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Charles Seleznev
Charles Seleznev

Can You Buy Abortion Pills Online

Medication abortions are a safe way to end pregnancy up to 12 weeks, according to the World Health Organization. In the traditional healthcare model, pregnancy is confirmed through urine, blood, or ultrasound tests before patients receive two medications to induce a miscarriage: mifepristone, which blocks the body from producing the hormone progesterone, and misoprostol right away or 48 hours later. The second medication causes cramping and bleeding to empty pregnancy tissue from the uterus.

can you buy abortion pills online

A study published February 18, 2021, in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found as much, measuring similarly high rates of effectiveness (98.2 percent versus 98.8 percent) between the outcome of medically induced abortions in patients who received an ultrasound and their first dose of medication in a clinic, versus those who received their care via telemedicine without confirmation of pregnancy. In addition, there were no reported changes in the number of serious adverse effects, which remained extremely low in both cases.

As access to clinical abortion care becomes harder to navigate, women are increasingly turning to the internet to get their abortion pills via telehealth providers or with the help of nonprofits such as Aid Access, which operates outside the formal U.S. healthcare system.

Plan C is a nonprofit site that provides state-by-state information on how people in the United States can access abortion pills. There is also the site INeedanA, which hosts a localized directory for people seeking abortion care. Planned Parenthood, too, is a reliable source of reproductive health information, including on abortion pills and abortion access.

If you live in a restrictive state, it may be possible to have a telehealth appointment in a neighboring state that does allow telehealth abortions. You would then set up a virtual mailbox in the adjacent state to receive your medication. These mailboxes cost about $50, and require sending a copy of your picture ID and another form of identification. The medications can then be sent by your telehealth provider to the virtual mailbox, and then forwarded to your home address.

The cost of your abortion pills will vary according to the provider. While some telehealth providers accept insurance, if you live in a state where telehealth abortion or all abortion is restricted, you will have to pay out of pocket, with costs starting around $200.

Expect to wait anywhere from 4 to 14 days for pills to be delivered to you. While some pharmacies and telehealth providers offer overnight or express shipping options, those who must wait for their medication to come from an international pharmacy should expect additional delays while packages clear customs. In addition, some telehealth providers may take several days to review intake forms or have availability for an appointment.

This is the most common method of abortion with pills. You take a mifepristone pill first, followed by misoprostol pills 24 to 48 hours later. This is the most effective method of abortion with pills (95-98% of the abortions are successful). It has the fewest side effects. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is the type of abortion with pills provided by clinics like Planned Parenthood and recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Abortion pills block pregnancy hormones (mifepristone) and cause cramping and bleeding (misoprostol). This causes the pregnancy to end and come out of the body. It is like a miscarriage. You can expect a few hours of heavy bleeding and cramping and several days of lighter bleeding.

We also know that many people are buying abortion pills from online services without a prescription. Some people also find the pills in bodegas or across the border in Mexico. Finding and using pills without consulting a medical provider is often called "self-managed" abortion. Our Guide to finding pills provides information about how people are doing this. It is important for those considering this option to understand any legal risks (see below--Can I Get in Trouble?).

Telehealth Services: Do a medical consultation using your phone or computer (online form or video visit). Receive the pills by mail. Take the pills at home. Phone/text follow up support, if needed.

Online Pill Stores: Some international websites sell abortion pills. No prescription is needed. No medical screening or advice is given. Receive the pills by mail. Take the pills at home. Free phone/text follow up support available through, if needed.

Community Networks: Some state-based abortion support groups, like Red State Access and others, provide free support to those looking for abortion options. Receive the pills in-person or by mail. Take the pills at home. Free phone/text follow up support available through, if needed.

Other countries: Some people find abortion pills in pharmacies in other countries (like Mexico). Take the pills at home. Free phone/text follow up support available through, if needed.

Most people use a pregnancy test to confirm that they are pregnant. Most people do not need any other medical tests to get abortion pills. The clinic or telehealth service may ask you to get additional tests if:

Some people who are not pregnant get abortion pills to keep in their medicine cabinet just in case their period is late. They can then take the pills right away without having to wait a long time for shipping. Some services listed in our Guide to Pills let you order pills in advance (Aid Access offers this "advance provision" in all states).

Some insurances and some Medicaid plans cover abortion pills. But not all providers accept insurance or Medicaid. Our Guide provides information about financial help available from individual providers. The best way to know if you can use your insurance or Medicaid is to contact the provider directly. They can help you figure it out.

Plan C regularly tests these websites by buying pills from them. The services we list in our Guide all shipped pills to us at our home addresses. The pills were real (based on laboratory testing). But, we do not operate these sites and cannot guarantee they will be reliable in the future.

Learn more about potential legal risks of accessing pills through online pill stores by reading our FAQ. You can also contact the free, confidential Repro Legal Helpline (online or at 844-868-2812) to discuss your specific situation.

NOTE: If you have a problem with one of the online pill stores listed on our website, please contact them directly to request help. We do not operate these sites. We cannot help you with refunds or shipping issues.

Many groups provide information about how to take abortion pills. provides excellent instructions for mifepristone plus misoprostol abortion and misoprostol-only abortion. The instructions are available in 27 languages. The website also includes a live chat feature.

The website has great information about what to expect when you take the pills and how to manage side effects. This fact sheet in English and Spanish provides a good summary of what to expect and when to seek additional care.

Abortion pills cause bleeding and cramping. This is part of the abortion process and shows that the pills are working. Many people do not have any symptoms after taking the first pill (mifepristone). The bleeding and cramping usually start soon after taking the second set of pills (misoprostol).

Both ways to access pills are safe, but self-managed abortion may have some legal risks. See our section "Can I get in trouble for using abortion pills?" for more information about the legal considerations for self-managed abortion.

Yes. There are many free services that can help support you during your abortion. The Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline provides free, confidential medical information and support by phone and text. Other services, like the Reprocare Healthline, can provide emotional support and practical information about what to expect by phone or text during your home abortion. There are even some chatbots and apps (like Euki and Safe Abortion App) that can help guide you.

Using abortion pills is very safe. Abortion pills are safest and most effective for pregnancies of less than 13 weeks. This means less than 91 days counting from the first day of the last regular period. The World Health Organization provides guidelines for safely self-managing abortion up to 12 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period.

One risk is that abortion pills may not work (they may not end the pregnancy). The pills are less effective when taken later in pregnancy. You can take a pregnancy test 3-4 weeks after taking the pills to make sure they worked:

No one should ever be punished for providing their own medical care. Yet, from 2000 to 2020, at least 61 people who have self-managed an abortion or have helped someone else are known to have been arrested or prosecuted. It is unknown how recent changes in abortion laws will affect future criminalization of people who self-manage their abortions. Those who are already at greater risk of criminalization because of their race, gender identity, economic status, or other factors may have a higher risk of prosecution. People who live in very conservative states also may face a higher risk of prosecution. A few states even have laws that say that self-managing an abortion is illegal.

Plan C believes that each person should have access to information to make their own decisions about risk, including legal risk. The information below is not intended to endorse self-managed use nor is it legal advice. It is what we know from the experiences of people who have self-managed their abortions.

Self-managed abortion is not a criminal act, and restricting abortion access is considered by leading justice organizations to be a human rights violation. However, some people who have used abortion pills on their own have gotten in legal trouble in the United States. Between 2000 and 2020, there have been at least 61 cases where people have been prosecuted for self-managing their abortions (charges have varied from concealing a birth to homicide) or helping someone else self-manage an abortion. During that same time, research suggests that a hundred thousand (or likely more) people have self-managed their abortions. We do not know how new laws about abortion will affect the criminalization of people for self-managing an abortion. 041b061a72


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