A medical abortion, or an abortion with pills, is recognized as a safe and effective way of terminating an early pregnancy. Recent studies have also shown that medical abortions supported through telemedicine at home are just as safe as abortions done in clinics.
But where can you actually buy the abortion pill, which is usually a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone? Stigma, taboo, and varying country laws make it hard for people to know exactly what to buy and where to look. To make matters worse, internet trolls, unqualified practitioners (a.k.a. “quacks”), and anti-abortion activists often intentionally spread misinformation for their own benefit.
Before you buy anything, make sure you know which pills to look for, how many you’ll need, and where you can buy them safely.
Know The Abortion Pills To Look For
There are two types of medications used for a safe medical abortion: mifepristone and misoprostol. The two medications may also be sold under other common names such as RU-486 (mifepristone) or cytotec (misoprostol).
While buying abortion pills, it is very important to know how many pills you’ll need to use. This will depend on whether you are using a combination of misoprostol and mifepristone or misoprostol alone, and which method of administration you choose.
Pregnancies within the first 10 weeks can be terminated using either a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol, or misoprostol by itself in repeated doses.
When using the combination method for a pregnancy within the first 10 weeks, you will need one 200 mg pill of mifepristone and 4 pills (200 mcg each) of misoprostol.
For misoprostol-only abortions within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, you will need 12 misoprostol pills (200mcg each).
For step-by-step instructions for a safe medical abortion using either a combination of the pills or misoprostol only, you can visit the instructions page of our website.
Buying Abortion Pills Locally
Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy abortion pills safely and directly from a trusted provider. This will depend mostly on the laws, infrastructure, and health care system of your country.
Some countries allow the sale of abortion pills in pharmacies. Sometimes pharmacists are required to ask for a prescription from a doctor before selling the pills, as is the case in India, and sometimes the pills can be sold without one.
Other countries, like South Africa, only offer legal abortion services within hospitals and clinics. It is very important to make sure that the provider you’re seeing works in a clean, safe clinical environment and is trained in abortion care.
If you would like to read more about abortion laws and resources within specific countries, you can visit our Abortion Laws By Country page.
Buying Abortion Pills Online
In other countries abortion may be so restricted or so taboo that women have a hard time finding safe and effective abortion pills from sources they trust. Many women in those situations choose to buy abortion pills online from international providers.
A word to the wise: many online abortion pill vendors are unregulated- they can be quick to pop up and disappear, and it’s hard to know if what you’re getting is safe or effective.
HowToUse works only with online abortion pill providers that we know and trust: www.womenonweb.org and www.womenhelp.org. Both of these well-established organizations have teams that are highly trained and highly trusted. You can visit their websites to learn more about the services they offer, including the provision of mifepristone and misoprostol.
Need help finding safe information or resources near you? You can reach out to us directly through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claire is a teacher, reproductive rights advocate, and the manager of HowToUseAbortionPill.org