What’s the Difference Between the Abortion Pill and Plan B?

What’s the Difference Between the Abortion Pill and Plan B?

*Disclaimer: Please note that all information shared in this page correlates with the date it has been posted. Although, we work diligently to assure all information shared is up to date, we suggest visiting www.FDA.gov or scheduling an appointment with a medical professional to review regulation changes and current restrictions. Thank you.*


If you recently had unprotected (or maybe even protected) sex and are feeling emotionally or physically different, there’s a possibility you’re pregnant. A missed period is usually the first sign of pregnancy, but tender breasts, nausea, and fatigue can be too.

If this pregnancy is completely unintended, you may be considering abortion or even Plan B. There’s definitely a difference between the two. Let’s take a closer look:

The Abortion Pill

The abortion pill is a chemical method of abortion that is used to terminate a pregnancy. Interestingly, the abortion pill isn’t one pill and you’re done. And it isn’t as easy as you’ve been told either. The process typically uses two drugs over a 24-48 hour period to end your pregnancy. 

The first drug blocks a hormone called progesterone. This hormone is necessary to support the pregnancy. The lack of progesterone will begin causing the uterine lining to thin and no longer support the pregnancy to stay implanted.

The second drug causes the uterus to contract and bleed in order to expel the pregnancy. The abortion pill method should only be used up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Knowing how far you are into pregnancy is important to protect your health during the abortion.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) writes “Clinicians should counsel patients that medication abortion failure rates, especially continuing pregnancy rates, increase as gestational age approaches 10 weeks (70 days).” In other words, the longer your pregnancy goes on, the greater the possibility of having a failed chemical abortion.

Side effects and risks include the possibility of an incomplete abortion, heavy bleeding, painful contractions, and infection.

Plan B

Plan B is also known as the “morning-after” pill. It’s considered an emergency contraceptive, but should never be used as a regular form of contraception. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Plan B is for “prevention of pregnancy following unprotected intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure.” The NIH also says in order to be effective, the tablet should be taken as soon as possible within 72 hours of intercourse.

The NIH claims the morning-after pill doesn’t stop pregnancy if it’s taken on the day of ovulation or after ovulation. Plan B works to delay or prevent ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. It is not effective if a fertilized egg has already been implanted in the uterus. Since the actual date of ovulation is difficult to determine, there’s a chance Plan B won’t work.

There are other restrictions for taking Plan B such as being overweight or obese, allergic to any of its ingredients, or taking certain medications. The side effects and risks of Plan B include nausea or vomiting, dizziness, bleeding between periods or heavier menstrual bleeding, and lower abdominal pain or cramps.

We’re Here For You

Your next step is to visit Soundview Pregnancy Services. We offer free pregnancy testing with the help of our affiliated provider that is medical grade for more accurate results. If the test is positive, Soundview provides free limited ultrasounds providing needed information regarding your pregnancy. 

An ultrasound estimates how far along you are based on fetal measurements. This is important information if you’re considering abortion. We respect you and your privacy. None of your test results or our conversations will be shared with anyone. 

We want to support you! Schedule your appointment at Soundview Pregnancy Services today. At that time, we can go over all of your options for your unplanned pregnancy.

Leave a Reply