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Is There Such Thing As An Abortion Pill?

Published: September 16, 2013
Dear Is There Such Thing As An Abortion Pill?,
My friend said there is some kind of pill you can take if you want to have an abortion. I always thought you had to have some kind of procedure done. Is there really a pill for this?

Dear Is There Such Thing As An Abortion Pill?,

According to Planned Parenthood’s webpage on abortion, there are two kinds of abortion in the United States. One is referred to as an in-clinic abortion and the other is referred to as the abortion pill.

  • An in-clinic abortion is a medical procedure ranging in price from $300-$950 (in the first trimester) that ends pregnancy. The most common type of in-clinic abortion is called an aspiration, which can be done up to 16 weeks after a woman’s last period. In this procedure essentially what happens is that a tube is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus and a suction machine gently empties the uterus.
  • The abortion pill (also referred to as medication abortion) uses medication to end a pregnancy and costs about $300-$800. A medication abortion is a three-step process where medications stop the pregnancy from continuing and then cause the uterus to empty.

If you are asking because you are pregnant and trying to decide what to do about your pregnancy, know that you have options. You can keep the baby, have an abortion or choose adoption. It is important to discuss these options with trusted adults, including your doctor, so you can figure out what option is best for you. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

If you would like to have an abortion, know that if you are under 18 one or both of your parents may need to give permission for you to get an abortion, or at least be told prior to the abortion, depending on what state you live in. However, in most states you can ask a judge to excuse you from these requirements.