At home abortions are not talked about often, but they do happen. Here are some reasons to know the facts before going through with a medication abortion.
Most people are aware of what an abortion is:
The termination (ending) of a pregnancy (the life of the fetus growing inside them).
When they obtain the abortion pill to take on their own, this is considered an at-home abortion.
This process might have very brief (if any) involvement with a medical doctor.
Note: information in this post is informational and not intended to be used as medical advice or a substitute for medical care.
Unplanned Pregnancies are common
Often, a woman considering abortion has become pregnant unexpectedly. She might feel scared and in a state of panic.
She might not be able to picture herself as a mom or may worry that she isn’t ready to be a parent.
(Although, by definition, she already is the mother to the tiny baby in her womb.)
In fact, nearly 50% of pregnancies are considered “unplanned” in the United States. With a number that high, you already know many women who have had a baby they didn’t originally plan!
In a nutshell: Unplanned pregnancy is extremely common.
Why at-home abortions happen
As we mentioned, women seek abortions for many reasons.
The most common reason given is because they simply did not plan to be pregnant.
They may not realize how to explore other options.
Another factor is that many women feel pressured or even forced into an abortion decision.
A study from the Elliot Institute found that as many as 64 percent of women who had an abortion were coerced (threatened, pressured) in some way.
Even though it is illegal to attempt to force someone into having an abortion, sadly, many women give in because:
- They fear losing a relationship (with the baby’s father, or with their own family)
- They fear they won’t have the support they need to raise the baby
- They feel threatened (or may have already faced violence) by a physically or emotionally abusive partner
If you are being pressured by anyone to have an abortion, we can help. Contact us.
At home abortions: what are the risks?
Typically when someone is looking for an at-home abortion, it means that they want to end their pregnancy at home…
…without anyone else knowing.
Why is this a problem?
First, there are risks to taking the abortion pill. Any woman considering the abortion pill, known as “medication abortion”, should have all the facts.
Why? Because there are risks involved, such as:
- Significant pain
- Heavy bleeding, sometimes even requiring a blood transfusion
- Sepsis (caused by infection) resulting in death
- Ruptured ectopic pregnancies resulting in death (see next section on Ultrasound)
In addition, according to the American Family Physician Journal, “Telehealth evaluation should not replace an adequate physical examination.”
In other words, it’s important to see a doctor in-person who can review your medical history and examine you before you take any medication, including the abortion pill.
Importance of Ultrasound
An ultrasound can detect whether you might have an ectopic pregnancy, which means a pregnancy that is outside the uterus.
If the embryo implants in the fallopian tube, it is not a viable pregnancy.
This is a life-threatening condition for the pregnant woman, which must be treated promptly.
Many women who obtain the abortion pill do not have an ultrasound, which makes it impossible to know if their pregnancy is ectopic or not.
In addition, an ultrasound can tell you more precisely how far along you are in your pregnancy, and whether your baby has a heartbeat.
What to do before an at home abortion
You can read much more about at home abortion here.
At the Pregnancy Resource Center of Mountain Grove, we can visit with you in a private, confidential meeting and help you make an informed decision about your pregnancy options.
We have helped hundreds of women who were in similar situations, and we can help you navigate your unexpected pregnancy, too.
*This post reviewed by Advisory Board member Tomi Matlock, RN