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  • S. Thom

Abortion Pill Myths: What You Need to Know

Young woman holding a pillow, lying in bed, looking sad.


So, you've probably heard about the abortion pill, right? Maybe you've seen some heated debates online or heard various things from different sources. It's like there's a thick fog of myths and facts, and it's tough to see clearly through it. The abortion pill (sometimes referred to as RU-486) is often presented as a straight-forward, non-invasive way to end a pregnancy. But is it as simple as popping ibuprofen for a headache? With so much noise out there, it's crucial to get straight to the truth. Ready to dive in and sort fact from fiction? Let’s go…


What is the Abortion Pill?

First off, the abortion pill actually refers to two pills. The first dose contains the chemical Mifepristone, which blocks the effects of a hormone necessary for a healthy pregnancy, called progesterone. The second dose, Misoprostol, causes the embryo to expel by contracting the uterus and expelling the pregnancy tissue.


Myth 1: The Abortion Pill Is Just Like Plan B or Birth Control

Mixing up the abortion pill with Plan B or regular birth control is easy, but they’re quite distinct. Plan B prevents pregnancy after unprotected sex by stopping ovulation and must be taken within 72 hours. It does not end a pregnancy. Regular birth control prevents pregnancy from happening at all, through various methods like pills, patches, or IUDs. The abortion pill, however, is used to end an existing pregnancy in its early stages. It is a two-part process that causes the body to have a chemical miscarriage. Preliminary data originally published in February 2022 from the Guttmacher Institute, showed that medication abortion accounted for 54% of all abortions in the US (1).  That means, more than half of all abortions are not surgical, they’re often done alone and at home.


Myth 2: Taking the Abortion Pill Is a Safe and Easy Fix to an Unplanned Pregnancy


The belief that the abortion pill is a quick and simple solution overlooks significant risks and the emotional turmoil it can cause. Though organizations like Planned Parenthood present medical abortion as “safe and effective” (2), comparing it to a “heavy, crampy period” (3), the studies show that there can be serious physical and emotional side effects. Some after-abortion side effects may develop, including cramping and abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, vaginal bleeding, diarrhea, headaches, and dizziness. Sometimes, major complications can occur, including incomplete abortion (this is more common in medical abortions than with in-clinic procedures), serious infection, heavy vaginal bleeding or hemorrhaging, and injury to uterus or other organs - like the bowel or bladder (4). These potential physical symptoms, along with feelings of regret or sadness, make it clear that the abortion pill isn't just a harmless, easy fix.

Many women who have taken the abortion pill, regret their decision. In fact, a May 2023 study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute revealed that over 60% of women who had abortions felt pressured to do so by others and said this decision hurt their mental health, leading to "increased disruptions in their daily lives, and more frequent episodes of grief and loss." (5). After taking the abortion pill, Abby Johnson described feeling “pain in my abdomen unlike anything I had ever experienced,” and had so much blood rushing out of her she stayed in the bathroom for 12 hours “bleeding, throwing up into the bathroom trashcan, crying and sweating.” (6) Another woman, Kelly Lester, who once worked at an abortion facility, said that having a chemical abortion was “one of the most horrific experiences of my life.” She recounted how the bleeding and pain started soon after taking both pills, and “the pain lasted for two days and I felt like I was in full-blown labor.” She had to move out of her apartment because every time she used her bathroom, she felt like she was reliving her trauma. (7) Rose, a UK woman who took the abortion pill at 9 weeks pregnant, said within hours she “had gone into full labor… contractions, vomiting, bleeding, crying,” with her pain lasting 12 hours. A week later, the contractions continued, and the doctor discovered her blood pressure was extremely low. She was in writhing pain for another four hours in the hospital waiting room, when she was told that she had an “incomplete EMA,” and had to have surgery to remove the “leftover waste product” that her body failed to expel during the medical abortion. The whole ordeal left Rose traumatized. (8) Robyn Blessing, the executive director for Life On Wheels - a prolife, nonprofit organization in Alabama – reflected on her own abortion experience. Throughout the years, she would think “what if,” but never felt the regret of her decision until she saw an ultrasound of a 9-week-old baby. “I don’t think that the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ is true,” she said. “28 years was not enough time to dull the pain once I realized what I had done.” (9)


As you can see, for many women, taking the abortion pill can be painful, arduous, and emotionally scarring. The “safe and easy fix” narrative often overlooks these aspects, painting a picture that doesn't fully capture the gravity of the experience.


Myth 3: There Is No Way to Reverse the Abortion Pill

Actually, you can reverse the effects of the abortion pill after taking the first dose. Here's how it works: the first pill you take blocks progesterone, the hormone that's extremely important for a healthy pregnancy. (10) The reversal treatment is all about giving you extra progesterone to beat the effects of that first pill and give the pregnancy a fighting chance. The best time to start this reversal is within the first 24 hours after taking the pill, but it can still work if you start within 72 hours. Research shows that this reversal method works about 64-68% of the time. (11) There's real evidence and plenty of stories about people who've successfully reversed their abortions. Rebekah Haken, for example, found out she was pregnant in college and thought she would be disowned by her parents. After she took the first dose of the abortion pill, she started having intense guilt, sadness, and remorse. The following day, right before she was scheduled to take the second dose, she changed her mind. “I am just so grateful that I never have to wonder who Zachariah would’ve been,” she said, “and instead I get to watch his little life unfold right before my eyes.” (12) See Rebekah’s story HERE.


Have you taken the first dose of the abortion pill, or RU-486, and regret your decision?

It’s not too late! There is hope. Please call the Abortion Pill Reversal hotline as soon as possible: 1-877-558-0333. You can also visit to learn more about the reversal process and chat with someone.


If you’d like to talk to someone at your local Image Clear Ultrasound mobile clinic, please call or text 205-484-7660. Check out our schedule and locations if you’d like to get a free pregnancy test, ultrasound, want to explore your pregnancy options, or just need someone to talk to about your pregnancy journey.

Remember, it might not be too late to save your pregnancy!



















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