What happens?

Drugs are used to starve your baby and induce labour to pass your dead baby.

The Abortion Pill

Mainly taken up to 10 weeks* pregnant. If over 9 weeks and 6 days the pills must be taken in a clinic or hospital (up to 24 weeks), not at home. 

This involves taking two different pills:

Mifepristone (RU-486)

This blocks the main pregnancy hormone, progesterone, which helps to stabilise and nourish the lining of the womb. This breaks down, cutting off blood and nourishment to your baby, causing it to starve and die.

Misoprostol (prostaglandin)

Taken 1–2 days later, this induces contractions to push your baby and other pregnancy tissues out of the womb.

This process can be intense and painful, and bleeding and contractions can last from a few hours to several days.

Whilst you could pass your baby at any time and place during this process, many women sit on the toilet as they prepare to pass their baby, which they will then flush away. 

Be aware that you may see your dead baby in the pregnancy sack, even their fingers and toes. At 9 weeks a baby will measure around 2.2 cm.


Very common physical side-effects include:

  • Bleeding 
  • Pain 
  • Nausea 

Less common physical complications include:

  • Haemorrhage and sepsis 
  • Incomplete abortion

Sometimes, the medication may not work exactly as planned. If a medical abortion is 'incomplete' then a surgical abortion might be required to complete the process. Other complications might also require hospital admission.

Emotional potential risks include:

  • Sadness and depression
  • Anxiety, anger and guilt
  • Emotional numbing
  • Anniversary grief
  • Nightmares or flashbacks of the abortion
  • Increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

We understand you might wish 'the problem' wasn't there... but every abortion ends a human life. We are here to listen and offer help, please:

Get in touch


Watch a scene from the film 'Unplanned' where an actress depicts the medical abortion pill procedure as experienced by Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director. Video clip used with permission, Soli Deo Gloria Releasing.

Many say it was not like a heavy period as they were told – see here for women's stories of at-home medical abortion. 

Many speak of deep emotional pain, whether immediately or years after an abortion – see FAQ for more information.

Also, see My body and Hope for you pages and Her Truth.

If you are suffering distress after abortion, find friendship with others recovering, and peace and hope in Jesus: Post Abortion Support for Everyone – PASE

Pregnancy weeks on this page are since LMP – last menstrual period