“The three greatest life-saving medical innovations of the 20th-century are vaccines, penicillin, and legal abortion’.”

Dr. Mildred Hanson, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Medication Abortion is Still Available!


Like many women I spent last Friday waiting for the Supreme Court to do the right thing but fearing the worst.  Amazingly the Court did the right thing by overruling both the Texas judge who would have suspended/banned mifepristone altogether and the appeals court which would have blocked access by mail and require that only physicians prescribe mifepristone and misoprostol – no other medical professionals would have been allowed to prescribe and dispense the drugs.  Be aware this Texas judge ignored science, physicians, and 23 years of successful, safe procedures to continue the anti-abortionist’s agenda which is to control women and their bodies. This biased judge stated that he had women’s health in mind.  What he had in mind was to put the control of a woman’s body in the hands of the state.

What regimes does this remind you of?  Afghanistan? Iran?.

But what is medication abortion, how common is it, is it safe?

  • Medication abortion is a two-drug regimen that can be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.
  • 53% of women who have a legal abortion use the medication abortion option.
  • Mifepristone, the first pill you would take, was approved by the FDA -- 23 years ago after extensive testing and review.
  • It is one of the safest drugs on the market, safer than penicillin, safer than Viagra.
  • Misoprostol the second drug in the regimen was approved by the FDA for assisting a miscarriage and as part of the medication abortion procedure in 2000.
  • Medication abortion has a 99.6% success rate.

How does it work?

  •  Mifepristone can be taken in a doctors or clinic office or in the privacy of your own home.  In many states it can be prescribed through telemedicine. Mifepristone stops the pregnancy tissue from growing.
  • Misoprostol is the second pill. Twenty-four to forty-eight hours after you take the mifepristone, you take the four misoprostol pills.  These pills prompt contractions causing the uterus to expel the pregnancy tissue.
  • For most people this will feel like an early miscarriage. You experience cramping and bleeding, a low fever, chills, and diarrhea.  The amount of pain varies from person to person. You can take over the counter pain medication (ibuprofen) to alleviate discomfort, just don’t take aspirin as it can increase the bleeding, opt for Advil, Motrin, or ibuprofen.
  • For more complete information go to Planned Parenthood(plannedparenthood.org) and/or Plan C (plancpills.org)

What happens if mifepristone is taken off the market?

Well, medication abortions can be done using only misoprostol and, in many countries, this is standard practice.  However, using misoprostol alone causes more nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and cramping can last longer.  Naturally the anti-abortion forces would want women to suffer more—that’s their calling card. You can see why the anti-abortionists are so afraid of mifepristone. 

How to get a Medication Abortion

  • In states that protect abortion you would call a clinic or your physician to set up an appointment to begin the procedure. Depending on your state laws this appointment can be in person or online.
  • If you live in a state that has banned abortion, Go to plancpills.org and enter your state, they will explain your options, including ordering pills from abroad through Aid Access (aidaccess.org) which can take up to 3 wks. for delivery and/or using mail-forwarding where you use a mailbox in an abortion affirming state and have the pills forwarded to you.
    • Mayday Health (mayday.health) explains how to get and use mail-forwarding.
    • The Medication and Abortion helpline (mahotline.org) has medical professionals who will  answer questions and concerns about self-managed miscarriage and abortion.

What can you do?

We all must be active and vocal.  While the antis are still pushing to remove mifepristone, they will be met with a forceful response from both the FDA and the Biden administration.  We can help by making our support known to the FDA and the Biden administration.  These are some actions you can take.

  1. Please make sure you are registered to vote. Your vote will definitely be crucial in 2024.  We need to have a majority of pro-choice members in the House and the Senate. We need to continue to have a pro-choice White House as well.
  2. Let your congressional representatives know that you support the continued use of mifepristone and just as importantly that you support the Womens Health Protection Act. This act would ensure reproductive health care including abortion.  It has passed the House twice but stalled in the Senate.  Even if your Senator is in the “yes” column on this Act, he or she needs your support in the form of letters, phone calls and email.
  3. Let Walmart know that you are enraged by their caving to Republican DAs and refusing to stock mifepristone even in some states where abortion is still legal. Let them know by boycotting the store and emailing, calling, or writing to them.
  4. Don’t forget your state government! Many of these issues play out in state government and especially in the election of Judges.  In Wisconsin a liberal justice was elected to the State Supreme Court tipping the court into the liberal column and making it likely that the Court will remove abortion bans and the use of gerrymandered legislative maps drawn by Republicans.  These are the victories we need!









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Pat Yingling

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