Taking large amounts of vitamin C will not end a pregnancy. No matter where you live, there are safer ways to end a pregnancy at home.
Legal restrictions on abortion are constantly changing. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, many people are understandably confused about where and when they can access abortion services. This uncertainty has left some people searching for alternative ways to end a pregnancy.
If you’ve been researching abortion methods, you may have come across rumors of something called the vitamin C technique. These rumors claim that taking large doses of vitamin C supplements, several days in a row, will end a pregnancy. But this is not true.
Whether it’s vitamin C, natural botanicals, or other substances, there is no such thing as a safe abortion home remedy.
However, there are safe, FDA-approved medications that you can use to induce an abortion at home. There are organizations that can help you get the abortion pill, no matter where you live. And there are organizations throughout the country that may be able to provide financial assistance.
There is no credible scientific information suggesting that vitamin C has any effect on pregnancy, implantation, or menstruation.
The claims that vitamin C can cause an abortion may have originated from a
Since then, research has shown that this method is ineffective. A 2016 review of studies found that taking vitamin C had no effect on pregnancy and did not increase the risk of miscarriage.
Vitamin C is typically relatively harmless, even in large doses. But other abortion “home remedies” can be extremely dangerous.
At most, taking too much vitamin C will leave you with diarrhea and a stomachache. It could also increase your risk of kidney stones.
Generally speaking, when taking vitamin C supplements, it’s probably best not to exceed 2,000 milligrams each day.
Because vitamin C abortion does not work, wasting time on this method will only work against you.
Abortions are easier to get earlier on in a pregnancy. Medical abortions, in particular, are only available up to around 11 weeks after the first day of your last period.
Getting an abortion sooner rather than later has several benefits, such as:
- lower costs
- increased access, due to state laws regulating abortion
- shortened procedure time
- reduced risk of complications
Abortion access in your state
Trying to make sense of the limitations in your state? Our state-by-state guide to abortion restrictions can help.
There are many reasons why people prefer to have abortions in the privacy of their own homes. Whatever your reasons are, there is a better way to have an abortion at home: medical abortion.
The abortion pill, as it’s often called, is actually a combination of two different medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. Together, these medications work to stop the pregnancy and push the pregnancy tissue out of your body.
The process can take between 1 and 3 days to complete.
Mifepristone is an oral medication that blocks progesterone. Without progesterone, the pregnancy cannot continue. Depending on where you get your medication, you may take this first pill in a clinic or at home.
Misoprostol is a medication that dissolves when placed in your inner cheek or vagina. You take this medication at home 24 to 48 hours after the first medication. It causes the uterus to contract and bleed, which helps your body push out the embryo.
Medical abortion is very effective for people who are up to 9 weeks pregnant. If you are 9 to 12 weeks pregnant, your doctor may recommend a second dose of misoprostol.
If you are farther along, you’ll need to get a surgical abortion.
Are there any other abortion medications?
Other approaches to medical abortion include:
- Methotrexate, an arthritis medication. Methotrexate is taken on day 1, instead of mifepristone. Within 24 to 48 hours, you would then take misoprostol.
- Misoprostol alone. You can take several doses of misoprostol alone, without using mifepristone, to induce an abortion.
This is considered an off-label use of methotrexate, meaning it is not FDA approved for use in abortion.
With all the recent developments in abortion laws, it can be tough figuring out what is and is not available in your state.
In some states, people who are up to 10 weeks pregnant can legally get the abortion pill mailed to them after a telehealth visit with a doctor. In most of these states, Planned Parenthood offers telehealth appointments for medical abortion and other services.
During a telehealth appointment, you meet with a doctor through electronic means, like video chats, phone calls, or text conversations. Your doctor will go over your options. If they prescribe the abortion pill, you can usually have it mailed to your home (in discreet packaging).
You take the medication and have the abortion at home. But if you have any questions or problems, you can reach out to your doctor.
Around 19 states currently have laws restricting telehealth abortions. But there may be some workaround.
Legal gray areas
The laws around abortion are constantly changing, as they are often challenged in the courts.
You can probably get abortion pills online, no matter where you live. But it’s important that you get them from a safe, reputable place. Here are a few options:
- AidAccess (everywhere)
- Plan C (options for all states)
- Planned Parenthood: Telehealth (many states)
- Abortion On Demand (20+ U.S. states)
- Hey Jane (CA, CO, IL, NM, NY, and WA)
- Just The Pill (WY, MN, MT)
Buying online: Is it safe?
Having an abortion supervised by a qualified healthcare professional is the safest option. But a medical abortion done with medication from a reputable source is much safer than attempting a self-abortion with home remedies.
If you live in the United States, there are several organizations that can offer guidance on what your options are, help you find a healthcare professional who offers abortion services, and assist with covering the costs of an abortion.
Information and services
If you’re not sure where to start, consider reaching out to the Planned Parenthood nearest you.
Clinic staff can counsel you on what your options are and help you weigh the pros and cons of each.
You can also call the National Abortion Federation hotline at 800-773-9100. They can help get you a referral to a local provider.
The National Network of Abortion Funds can help you find local organizations that may be able to provide financial assistance. Organizations within the national network have different guidelines and eligibility requirements, but if you are in need, they can often help you cover the cost of the abortion.
They may also be able to help with related costs, like transportation, childcare, and lodging. Some organizations provide logistical support, like giving you a ride to a clinic or a place to stay.
For up-to-date information about abortion laws in your area, the Guttmacher Institute offers a handy guide to both federal and state regulations.
Watch out for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)
While some CPCs offer limited healthcare services like pregnancy tests or ultrasounds, they do not provide abortions or support accessing abortions.
CPC workers are known to shame and mislead people into believing that abortion is unsafe or harmful.
Abortion laws vary from country to country. If you’re not sure about what’s available in your country, MSI Reproductive Services is a good starting point.
They have offices all over the world and can offer guidance on local laws and available services in your area. Choose your general area out of their list of locations to find country-specific information.
If you can’t safely access a clinic, Women on Web mails abortion pills to people in countries with restrictive laws. You’ll need to have a quick consultation online to make sure you qualify. If you do, a doctor will provide a prescription and mail the pills to you so you can have a medical abortion at home. If you’re having trouble accessing the site, you can find a workaround here.
Women Help Women also offers information about resources and hotlines in many countries.
You may feel like vitamin C and other home remedies are your only option, but there are many other resources available to you.
You can have a medication abortion at home. You may even be able to avoid going to a clinic by using a telehealth service or buying your pills online.
Though the laws and regulations surrounding abortion are constantly changing, support is available to help preserve your right to make decisions about what happens to your body.