medications, to terminate an early pregnancy. 

Mifepristone stops the supply of the hormone progesterone, which is responsible for maintaining the interior lining of the uterus during pregnancy. Without this hormone, the pregnancy can’t stay implanted or grow, leading to termination.

Within 24-48 hours of taking the first drug, misoprostol is taken to cause uterine contractions, leading to cramping and vaginal bleeding, which expels the pregnancy. 

Risks of Ordering Prescription Drugs Online

Some women choose the abortion pill because it’s a private procedure, self-administered at home. However, it’s not without risks.

In addition to allergic reactions or having a pre-existing condition that would render the abortion pill unsafe, there are also the following risks: 

  • Incomplete abortion
  • An ongoing pregnancy if the procedure fails
  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Digestive system discomfort.

Beyond the documented risks, accessing medical abortion pills illegally or through unregulated websites or foreign pharmacies comes with additional risks to your health. Since the FDA does not regulate them, there’s a chance you could receive the wrong medication or dosage or receive drugs not monitored for safety, effectiveness, and quality.

Why In-Person Care Is Important

Speaking with a medical provider about your personal health history is essential. They can ask about your current medications and assess if anything in your health history would make medical abortion unsafe for you.

Having pre-existing conditions like a bleeding disorder or an IUD currently in place could create serious complications in women taking the abortion pill. Talking with a health professional before taking any medication is one way to prevent future harm to your health. 

Additionally, ultrasounds can screen for serious complications like ectopic pregnancy or incomplete miscarriage so you can seek timely treatment.

Where To Find Local Support 

We understand experiencing an unexpected pregnancy can be scary and feel isolating. If you’re looking for a safe place to explore your options, Pregnancy Help Center is here for you. 

Pregnancy Help Center offers women no-cost and private services, which include pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and support programs. 

You don’t have to walk this road alone. Contact us when you’re ready.