RU486: How it works, complications and side-effects

The RU-486 pill is a method of chemical abortion that is sometimes used through the 7th week of pregnancy. The producers of the pill have spent millions promoting RU-486 as a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion – but the evidence reveals a very different picture. 


1st Visit

She must have a thorough history physical exam and blood count. If she’s anaemic, has high blood pressure, kidney disease, smokes or is over 35, she is rejected. Finally, she needs an ultrasound exam to confirm the age of her baby and rule out a tubal pregnancy. She must sign her permission and in some states or nations wait one or more days.

2nd Visit

She takes the pills

3rd Visit

She is given prostaglandin drug (cytotec or misoprotone). This produces hard labour. Usually the baby parts are passed that day.

4th Visit

If she has not aborted or if she is still bleeding, she will need an ultrasound to determine if the uterus is empty. If not, she needs a D&C. The French Ministry of Health requires that the abortion facility be equipped with EKG IV equiment and a “crash cart” with a defibrillator in the event of a heart attack resulting from the drugs.