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Medication Abortions Now Account for the Majority of Abortions, Study Claims

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

A study released this week by the pro-abortion, former Planned Parenthood-affiliated Guttmacher Institute claimed that medication abortion now accounts for more than half of abortions in the United States. 


According to the study, Guttmacher claims that in 2020, medication abortion accounted for 54 percent of all abortions in the country. This is a jump from 2017, where the 39 percent of abortions were medication abortions. 

“This 54% estimate is based on preliminary findings from ongoing data collection; final estimates will be released in late 2022 and the proportion for medication abortion use is not expected to fall below 50%,” the findings noted.

Medication abortions are carried out differently than surgical abortions. A medication abortion consists of taking two drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol. A woman would initiate a medication abortion by taking mifepristone, which blocks the supply of pregnancy hormones allowing the fetus to grow. One or two days later, the woman would take misoprostol, which expels the pregnancy.

The Guttmacher study boasted that “medication abortion can be completed outside of a medical setting—for example, in the comfort and privacy of one’s home” and that “pills can be provided at a clinic or delivered directly to a patient through the mail.” The latter is often referred to as a “telemedicine abortion” – which some states, like South Dakota, have banned.


“The latter option [telemedicine abortion] can be especially useful in addressing logistical burdens abortion patients often face when they have to visit a provider to obtain care, such as arranging for child care and time off work and paying for transportation costs. And, in areas of the country that are rural or underserved by providers, medication abortion can save a patient hundreds of miles of travel,” the write-up stated. ABC News described the telemedicine abortion option as “pivotal during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Medication abortions first came onto the scene in 2000 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of mifepristone.

As Rebecca noted in December, medication abortion comes with many risks, more so than surgical abortions.

“This method [medication abortion] carries with it four times the complications of surgical abortions. Side effects and risks associated with this method include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, fever/chills, and headaches. The bleeding may last for weeks after the abortion. 

Some studies have found 10 percent of women face incomplete abortions at 9 weeks gestation. This can lead to death from infection if the remaining fetal parts or tissue are not properly removed.

Last month, as I covered, the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) authored a study that showed emergency room visits following this method went up by 507 percent from 2002 to 2015. Most of these ER visits, over 60 percent, were miscoded as spontaneous miscarriages.”


On Thursday, NBC-affiliated outlet WPMI, based in Mobile, Alabama, reported that an Alabama legislative committee is working towards outlawing medication abortions. The bill, RU-486, is making its way to the state House of Representatives. 

State Rep. Andrew Sorrell, a Republican, reportedly told the committee “we think of abortion as going to an abortion facility and having a surgical abortion. But the new trend in abortion is chemical abortion.”

The bill would make it illegal to dispense, prescribe, or sell mifepristone. Reportedly, 44 percent of abortions in the state in 2020 were medication abortions.

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