We are officially in the month of love! January 2024 just flew by, like so many months and years in the recent past. Well, as they say, time flies when you are having a good time. But fun, romance, and love don’t mean we shouldn’t be smart about the choices we make. So this Valentine’s Day (or month), as you enjoy time with your companion, make sure you stay safe and use contraception. You can learn all about them here.

And if for some reason, the protection fails, worry not; you still have the option of a safe abortion with pills.

While abortion is a common healthcare procedure, people are often not so well-informed about it. For example, many don’t know that abortion doesn’t necessarily have to be a surgical procedure. You can also have an abortion with pills at home. In this blog, we will talk all about abortion with pills—what it is, how it works, and most importantly, what it costs to have an abortion with pills. Let’s begin.

What are abortion pills?

Abortion pills are also known as medical abortion or medication abortion, which refer to a non-surgical method of ending a pregnancy using medication. The two primary drugs commonly used for medical abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol, but it’s also possible to have an abortion with only misoprostol. These medications are effective for ending early pregnancies—up to 13 weeks of gestation—when following the HowToUseAbortionPill protocol.

How do abortion pills work?

When using mifepristone and misoprostol, the pill mifepristone is taken first. Mifepristone is an anti-progesterone drug. Progesterone is a hormone that is essential for maintaining pregnancy by supporting the growth of the uterine lining and preventing contractions of the uterus. By blocking the effects of progesterone, mifepristone causes the breakdown of the uterine lining, making it difficult for the pregnancy to continue.
The second drug, misoprostol, is typically taken 24 to 48 hours after mifepristone. Misoprostol induces contractions of the uterus, causing the expulsion of the uterine contents. Misoprostol may be taken sublingually or inserted into the vagina, and the process may resemble a heavy menstrual period.
If mifepristone is not available in your setting, it’s also possible to have an abortion with only misoprostol. For this, the HowToUseAbortionPill protocol recommends taking 3 rounds of 4 200 mcg pills of misoprostol.

How much do abortion pills cost?

Here is an overview of how much abortion pills cost:

12–18 USD by ProgressiveRx, an online pharmacy based in India offering telehealth abortion.

75 to 100 USD by Women on Web, a Canadian non-profit organization and online abortion service that provides abortion pills in almost 200 countries.

150 USD by Aid Access, a team of US-registered abortion providers providing abortion pills in all 50 US states.

0-550 USD by carafem, a national provider of reproductive healthcare services both in physical health centers and online. The wide price range reflects the difference in services offered. For example, it costs somewhere between 0–249 USD for getting pills online, 0–475 USD for getting them at a health center, and 550 USD for getting the entire procedure done at a health center.

580-800 USD by Planned Parenthood, a reproductive healthcare provider, educator, and advocate.

Why does the cost of abortion pills differ so much?

Sadly, the cost of abortion pills can vary dramatically, as we have seen above. There are several factors that influence the final cost of abortion pills. Firstly, the specific medications prescribed for a medical abortion impact the overall cost. Different formulations and brands of mifepristone and misoprostol have varying prices. The cost is also dependent on the providers; the location of the provider, the facilities they have, and the additional services they provide are all factored into the cost of the pills.
Depending on where you live, you can get more information about the cost of abortion pills here.

Support for buying abortion pills

While the broad range of the cost of abortion pills may not be very encouraging, the good news is that there are different options that make them affordable. For example, depending on the type of insurance, your health insurance provider may cover the cost of abortion services, including abortion with pills.

Some clinics also offer sliding scale fees based on income or provide financial assistance programs to make abortion services more accessible. Additionally, there are nonprofit organizations and charities that provide financial assistance or connect individuals with resources, such as the National Abortion Federation and the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. Furthermore, there are abortion funds that work to eliminate financial and logistical barriers to abortion access. One such example is the National Network of Abortion Funds.

In some regions, there are state or local programs that provide financial assistance for reproductive health services, including abortion. For example, the City of New York started providing free abortion pills in 2023 at a city-run sexual health clinic in the Bronx.

Where can I get abortion pills?

Once you have decided you want to get abortion pills, there are plenty of places you can get them from.
Healthcare provider, such as a gynecologist, family doctor, or women’s health clinic.
Planned Parenthood clinics.
Telemedicine providers
Family planning clinics
Abortion hotlines and websites
Local pharmacies

Make sure you choose well-known and reliable providers to ensure the quality and safety of your abortion pills.

How do I know my abortion pills are authentic?

It also doesn’t hurt to be well-informed ourselves and to know our abortion pills are genuine. One of the things you can look out for is the packaging. Authentic medications typically come in sealed packaging with proper labeling, including the name of the medication, dosage, expiration date, and manufacturer information. Examine the packaging for any signs of tampering, damage, or inconsistencies.

You should also know who the legitimate manufacturers of abortion pills are. Common brands include Mifeprex or Korlym for mifepristone and Cytotec for misoprostol but of course there are many others as well. Check for manufacturer information on the packaging and verify its authenticity.

Most importantly, we should familiarize ourselves with the appearance of genuine medication. Counterfeit or substandard drugs may have noticeable differences. Mifepristone is usually a small, white, round tablet, and misoprostol tablets are often small and hexagonal in shape. Medications in capsule form are not legitimate.

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