Abortions and the Abortion Pill in Jacksonville, FL
“The Abortion Pill”. A safe alternative to an early Surgical Abortion.
A medically induced, or “pill option” procedure is readily available to our patients at Florida Women’s Center, which is the medication regimen commonly referred to as the abortion pill or medical abortion, and was previously known by the scientific name of RU-486. This RU-486 medication is actually called mifepristone, and it is a proven and well recognized safe and effective FDA approved non-surgical medical abortion method of ending an early pregnancy. While this is commonly referred to as the “abortion pill,” it is actually two different medications that are taken or administered two days apart. The combination of these two different medications causes a relatively predictable induced miscarriage and passage of an early pregnancy when provided and used up to 8 weeks of pregnancy.
It is important to distinguish that the FDA approved abortion pill regimen IS NOT the morning after pill. It is a completely different medical regimen used in a very different way with different results and for different reasons. The morning after pill is simply a high dose of hormones taken immediately after unprotected sex in an attempt to not “have the pregnancy implant” or essentially begin. Once the pregnancy begins however, the Mifepristone medical abortion pill series is the medical option that can be used to terminate a pregnancy. It is important for patients to realize that taking the “morning after pill” will not stop a pregnancy once it has started, but the mifepristone/misoprostol medical regime will, as an alternative to obtaining a surgical abortion. The morning after pill, as it is commonly called, has no use if you have a positive pregnancy test already. Once you test positive for pregnancy, you will need to obtain the Abortion Pill (Mifepristone/Misoprostol) to stop an early pregnancy.
The abortion pill has now been available in the United States for more than 20 years and it was commonly used in Europe prior to becoming available in the United States. As an alternative to the surgical process for early pregnancy terminations, it is an excellent alternative for ending pregnancies under 9 weeks if a patient wishes to avoid the surgical abortion procedure. By administering this medicine, we can safely induce an early pregnancy to pass in a more natural way, with the experience and risks being comparable to an early miscarriage. However, as opposed to the process of having a spontaneous miscarriage, our physicians must first evaluate you and determine very important safety criteria and provide you with medical information before starting this process. We must determine by Ultrasound that the pregnancy is early and that each patient if a proper and safe candidate for this alternative process. We then counsel you and inform you on how the process will go and what to expect to help avoid the many fears and unknowns that are common with spontaneous miscarriages. With the peace of mind that we are here if you need us and our professional explanation provided personally by our experienced medical doctors, this process may be right for you and your personal situation if you choose.
The medical abortion pill process includes two different steps and two different medicines, one to stop the pregnancy (which is an event usually not physically noticed by the patient), and the other to cause the ended pregnancy to pass 2 days later (which involves cramping similar to an early spontaneous miscarriage). There are two very important office visits with the physician which must be kept to assure your continued well-being and successful completion of the process. As Florida Women’s Center is the only truly full time abortion provider in Jacksonville, patients also have the peace of mind of knowing that they can be seen by a doctor who works full time every business day of the week, if there are any issues or questions that occur or arise during this process. It is important to understand that because every patient and pregnancy is different, only a qualified licensed medical physician experienced in the use of the abortion pill method can determine and verify that this “pill method” is appropriate and safe for you. A physician must counsel you on the process and an ultrasound must be done to verify the date of the pregnancy because this method can be carry higher risks of failure and excessive bleeding if given to patients whose pregnancies are more than 8 weeks along. After 8 weeks, the chance of needed surgical intervention to complete the pregnancy termination increases significantly. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has concluded that surgical intervention from a failed or incomplete medical abortion process increases 3X from only 3.5% in the early 5-6 week range to 10.3% if the pill process is used on patients above 8 weeks, starting at nine weeks. Mead et al. Risk factors for surgical intervention of early medical abortion. (Published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2019). As we realize that patients need predictable, safe care and full information on the success and expectations of provided medical care, the chance of failure and need for surgery after 8 weeks being greater than 10% is a crucial factor in deciding to limit the pill to 8-9 weeks for patient safety. When the abortion pill is provided after 9 weeks, which part time clinics commonly offer due to their lack of surgical availability due to having a part time physician staff, the increased risks and significantly increased failure rates may result in having to undergo a surgical intervention to complete a failed medical abortion. The chance that the pill process will fail or be incomplete has been shown to significantly increase after 8 weeks. As patient safety is always our primary concern, we recommend not using the abortion pill option after 9 weeks for patient safety and well-being. Safety matters. Our physician will discuss your individual situation and candidacy for this medical process when you are in the office. Patients should always be informed so they can make safe decisions. Also don’t ever let a clinic tell you the abortion pill process is either the easier or the safer method. This is not true. It is simply an alternative to the surgical option.
As it is common knowledge that abortions are highly regulated by many laws which often make the process of obtaining abortions more difficult and burdensome for women and facilities, the mifepristone abortion pill is also regulated. You should only obtain this medicine from qualified physicians that have the ability to provide a surgical abortion in the event that the pill is unsuccessful. It is best to go to a facility that has a physician staff present every day like ours which provides patients with the peace of mind knowing a doctor is available should questions or the need for medical assistance arise.
Statistically, the abortion pill is very reliable and safe when provided to women with a pregnancy that is less than 9 weeks. Using the abortion pill regimen past this time can result in a significant chance it may not work completely, which is called an incomplete abortion or miscarriage. This would require the need for surgical intervention. For more information, you can visit the official Abortion Pill website at http://www.earlyoptionpill.com. Our current physician provided administration and individualized protocol of the Abortion Pill process in our office has a completion success rate which is approximately 99%, which is significantly higher than the national average. Our success rate and patient satisfaction is due to our thoughtful and proper use of this medications under proper circumstances and by making sure patients are proper candidates for this abortion pill method of administration.
Finally, we feel that it is important to fully inform you that while taking medication to induce a miscarriage by the abortion pill process is generally available for all qualified women who choose this early option in their pregnancy, this does not mean that this method is the easiest or most the efficient way of terminating a pregnancy. This is a very common misconception, and so many patients have expressed sincere thanks that we cleared this misconception up for them. Some patients also believe that you can stop a pregnancy earlier if you choose the pill, because some standard abortion clinics with a more limited physician staff or experience commonly may make you wait until your pregnancy progresses before they will even provide you with a surgical option. This is not the case in our facility.
Our experienced abortion provider physician can perform the surgical method just as early as the pill can be provided, which is usually after you have been pregnant for approximately 2–3 weeks. Unfortunately, when people hear the words “abortion pill,” they may also often believe that this sounds easier than the brief surgical process. Of course a successful medically induced abortion is less invasive as well. It can allow a woman to avoid any surgical intervention when seeking an abortion and abortion care or procedures. And we recognize that some women are understandably scared of the surgical abortion because of the commonly disseminated misleading or fabricated statistics and inaccurate descriptions of the surgical procedure that are often made intentionally by deceptive anti-abortion activists. Women who are scared by this misinformation may think a medically induced abortion will just be easier or even safer. As an abortion provided by an experienced abortion provided is well proven to be an extremely safe procedure with a long history of safe and reliable outcomes, this is not necessarily true. It is definitely best to ask our physician who understands in depth both the surgical and medical abortion techniques and uses this medicine successfully every day about the process or to discuss any of your concerns.
We want you to realize that our highly experienced medical staff can safely and reliably provide the surgical abortion at the same very early time that you can get a medical abortion pill termination, so this should not be a deciding factor. In reality, the pill process is much more time consuming because this pill method is really two steps with two pill sets that results in you having a miscarriage two days after your initial visit that lasts usually for several hours but does consume a complete day. It is very crampy and can be very uncomfortable, but we do provide proper narcotics for pain management for the discomfort associated with the Abortion Pill process.
In contrast, the surgical abortion at this early stage is a remarkably efficient and safe procedure, which includes a brief 2-3 minute procedure using comfortable and safe anesthetic techniques with a short post-procedure recovery time of about 45 minutes. With the surgical procedure, you go home in about an hour and half after you arrive and you can usually fully relax because you are done. We provide the same effective post-operative pain medications that are used for the discomfort of the pill method in case you have any discomfort or cramps after the procedure. Finally, due to the expensive nature of this unique patented pill medication, the surgical process is actually about the same cost as the abortion pill process.
With all of these facts, just be aware that we have been providing the medical abortion pill since it was available to qualified physicians in the United States and were truly one of the first in nation to have this medication available to patients. This gives us remarkable experience in its use and the safety of this method is well proven and accepted. It is readily available in our office if you wish, and we will be happy to discuss this with you, answer all of your questions, and provide the abortion pill medicines it to you if you choose and are a proper medical candidate for this method.