Is Abortion a Pill or a Procedure?


Written and Answered by Two Public Health Academy (PHA) Interns

Abortion is the process used for the expulsion of a fetus. The question whether abortion is a pill or a procedure is quite simple. In the United States, an individual can get an abortion by a pill or procedure, depending on the time of pregnancy and preference. 

According to, the most common method for an abortion is the procedure in which a suction device is placed in your cervix, and then goes into your uterus, gently taking the pregnancy tissue out of the uterus. Before the procedure, you are to be examined and checked for any issue or extra caution for the procedure. Your doctor will give you pain medication and antibiotics to help with your recovery. Once the procedure is almost done, your doctor will take a curette (a surgical instrument designed for scraping biological tissue) to clean any remaining tissue out of your uterus. This procedure usually takes 5-10 minutes however, the appointment takes longer due to the fact that after the procedure, you are left in a recovery center until you feel better. 

The pill method is a procedure in which you take two different medicines to cancel the process of pregnancy. The two medicines used are mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, which is the hormone needed to grow pregnancy normally. Then right after the first pill, you take the second pill (misoprostol) to clean out your uterus from any pregnancy? tissue. This does include heavy leakage and cramps. 

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