Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill: Differences and Purposes

The use of the Abortion Pill, not to be confused with the Morning After Pill, has been steadily increasing for first-trimester abortions.  Some nurses are concerned that these are being marketed as a quick fix, while little to no information is being given for either. It is important to understand some key differences in these medications.

The Morning After Pill and the Abortion Pill may sound similar, but they have very different roles.  In some instances women are using the Morning After Pill thinking it works similarly to the Abortion Pill.

The Morning After Pill

The Morning After Pill, or Plan B, is an emergency contraceptive that can be used after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.  This pill is recommended to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.  A high dose of hormones are introduced to keep the sperm and egg from meeting.  If the egg has already been fertilized, the pill will create an environment that won’t allow the egg to implant in the uterine wall.  An established pregnancy (an implanted egg) will not be affected.

The Abortion Pill

The Abortion Pill (which a series of 2 pills) only is effective in an established pregnancy. It can be used up until 10 weeks past your last known period.  The first pill cuts off the progesterone to the baby which will cause the baby to die.  Then the 2nd pill, taken up to 72 hours later, will cause the baby to be expelled from the uterus.

Possible Side Effects

Both have reported experiences of severe cramping.  The Morning After Pill can have possible outcomes of irregular periods, delayed ovulation, nausea, and cramps.  The Abortion Pill can have possible side effects such as heavy bleeding*, cramping, possible hemorrhaging, and incomplete abortion.

If you find yourself a situation in which you are considering with one of these options, please call us at We Care Pregnancy Clinic. We can offer information that will help you to make the most informed choice you can.


*if you choose this method of abortion, we highly recommend you have a friend or family member with you in case of possibly life-threatening side effects.