WHAT IS PLAN C?
In a nutshell, Plan C is the abortion pill without a doctor’s exam or prescription (a DIY medical abortion). The FDA requires that the abortion pill must be given as directed only by a medical doctor.
The pill is not safe for:
• People who have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or bleeding problems
• Pregnancy over 10 weeks
At the first visit, the physician determines the mother’s health and does an ultrasound to determine how far along in the pregnancy she is. She would then be given the first (of two) drugs, mifepristone, which cuts off the supply of blood and nutrients to the developing embryo. A day or two later she would then take the second drug, misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract and expel the baby. A week or two later she would have another visit with her abortion provider to confirm that the abortion is complete.
WHY PLAN C?
A Federal judge in Maryland ruled that because of Coronavirus restrictions a woman would no longer have to see a physician in person in order to obtain the abortion pill. It can be ordered online. This removes even the small amount of protection that seeing a medical provider before taking it would give her.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?
• For a small number of women (1-4%) the abortion pill does not result in a complete abortion, and they need to have a surgical abortion to terminate the pregnancy. Without a doctor visit to determine that the abortion is complete, the woman may not realize until she has become very ill, even septic.
• An ectopic pregnancy cannot be terminated using the pill, and is very dangerous if left too long, possibly causing the fallopian tube to burst. Without an ultrasound a woman would not know if her pregnancy was uterine or ectopic.
• Emergency situations may arise from a medical abortion and not all abortion providers have immediate access to a surgical facility. Without seeing a physician the woman might not realize the symptoms that can be an indication of infection and blood loss, even causing death.
o Continued bleeding
o Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea
o Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Plan C is NOT like Plan B, which is used to prevent pregnancy after having had unprotected sex. (It may cause a very early abortion if fertilization has already occurred.) It must be taken within 72 hours and can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription.