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Teen Health 411

Abortion Pills and Safety

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For women who seek an abortion before nine weeks of pregnancy, there is an abortion procedure, used in 25% of all early abortions in the United States, that is safer than surgical abortions. The "abortion pills" (RU-486) first cause an embryo to detach and then induces contractions that push the embryo out of the uterus.

The procedure actually uses two pills. The primary drug is Mifeprex, known chemically as mifepristone, which is taken at a doctor's office, followed by a second pill, misoprostol 24 to 48 hours later. A recent study analyzed medical abortions at Planned Parenthood centers between 2005 and mid-2008 - about 228,000 cases, and reported that the two pill procedure, with antibiotics for a week is extremely safe for women.

Contradicting the messages from abortion opponents saying that medical abortions are not safe, this data will support the safety of this procedure, done early. The cost of this abortion is approximately $400, slightly less than the average cost for an early term surgical abortion.
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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