There have been many debates and discussions about abortion since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade, and it can be easy to get confused about what is being discussed when people start using terms with which you are unfamiliar.

In recent years, many people have heard about the “Abortion Pill.” This is not surprising, given that use of the Abortion Pill is now more common than surgical abortions. However, another term that is used in many of these discussions is the “Morning After Pill”, and some people may think that they are talking about the same thing. But the Abortion Pill and the Morning After Pill are very different, in both their chemical makeup, their purpose, and their use.

The Morning After Pill

The Morning After Pill is also sometimes referred to as “Plan B” – which can make things more confusing! But as you might gather from both of these names, the Morning After Pill is a method of emergency contraception that is to be taken after having unprotected sexual intercourse. The Morning After Pill is intended to be used when a young woman has neglected to use any other form of birth control, or the method she used could not be expected to work – for example, a condom failed, or she forgot to adhere to her birth control pill regimen. It should not be used as a primary method of contraception, but only as a backup.

There are a few different types of Morning After Pill marketed under various names. One of them uses the chemical ulipristal acetate, and is marketed under the brand name “ella.” The use of this drug requires a prescription. The other, levonorgestrel, which is marketed under various other names, may be bought over the counter. 

The drugs used in these medicines work by delaying or preventing ovulation–that is, the release of an egg from the ovaries. The ulipristal acetate pill can be taken up to 120 hours (5 days) after having sex, and the levonorgestrel pills can be taken up to 72 hours (3 days) after having sex, but both are more effective when taken as soon as possible. Neither of the drugs is effective in preventing pregnancy if taken prior to having sex, and neither are as effective as other birth control methods.

Finally, because the pill only pauses ovulation, it will not cause a miscarriage if you are already pregnant. Dizziness, cramping, headaches, nausea, and vomiting are side effects that can occur, but they are typically short-lived.

What Is the Abortion Pill

The Abortion Pill is the name for the two-pill process that terminates a pregnancy. It is also referred to as a “chemical abortion.” It is not used as a contraceptive: a contraceptive prevents a pregnancy. A chemical abortion eliminates a pregnancy.

The two active drugs in the Abortion Pill are mifepristone and misoprostol. The first pill blocks the woman’s body from producing the hormone progesterone. Without progesterone, the fetus will detach from the uterine lining and die from a lack of oxygen and nutrients. The second pill, misoprostol, will be taken a few days later and will cause very strong and often painful uterine contractions that will expel the baby. Women can also expect to have very heavy bleeding following a chemical abortion.

Side effects of taking the Abortion Pill include abdominal pain, cramping, headaches, mild fever, fainting, and dizziness. There are also health dangers associated with taking the abortion pill, so discussing the potential health ramifications with a doctor is vital. Because of abortion laws that restrict the gestational age at which an abortion can be lawfully carried out, women should get an ultrasound prior to taking the Abortion Pill, as ultrasounds are more accurate in measuring gestational age.

While the Abortion Pill is 98% effective in terminating a pregnancy, it is possible to reverse the effects of the Abortion Pill if a woman takes the “antidote” within the first 48 hours of taking the first drug, and before she has ingested the second drug.

Dr. William Lile, the ProLife Doc, has worked tirelessly to encourage young women with unplanned pregnancies to take a leap of faith and choose life. In his obstetric and gynecological practice, he has delivered nearly 4,000 babies, and the miracle of new life never ceases to awe and amaze him. For more information about pregnancy and the remarkable steps that the medical profession is taking to care for mothers and their pre-born children, or to donate to Dr. Lile’s ministry, contact ProLife Doc today.

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