‘Abortion pill’: How it works

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While abortion is still legal, many states have since passed laws that restrict access to abortion to varying degrees…Now some women are…turning to a method made possible by modern medicine: the “abortion pill.”

For those with access to a clinic, the abortion pill has become an increasingly popular way to legally terminate an early pregnancy.

Anti-abortion activists argue against the safety of using this method outside a doctor’s office, and have even argued that states should require stricter medical supervision for abortion medication.

How does it work? The first dose—a 200 mg mifepristone pill—begins the process by blocking the body’s progesterone, a hormone that is needed to continue a pregnancy in its early stages…By blocking this hormone, the first pill helps break down the uterine lining that a woman normally sheds during her period, so that the embryo can detach from the uterine wall. After that happens, a woman dissolves four 200 mcg misoprostol tablets in her mouth. This second medication, which is also used to induce labor, helps expel the detached embryo.

“Overall [a medication abortion] is extremely safe,” says [Dr. Lauren Thaxton, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico who has been performing abortions for six years]. Common symptoms include nausea, cramping and heavy bleeding, similar to what women experience during a miscarriage.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: The Science Behind the “Abortion Pill”

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