The abortion pill

Safe, accessible medical abortion 

Women’s control over their own bodies and reproduction is a fundamental prerequisite to the achievement of sexual and reproductive health and rights. A woman’s ability to terminate an unwanted pregnancy has been seen as the exercise of her reproductive rights. This study reports on interviews with 15 women in rural South India who had a medical Termination. It examines the circumstances under which they chose to have an abortion and their perspectives on medical abortion. Women in this study decided to have an access to termination when multiple factors like lack of spousal support for child care or contraception, hostile in-laws, economic hardship, poor health of the woman herself, spousal violence, lack of access to suitable contraceptive methods, and societal norms regarding reproduction and sexuality converged to oppress them. The availability of an easy and affordable method like medical abortion pills helped the women get out of a difficult situation, albeit temporarily. Medical abortion also fulfilled their special needs by ensuring confidentiality, causing the least disruption of their domestic schedule, and dispensing with the need for rest or a caregiver. The study concludes that medical Termination can help women in oppressive situations. However, this will not deliver gender equality or women’s empowerment; social conditions need to change for that.

How Long does the Abortion take

From start to finish, the abortion should take around two days to be complete.

Starting from the time you take the second pill, it usually takes up to six hours for the abortion to be completed, Torres says. So the whole process should be about a few days, during which time you may expel big blood clots or tissue as the pregnancy aborts, Renah Abortion Clinic says. It’s good to rest while all this is happening, if possible. “Most women prefer to stay at home for the first few hours after taking the second set of medicine, so we’ll often talk with them about their schedules to figure out a good time,” Renah says. And after the abortion, you may still experience bleeding for up to four weeks.

How Abortion Pill Works

Medication abortion works by stopping the progress of a pregnancy, then helping your body flush it out.

The abortion pill is actually two separate medicines. The first is mifepristone, also known as the pill RU-486, which starts the process of safely terminating a pregnancy. “Mifepristone blocks the receptors for progesterone, which is the principal hormone in pregnancy. Since progesterone can’t do its job to continue the pregnancy, essentially, the pregnancy stops growing. According to the standard of practice, you’ll take this medication in the presence of a medical professional (in some states, this is required by law, although researchers are currently testing the logistics and safety of getting abortion pills by mail). Then you’ll get the second medicine, misoprostol, to take at home 24 to 48 hours later.

Misoprostol helps your uterus expel the pregnancy. Depending on when you take it, you may already have started to experience bleeding and cramping as your body realizes the pregnancy is no longer progressing. Like in a miscarriage that happens without the aid of medication, the body will start to cramp and push out a pregnancy that has stopped growing. To ensure it’s done safely, we add misoprostol so the risks of heavy bleeding and infection are reduced.

The abortion pill and the morning-after pill

The abortion pill and the morning-after pill are two very different things.

While the abortion pill makes a pregnancy stops growing, the morning-after pill and other types of emergency contraception prevent ovulation from occurring, Torres explains. If you’ve already ovulated, emergency contraception can’t do anything to stop you from getting pregnant. (The only exception is the copper IUD, which works by creating an inflammatory reaction that’s toxic to sperm, which is why it’s the most effective form of emergency contraception.)

It’s important to know that there are currently laws on the books making it hard for doctors and clinics to get the abortion pill, thereby reducing people’s access to it. Depending on where you are, the medication is not easily found in hospitals and not easily accessible in clinics.

If you want to obtain a medication abortion, your first step would be to call a clinic, like Renah Abortion Clinic, and ask if they have the medicine or can access it. Even if they don’t, they should be able to refer you to somewhere that can better help you. Depending on your relationship with your primary care physician, you may also call them for guidance.

At your appointment, the practitioner will confirm your pregnancy and probably perform an ultrasound to see how far along you are. They’ll ask about your medical history and which medications you’re currently taking,  before giving you the pills you have to take and explaining when and how to take them—and what to expect.

Facts About The Abortion Pill

Facts About The Abortion Pill

When people discuss abortion, they’re often talking about surgical abortion.

As in, going into a doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic to terminate a pregnancy. But anyone who needs to end a pregnancy should know that, if they’re 10 or fewer weeks along, they have another option: the abortion pill, (medical abortion).

Some women prefer medication abortion because it can be more private since abortion occurs at home, Others don’t want a surgical procedure, while still others feel like it’s more natural because it induces the same process as a miscarriage.

Any medical procedure can be scary, but abortion is often shrouded in extra mystery or false information that makes it even more intimidating. Abortion pill facts you should know, including just how safe it really is.

What To Do When You Need To Get An Abortion

What To Do When You Need To Get An Abortion

Sometimes, we can get ourselves into trouble whilst traveling. Things can happen that we most certainly didn’t plan and then we need help. Becoming pregnant whilst traveling isn’t on everyone’s bucket list. It wasn’t on mine and still isn’t…but I’ve been there. It happened to me.  I made the decision to have the termination of the pregnancy. Being a solo female traveler, in a country which isn’t my home and not having anyone with me: that’s tough. Read on for invaluable information on where to get an abortion in Johannesburg and my personal story.

Where can I get an abortion in Johannesburg

you have to put together your termination options in every country according to the laws. Use the search box to find your country. Listed are countries where abortion is legal. This resource includes countries which are considered to be a part of SA. All information is current and updated regularly, especially with thanks to all of you who read this article and updated me on your experiences. You have kept me informed since my own abortion and I am very grateful for this. By sharing experiences, we can help others.



Abortion is a common and safe procedure used to end a pregnancy. The earlier in pregnancy you make your decision and speak to a doctor about it, the easier it is to termination.

In SA you can have services for any pregnancy that is less than 12 weeks.

  • If you have been pregnant for less than 9 weeks, We can provide you with an early medical abortion. This is sometimes called the abortion pill. You will need to have two appointments with a three-day wait in between them.
  • If you are between 9 and 12 weeks pregnant you can have your first appointment at Renah clinic, then we can refer you to have a medical or surgical in a hospital.

If you are over 12 weeks pregnant, you can only get termination if there is a risk of serious harm to your health or if you have a diagnosis of a fatal fetal anomaly. If you are over 12 weeks pregnant but want a termination for different reasons, you may need to travel abroad for abortion care. 



Laparoscopic sterilisation is available to clients who are medically suitable and whose pregnancy is less than 14 weeks.  Please contact us for more information.

You may wish to consider having either procedure at the time of your abortion if you have decided your family is complete or if you are on a waiting list elsewhere for sterilization. Sterilisation should be considered irreversible.


Please note: There is evidence from published data that sterilisation performed at the time of abortion has a greater risk of failure than if the sterilisation is performed at a later date.

Abortion Aftercare


Discharge from the Clinic

You may bleed heavily following the second visit, usually for 2 – 3 days and you may even pass some clots. This is quite normal. After this time, the bleeding will reduce but you could bleed on and off for 3 – 4 weeks.

If you have any concerns about the side effects of your early abortion pill, you can always contact us.


You can take your normal painkillers (they must not contain aspirin) to relieve any discomfort. Do not take more than two in 4 hours.

Your first period may occur 4-6 weeks later and it may be heavier than normal.

We also advise that you avoid any heavy lifting or exercise for 2-3 weeks.

It is advisable to carry out a pregnancy test 4 weeks later to confirm your treatment was successful.  It the pregnancy test is positive, please contact the clinic for further advice.


It is advisable to carry out a pregnancy test 4 weeks later to confirm your treatment was successful. If the pregnancy test is positive, please contact the clinic for further advice.

This kind of medical abortion may not be suitable for you if any of the following apply:

  • You have been on long term corticosteroid treatment
  • You are on an anticoagulant (blood clotting) treatment
  • You have had a bad reaction or are allergic to Mifepristone
  • You have liver or kidney disease
  • You have risk factors for heart disease (such as high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol levels
  • You suffer from any other disease or illness and are taking other medication
  • You have an IUD in place which may need to be removed prior to the beginning of treatment
  • You are breastfeeding (we do not recommend the use of Mifepristone in women who wish to continue breastfeeding because the drug will pass into breast milk- it takes around 26 days for the drug to clear the body)

If any of these conditions apply, please inform the doctor/nurse who will discuss them further with you.

Abortions to the pill

Russian women prefer abortions to the pill

There are 50 abortions in Russia per 1000 women of childbearing age, compared to 20 in the USA, 18 in Great Britain and less than 10 in Germany.

As the abortion capital of the world, Russia has some of the most liberal abortion laws you are ever likely to find. The number of abortions performed in Russia every year is many times higher than even its CIS neighbors, not to mention developed countries. Another reason for the “popularity” of abortions is the lack of awareness of contemporary methods of contraception. Only 14 percent of Russian women confirmed they were using birth control pills.

Although the number of abortions has shrunk by almost three times since the turbulent 1990s, from 4.1 million to 1.2 million a year, the figures are still very high. For reference, there are 50 abortions in Russia per 1000 women of childbearing age, compared to 20 in the USA, 18 in Great Britain and less than 10 in Germany.

Aleksei Ulyanov, the aide to President of the Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia) Public Organisation, sees the overly lenient laws as the main reason behind the statistics. Indeed, having an abortion in Russia is pretty much a walk in the park. An expatriate living in Germany wrote in a forum: “a friend of mine in Russia has abortions almost every year. It is a routine procedure there: you come, pay, and have it done.”

In Russia, you can terminate a pregnancy at up to 12 weeks free of charge. After 12 weeks, you need to have medical or social grounds for abortion. It’s not difficult to get around these regulations, though: All you have to do is go to one of the many private clinics where the doctors will, for the right price, “accommodate your whims”. What’s more, the law does not impose any responsibility on the doctor for performing the procedure.

This is why Ulyanov advocates a number of measures that are likely to cut the number of abortions three- or fourfold. One of these measures is scheduling the surgery a week after the initial referral, rather than performing it on the same day. He also backs the move to introduce mandatory interviews with a psychologist or a social worker and placing responsibility for illegal or coerced abortions on medical workers.

Another sure way to improve the statistics is to raise public awareness of methods of contraception – yet another area where Russia lags behind European countries. According to a joint study carried out by the Faculty of Economics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Institute of Demography, roughly 10 percent of couples do not use any methods of contraception at all. To compare, that figure is 4 percent for Hungary, 3 percent for France and 2 percent for Belgium.

Meanwhile, almost 80 percent of women said they were taking precautions against unintended pregnancies. When asked for details, the poll revealed that only 20 percent of women were using intrauterine devices, and 14 percent were taking birth control pills – both reliable methods of contraception – while the rest opted for such outdated approaches as the calendar-based method and withdrawal.

The numbers hardly vary across the country. While it would be natural to expect a higher awareness of contemporary contraception methods from women living in Moscow and St Petersburg, most of them (44 percent) still use condoms as the main method, with birth control pills coming in second with 16 percent.

It may be that people in Russia continue to distrust medication in general. It is still conventional wisdom on many women’s forums that hormonal contraceptives have a negative impact on one’s health. Unfortunately, concerns about the health effects of abortions on women are voiced far less frequently.

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