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Abortion Pills Usually Used to Terminate Pregnancy

Early abortion usually is to terminate the pregnancy before the development of the fetus that is around 10 weeks of pregnancy.The abortion pills work by blocking the pregnancy hormone to work on the uterus. Mostly commonly used medications/drugs for medical abortion are methotrexate and mifepristone. They can be used in combination or can be also used as a single medicine. 

Methotrexate works by separating the placenta and the fetus from the uterus lining while Misoprostol causes contractions which leads to the expulsion of the fetus. Mifepristone breaks the uterine lining by blocking the progesterone hormone from the lining, thereby preventing the continuity of the pregnancy.

In 1980, Mifepristone was industrialized and around 1987 in France it first came into use. Later in 2000 it was found available in USA also. On the list of essential medicines of WHO, it is found as the most safe and efficient medicine. In Canada it was approved by Health Canada in the year 2015 and was started being available from this January 2017. In 2002, mifepristone became available for use in other country.

In other country, abortion is governed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP) formed in 1971. Per this law, a pregnancy up to 20 weeks can be terminated.The MTP clearly states the individual who are competent to carry out the abortion, the circumstances under which the pregnancy can be aborted and the place of operation. These include:

  • Women whose physical health or mental health will be affected due to the continuation of the pregnancy;
  • Rape victim
  • Pregnancies which are caused due to the failure of contraceptives
  • When there is a risk that the child born may face some mental or physical abnormality
  • When a mentally unstable woman is pregnant
  • When an unmarried girl is pregnant, who is below 18 years.