09 Apr How Much of a Plan is Plan C?
When dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s common to be scared and unsure of the future. Many women start to wonder about pregnancy options and turn to the Internet for help. While doing so, you may see people talking about a new pregnancy option called Plan C. Plan C is a fairly new and emerging option for women seeking the abortion pill. However, it’s not as simple or safe as it seems. We discuss what exactly Plan C is and what you should be aware of in today’s blog. What Is Plan C?
Typically a medical (or non-surgical) abortion is done after meeting with your doctor, or at an abortion clinic under close supervision. During these meetings, a health professional performs a physical examination and ultrasound to confirm how far along in your pregnancy you are. This is important, as it is necessary to know how far along you are to determine whether a medical abortion is possible, and what the potential risks might be.
Plan C is a new emerging platform that allows women to order the pills necessary for a medical abortion online. This allows you to administer it to yourself, in your own home, without meeting with any medical professionals, or going through a doctor.
How Does the Abortion Pill Work?
When an abortion is performed using medication in the form of a pill, it’s referred to as a medical (or chemical) abortion. Typically the process requires taking two different medications, Mifepristone (or RU-486) and Misoprostol. Mifepristone will block the hormone progesterone, which is essential for sustaining the pregnancy and growing the embryo. Misoprostol is taken within the next day or two and will cause contractions that will expel the embryo. Both of these medications are intended to be prescribed and their administration supervised by a doctor, to reduce medical risks and possible complications.
Is Plan C Legal in All States and if Not, Can I Get in Trouble?
Every state has varying laws when it comes to abortion, which is another reason why talking to your doctor is important when considering an abortion. The website for Plan C admits that using their services can have legal consequences, as it is currently illegal in the U.S. to obtain the abortion pill over the Internet without going through the proper medical channels. The website also explains that authorities in certain states can use their laws to prosecute someone who is using Plan C. This is why it is essential to consult with a local physician or go to a nearby pregnancy center for advice.
When Can You Get A Medical Abortion?
The Mayo Clinic states that a medical abortion is NOT an option under the following conditions:
- If you are seven to nine weeks past your last period
- In the case that you have a suspected pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
- If you have an Intrauterine Device (IUD) in place
- In the case that you take a blood thinner or certain steroid medication
- If you have certain medical conditions such as a bleeding disorder, uncontrolled seizure disorder, lung disease, or certain heart or blood vessel diseases
What are the Risks?
While some risks of medical abortions have been verified, there are still some unknowns. For example, we do not know the lasting impact on a baby who survives the procedure. Based on the information provided by the FDA, the known risks are:
- The possibility of the abortion not occurring
- Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by a surgical abortion
- Heavy and prolonged bleeding
What Does the FDA Say About Medical Abortions?
The FDA requires medical abortions to be carried out by certified medical professionals who meet FDA requirements, such as being qualified to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy and provide surgical intervention, if needed. The FDA also states that receiving Mifepristone outside of a healthcare setting is illegal.
While Plan C at first may appear to be a convenient option, it is dangerous, both legally and medically. Little is known about the side effects on the baby if the medical abortion fails. Also, there is no way for you to verify whether you have received the proper medication. In addition, there is an inherent risk any time you undergo a medical procedure without the supervision of a medical professional.
It is important to go through the proper channels. If you suspect you are pregnant, it is important to medically confirm your pregnancy through your own doctor’s office or through an in-person visit to a local clinic or pregnancy center. There, you can discuss your unique situation with the staff, and better understand your pregnancy options. If you have any questions or want to confirm your pregnancy, Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center is here to help. For free and confidential help today, text 201-677-2394.