This is how mifepristone and misoprostol abortion pills work

Today mifepristone is often used in combination with another drug, misoprostol, and together the pair is more than 95% effective at the end of a pregnancy when taken during the first 50 days. While mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone – which regulates the lining of the womb and the maternal immune system, allowing pregnancy to take place – misoprostol stimulates the womb to expel the pregnancy.

In the 34 years since the tumultuous introduction of mifepristone in France, more than 60 countries have approved it, including the United States in 2000 and the United Kingdom in 1991 (although it has not legally become available in Northern Ireland only when abortion was decriminalized in 2019). However, mifepristone remains subject to rules governing its use in most places.

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The emergence of abortion-inducing pills was “absolutely revolutionary”, says Clare Murphy, CEO of Britain’s Pregnancy Advisory Service. Yet, even today, many people do not know that there are abortion pills, which are completely different from emergency contraception.

Medical professionals and health experts who spoke to WIRED say that these drugs are extremely safe and have made the process of self-termination of pregnancy (which is illegal but still practiced in many places) much safer. than it was formerly.

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