First of all, never go on youtube or just google abortion procedure. The anti-choice groups spend lots of money to make sure that the first things you see are theirs, owning such domains as "abortionfacts.com", tricking women who may be seeking abortions or interested in learning more.  In the same way my father is friends with Trump-supporters an uber conservatives on Facebook, I do look at these because a key part of my battle plan is knowing what the other side is saying (hint: it is nonsense). So let me throw some real information at you...there are two ways of getting an abortion: 1) Medical Abortion with Pills and 2) In-Clinic Abortions. The majority of abortions (95%) take place in the first trimester. 

Medical Abortion (with Pills)

 Top circular pill: Mifepristone aka RU486  Bottom hexagon pills: Misopristol

Top circular pill: Mifepristone aka RU486

Bottom hexagon pills: Misopristol

The abortion pill is actually two medicines used to induce a miscarriage--mifepristone and misoprostol. These medications are used up to 10 weeks (70 days) after the first day of a woman's last period with 98% efficacy of inducing a miscarriage.  A medical abortion with pills is NOT the same thing as the morning after pill (i.e. Plan B). The morning after pill only works within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse and works to prevent implementation and fertilization. While medical abortion works to remove an already fertilized and implanted egg. 

These medicines are so safe that they are listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as essential medicines. 

You do not have to be at a doctors office or clinic in order to take abortion-inducing pills. The risk of a medical abortion is the same as a miscarriage (which happens in 15-20% of all pregnancies, more than likely beginning OUTSIDE of a hospital or clinic). The effects caused by Mifepristone and Misoprostol do not need to be monitored in a clinical setting. Studies have proved that women can correctly and safely take Misoprostol at home! (Check out these references: here).

If you are in a position where a medical abortion with the support of doctors is not feasible, I urge you to email info@womenonweb.org (they can help women in places where there is no access to safe abortion services who want to obtain a medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misoprostol)

However, in certain places where abortion is illegal or accessing abortion pills is especially difficult, it is possible to perform a self-medical abortion using just Misopristol. 

 Misoprostol

Misoprostol

Misopristol (also known as Cytotec) alone has been shown to induce a miscarriage with 90% success. In places where the Mifepristone+Misopristol abortion "pill" combo are not available for legal reasons, Misoprostol IS likely available, as it is also used for stomach ulcers, arthritis, and to prevent post-partum hemorrhaging. So you can likely get a prescription to Misoprostol under the guise of one of the above conditions, and use it to an induce an abortion. 

Misoprostol for medical abortion works best in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The medicine causes contraction in the womb, leading to expulsion of the pregnancy

Getting Misoprostol...

You may be able to get Misoprostol at a pharmacy and use it alone (without Mifepristone). However, if possible it is better to do a medical abortion with Mifepristone and Misopristol (you can go to Planned Parenthood if you are in the states, or contact Women on Web--they can send you the medications or connect you with a doctor who will prescribe them). Success of Misopristol alone is 90%, where as success with Mifepristone+Misopristol is 98%

Getting Misopristol at a pharmacy: Brand names for Misopristol are Cytotec, Arthotec, Oxaprost, Cyprostol, Prostokos, and Misotrol. They are sometimes sold over the counter without a prescription, or sometimes a prescription may be required (depends on where you live). For more information on where to get Misopristol...check this out. A woman could also make their own prescription (Here is an example prescription for misopristol). In some places it may be better if a man goes to a pharmacy if there is no prescription or the prescription is not legit, as it will raise less suspicions. A woman should buy at least 12 pills of 200 mcg Misopristol.

  From Women on Web. Sample Misopristol Prescription...You should check what prescriptions in your country look like. 

From Women on Web. Sample Misopristol Prescription...You should check what prescriptions in your country look like. 

Advice from Women on Waves: 

To obtain one of these medicines, one could, for example, say that your grandmother has rheumatoid arthritis so severely she can not go to the pharmacy herself, and that you do not have money to pay for a doctor to get the prescriptions for the tablets. If there are problems to get the medicines in one pharmacy, try another pharmacy, or a male friend or partner might have fewer problems obtaining them. Or perhaps you can find a doctor willing to prescribe them.Usually one can expect more luck at the smaller pharmacies that do not belong to a chain. Sometimes Cytotec can also be bought on the black market (places where you can also buy Marijuana). However try to make sure that is really is Misoprostol and not fake pills or some other medicine! 
  Make sure the medications look like this! The procedure will not work if you do not have real pills. Photo credit: Women on Waves.     The woman should buy at least 12 pills of 200 mcg Misoprostol. One pill of Cytotec or Arthrotec should contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol. Look for the dosage of Misoprostol on the package, usually the tablets contain 200 mcg but other dosages do exist. If the pills do not contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol, recalculate the number of pills so that the same total amount of Misoprostol is used."

Make sure the medications look like this! The procedure will not work if you do not have real pills. Photo credit: Women on Waves. 

The woman should buy at least 12 pills of 200 mcg Misoprostol. One pill of Cytotec or Arthrotec should contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol. Look for the dosage of Misoprostol on the package, usually the tablets contain 200 mcg but other dosages do exist. If the pills do not contain 200 micrograms of Misoprostol, recalculate the number of pills so that the same total amount of Misoprostol is used."

Medical abortion with pills now gives women the possibility to take their lives in their own hands irrespective of legality of abortion or the willingness of doctors.
— Dr. Rebecca Gomparts, Founder Women on Waves

Things to consider...

  1. Make sure you are pregnant (pregnancy test and/or ultrasound)
  2. Are you 100% sure you want to end the pregnancy?
  3. Are you under 12 weeks? (A woman should try to have an ultrasound, as it can confirm how far along a woman is...but make sure it is at a legit clinic...there are a number of fake clinics--i.e. the blue bus--who play the role of helping pregnant women but will often lie to women and tell them they are further along than they are)
  4. Have someone close by! Support systems are great for a number of reasons. This can be a partner, relative, or friend who knows about the abortion. Once bleeding starts, you should stay in contact with someone just in case of complications
  5. Misoprostol can only be used without medical guidance when there are no other serious illnesses. Most illnesses are not a problem. However, if a woman has severe anemia this can cause serious problems as blood loss is involved.
  6. Do not use drugs or alcohol during the procedure
  7. Do not use Misoprostol if there is a possibility of an ectopic (or extra-uterine) pregnancy. This can be confirmed by an ultrasound
  8. Do not use Misoprostol is you have an IUD. This is because pregnancies that occur when a woman have an IUD are more likely to be ectopic. (but also, IUDs are 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, so hopefully this is not gunna happen) 
  9. There is a possibility that abortion with Misoprostol will fail. While Misoprostol is effective 90% of the time at inducing a miscarriage, there is still a possibility of failure. If there is no bleeding after taking medication or if there was bleeding but the pregnancy continued, then the medications failed. You can try to take the medications three days later, but this may also fail. Failures could be due to (1) medicines being fake, (2) an ectopic pregnancy, (3) in 10% of the cases, medicines not working. If after 14 days, no abortion has occured and no doctors are willing to help, you may have to travel to a place where abortions are legal (please contact info@womenonweb.com for assistance), or continue with the pregnancy. If the medications fail and you choose to continue with the pregnancy, there is a small increased risk of birth defects in the fetus. Some doctors may find these fetal abnormalities as grounds for a legal abortion.  

What does a medical abortion feel like?

A medical abortion with pills is an induced miscarriage and has essentially the same risks as a miscarriage. In fact the medical risks for an abortion is LESS than the medical risks associated with continuing a pregnancy! Miscarriages (although emotionally straining) is something a woman can typically handle on their own. In fact spontaneous miscarriages occur in 15-20% of all pregnancies. So inducing a miscarriage through  medical abortion is not something that is naturally foreign to our bodies. So I know it is a bit scary, but you CAN handle this! 

After using Misoprostol bleeding and cramping are common. Some women may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and hot flashes shortly after taking Misoprostol. Bleeding is the first sign that an abortion has begun. This bleeding is heavier than normal menstrual bleeding and there can be clots. The further along in a pregnancy one is, the heavier the cramps and bleeding. Once the abortion is complete, the bleeding and cramps should diminish. Although light bleeding will likely continue for one to three weeks after abortion. Normal menstruation (periods) should return in 4-6 weeks. For more information on what to expect from a medical abortion, check out women on waves.

If you decide to have a medical abortion, and did so without a prescription, and are experiencing complications (such as too much bleeding or no bleeding at all), you should go to the doctor and say you have had a spontaneous miscarriage--THERE IS NO WAY FOR A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A SPONTANEOUS MISCARRIAGE AND AN INDUCED ABORTION. They cannot see whether you have taken the pills, unless you tell them. In some countries, women could be punished for inducing an abortion with a prescription or for inducing an abortion at all. 

In-Clinic Abortions

In-clinic procedures are more expensive than medical abortion with pills, costing up to $1,500 in the first trimester (in the United States). There are two kinds of in-clinic procedures: (1) Aspiration (most common) and (2) Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). In clinic procedures can be performed beyond the 12 week limit on medical abortion with pills. Both of these procedures work almost every time they are done. 

Aspirations

Aspirations (also known as vacuum aspiration) is the most common in-clinic abortion procedure and can be used up to 16 weeks after a woman's last missed period. First your provider will examine you and check your uterus During an aspiration, a woman will get medication for pain and may be offered sedation. Then a speculum is inserted into the vagina. A numbing medication may be injected near the cervix. The cervix will then be stretched with dilators or a medication given a day or a few hours prior to the procedure to open up the cervix. Antibiotics will be given to prevent infection. Then a tube is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. A hand-held suction device or suction machine will gently empty the uterus. If needed a curette will be used to remove the remaining tissue in the uterus. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes (not including the time to prepare your cervix or discuss the procedure with the doctor). Recovery time is about an hour. 

D&E 

Dilation and evacuation is performed when a pregnancy is beyond 16 weeks. First your provider will check your uterus and examine you. Similar to an aspiration, medication and sedation may be used for pain. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina and your cervix will be prepared for the procedure (either through medication or dilators). Antibiotics will be given to prevent infection. In second trimester procedures (i.e. when D&Es are performed rather than aspiration or medical abortion will pills), you may need a shot through the abdomen to make sure the fetus' heart stops prior to initiation of procedures. Numbing medication will be injected into or near the cervix. Then medical instruments (cuttrege) and a suction machine will gently empty your uterus. This procedure usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes (not including cervix preparation and discussion with provider).

**The above medical procedures are also used in cases of miscarriages that occur in the second trimester and later, or in cases of early miscarriages in which the fetus does not expel itself on its own (i.e. without need of suction). If you miscarry, it may be essential that you have a D&E  because it can be extremely dangerous and life threatening for a mother to keep a nonviable fetus in the womb. 

How will it feel?

Although I have no personal experience with an abortion, most women report pain similar to menstrual cramps or slightly worse. Heavy bleeding will occur for a few day after the procedure and/or bleeding that stops and starts again. Spotting may also last up to six weeks. It is recommended that you use only pads for bleeding after an abortion. 

Abortion Safety?

Buckle your seat belts folks because abortion is safer than riding in a car. Abortion is not a radical procedure. In fact it is one of the oldest medical procedures and safest (when done in a legal and safe way). In fact, abortion is 14 times safer than child birth. So any politician that says putting restrictions (such as those indicated in HB2, or making clinics meet hospital standards) is actually putting more women at risk because restrictions lead to reduce access which leads to women seeking illegal abortions. AND GUESS WHAT? When abortion is not done legally, its less likely to be safe...Oh and women die that way. The mortality rate for an unsafe abortion in 1:450. The mortality of an early medical abortion is less than 1 in 500,000.