Safe Abortion Using Pills

The contents of this webpage are for informational purposes only.

Today, people can safely and effectively manage their abortion on their own terms, without an abortion provider or clinic, if they choose. There are many reasons one might prefer to end their own pregnancy at home. It allows for control — of the experience, the location and the timing.

The option of self-managing an abortion at home can empower us to end a pregnancy on our own terms. Everyone should be able to choose the option that works best for them, whether that is care with a provider at a clinic or self-managing their abortion. 

Some people already obtain and use abortion pills on their own — despite the legal and logistical barriers — only seeking medical help in the rare circumstance that they experience complications.

Anti-abortion politicians are standing in the way of all types of safe, effective, affordable methods of abortion care. In fact, between 2011-2017, politicians have passed more than 400 state laws that make it difficult – sometimes impossible – to get an abortion. They make abortion unaffordable and shut down clinics while attempting to shame and punish people who have abortions.

In many states, politicians have imposed regulations that create barriers to the use of medication abortion specifically, as well as to safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable abortion services generally. The regulations often prohibit qualified providers from providing services, misinform women of the risks of the procedures they are considering, overrule patients’ and clinicians’ medical decision making, or require medically unnecessary services and delays in care.

Listing these resources does not imply endorsement of any content.

Women Help Women

Women On Web

Additional Resources

  • Information about how to keep your research about abortion private
  • Abortion on Our Terms: NNAF is a partner organization working to realize the potential of medication abortion to take back control and enable anyone who chooses this option to end their pregnancy safely, effectively, privately – on their own terms.
  • Self-Managed Abortion Resources
  • If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice: information on criminalization
  • If you or someone you know is being investigated, detained, arrested, or concerned they might be questioned by the police for having an abortion, contact the Repro Legal Helpline.
  • Plan C provides comprehensive information on self-managed abortion: through education and sharing information, driving new research, and mobilizing activists in the growing self-care movement.
  • Euki App is the first app of its kind to offer sexual and reproductive health information and tools to track what’s going on with your body in one place AND on a totally private and secure platform. The app is especially for people in the United States, but much of the information is relevant to people all over the world.
  • Over the past two decades, scientific and medical advances have revolutionized how people can experience and get an abortion. Medication abortion — safe and effective abortion with pills — is one of these major steps forward. Many choose abortion pills because they feel it is less invasive and the abortion can happen at home.

    Today, people can safely and effectively manage their abortion on their own terms, without an abortion provider or clinic, if they choose. Everyone should be able to choose the option that works best for them, whether that is care with a provider at a clinic or self-managing their abortion. 

    Click the titles below for additional information.

  • According to the WHO Guidance, the following are signs of complication requiring follow up care with a medical professional:

    1. If there is heavy bleeding that lasts for more than two hours and soaks more than two sanitary pads per hour (if the stream of blood is like a stream of water in the open faucet). Feeling dizzy or light-headed can be a sign of too much blood loss, and dangerous to a person’s health (very rare; less than 1%).
    2. If there is severe pain that does not go away a few days after taking the medicines.
    3. If there is vaginal discharge that smells bad.
    4. If a person has a fever of over 100o Fahrenheit for more than 24 hours, or a fever of more than 102o F degrees at any point.

    If there is a complication, a person can always go to the hospital or any doctor and say they had a miscarriage. The doctor will treat them as if they had a spontaneous miscarriage. There is no blood test in the United States to determine if a person has ingested abortion pills, as such there will be no way that the doctor can know they have taken medicines unless the patient discloses or has the pills on or in their body (in their mouth or vagina). The treatment is more misoprostol or a vacuum curettage with manual or electric suction or a D&C (dilation and curettage), during which a doctor empties the uterus by scraping. The treatment of miscarriage is widespread, routine, and safe.