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Dr. Noreen Johnson is a board-certified OB/GYN with 44 years of experience, has completed over 1,000 abortions, and at one time, was known as the “town abortionist.”

In this video, Dr. Johnson explains how the abortion pill or a chemical abortion works, the physical symptoms a woman will experience, and the dangers associated with it.

FAQs on 1st Trimester Abortion Pills

Q. When is a 1st-trimester abortion pill given?
The abortion pill has been approved by the FDA to be taken up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Many abortion facilities, however, use this pill off-label for weeks after that.

Q. How does the pill or chemical abortion work?
A chemical abortion happens in two steps. Step one, the woman takes a mifepristone pill which blocks progesterone which breaks down the uterine lining, cuts off oxygen and vital nutrients to the embryo, and causes the embryo to die inside the woman’s womb. After the mifepristone has been taken, typically 24 to 48 hours later, a woman is given two more pills called misoprostol which will force the body to shed the embryo out of her uterus.

Q. What happens after a woman takes the abortion pill?
After a woman takes misoprostol, she will experience severe cramping, contractions, and heavy bleeding as her body forces the dead embryo out of her uterus. This can be very painful and intense. Bleeding and contractions can last for a few hours or up to several days.

Q. How long does bleeding last after a chemical abortion?
Bleeding lasts an average of 9-16 days. Eight percent of women bleed for more than 30 days, and some women even require hospitalization because of heavy bleeding.

Q. Are chemical abortions always successful?
No. The failure rate for chemical abortions increases as the pregnancy progresses. If the pregnancy is 8 weeks or less, it has a 2-6% failure rate. At 10-11 weeks, the failure rate is 10%. If this happens, a suction abortion will be performed to clear the uterus.

Q. Are they any risks or adverse effects associated with the abortion pill?
All abortions carry risk. With the abortion pill or chemical abortions, some of the risks and adverse effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, heavy bleeding, and sometimes maternal death due to infection and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies.

Q. Can you stop the effects of mifepristone if a woman changes her mind?
Yes. It is possible to reverse the effects of mifepristone if progesterone is administered, but it must be taken as soon as possible.