Is the Morning After Pill an Abortion Pill?

The morning after pill works by delaying ovulation and making it harder for sperm to enter the uterus. This reduces the chances of an egg being fertilised by a sperm cell. If you are already pregnant, the morning after pill will not terminate your pregnancy. Therefore, you need to take the morning after pill as soon as possible after sex to reduce the chances of the egg being fertilised in the first place.

There are two types of morning after pill currently available, Levonelle and ellaOne. Both Levonelle and ellaOne work by delaying ovulation. This reduces the chances of fertilisation occurring, so therefore reduces the chances of pregnancy. On the other hand, abortion methods work by ending a pregnancy. Abortion pills contain more than one ingredient. The mifepristone works by breaking down the lining of the uterus and misoprostol causes the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy. If the pregnancy has been continued for over 24 weeks, more invasive surgical methods of abortion may be required. These surgical options involve stopping the heart of the baby/fetus and then removing the baby/fetus from the uterus using forceps or suction.

For many women, abortion can be a difficult situation to deal with. Pregnancy advisory services offer post-abortion counselling, but it may help to discuss the pregnancy and your decision with your partner and/or counsellors beforehand to help you prepare for the procedure.

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