The abortion pill is marketed as a simple process. Planned Parenthood describes the abortion pill as, “Really safe and effective. It’s a super common way to have an abortion, and millions of people have used it safely.”

That may be the way the abortion pill is marketed, but since Roe v. Wade was overturned, a dangerous practice has morphed into a crisis—the illegal, unmonitored exchange of pills used to end a pregnancy.

The abortion pill still poses a risk to a woman (along with the loss of a beautiful baby), even when performed using an FDA-approved prescription and monitored by a licensed medical professional with immediate access to a sterile medical facility.

By removing common safeguards, such as approved, prescribed, licensed, monitored, or sterile, medical practices, the dangers and risks of the abortion pill to a woman are compounded exponentially.

Where Is the Abortion Pill Legal?

Abortion pills are legal in some states and circumstances. Some states allow them upon request, others only in circumstances of rape, incest, fetal abnormality, or maternal risk.

Prerequisites vary, but a state that allows the use of abortion pills requires either a virtual or in-person consultation or exam and a written prescription from a licensed medical professional. The medical provider will monitor the mother and be available for questions, concerns, or emergency medical care.

What Is a Chemical Abortion?

Abortion pills make abortion possible through oral administration, which is less of a hassle for mothers than going to a clinic and receiving a surgical abortion. Abortion pills are becoming so favored that they now account for more than half of abortions in the United States. The act of terminating a pregnancy with abortion pills has many names. The most common is chemical abortion, but other more benign, dehumanizing phrases are used by abortionists, such as self-managed, at-home, medicated, and RU-486.

The abortion pill is a two-step medication process and must be taken within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The first medication is mifepristone, which is a drug that blocks a key pregnancy hormone: progesterone. Without progesterone, the lining of the uterus breaks down and the baby dies — a process that can be reversed if the mother acts quickly by taking progesterone.

A day or two later, the woman takes the first of four doses of misoprostol to initiate a long, grueling series of contractions that end in a stillborn baby and a bleeding mother. After this process, the woman must dispose of the expelled remains.

scale with pill bottles surrounding pills on the scale illegal abortion pills

What Are the Dangers of a Chemical Abortion?

Each year, thousands of women suffer physical and emotional trauma from chemical abortions. Abortionists disclose the possibility of mild side effects, including abdominal or stomach pain, uterine cramping, back pain, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, or vomiting.

This is a negligent lie at the risk of every mother’s life and well-being. From 2000 to 2018, 24 women died and 4,000 women reported harmful reactions to the pill, such as hemorrhaging, excruciating abdominal pain, and life-threatening infections. According to the FDA, after chemical abortion, the average mother can expect to bleed for 9 to 16 days, and 8% of women bleed for more than 30 days.

woman holding ultrasound picture of her baby

Physical trauma

The list of side effects and potential complications of a chemical abortion is endless. While some complications may be short-lived, others will last a lifetime or cut the mother’s life short.

Here are a few of the more common complications that could happen during a chemical abortion:

The baby is born alive

There have been reports of babies being born alive following a failed chemical abortion.

Incomplete abortion

Sometimes, the abortion doesn’t work, and parts of the baby are left inside the mother. When this happens, a surgical D&C is needed to clean up the carnage.

Infection, sepsis, and death

A mother may suffer from infection, even to the point of sepsis and death. This is more common in an incomplete abortion but can happen in any chemical abortion.

Hemorrhaging, transfusions, and death

Transfusions and maternal death can happen in full-term pregnancies with healthy babies. A chemical abortion is a self-induced miscarriage, so bleeding is expected.

Sometimes, the bleeding doesn’t stop. Even with the best medical care, the mother’s body may be too traumatized to survive.

Drug side effects

The tables below shows a list of side effects for both Mifepristone and Misoprostol, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s also important to note that the Mayo Clinic includes a long list of drug interactions and health conditions that rule out the option of a chemical abortion for the safety of the mother’s health and her very life.

Drug side effects tables

Abdominal or stomach pain or uterine
Acid or sour stomach
Back pain
Chest pain or discomfort
Cough or hoarseness
Fainting or lightheadedness when getting up fast, weak pulse
Flu-like symptoms
Increased clear or white vaginal discharge
Itching of the vagina or genital area
Lack or loss of strength
Nausea or vomiting
Pain during sexual intercourse
Pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
Pain in the side
Pain in lower back
Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
Painful or difficult urination
Pale, cold, or clammy skin
Shaking chills
Shortness of breath
Stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
Stuffy or runny nose
Sudden increase in stomach or shoulder pain
Tightness of the chest
Trouble sleeping
Troubled breathing
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual or large amount of vaginal bleeding
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Abdominal or stomach pain
Acid or sour stomach
Bladder pain
Bloody nose
Bloody or black tarry stools
Bloody or cloudy urine
Blurred vision
Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
Body aches or pain
Breast pain
Burning, dry, or itching eyes
Change in taste
Chest pain
Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
Cracked, dry, scaly skin
Difficult, burning, or painful urination
Difficulty with breathing
Difficulty with moving
Difficulty with swallowing
Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
Discharge, excessive tearing
Ear congestion
Excess air or gas in the stomach or Intestines
Feeling unusually cold
Frequent urge to urinate
Full feeling
Heavy bleeding
Hives, itching, or skin rash
Hair loss or thinning of the hair
Hearing loss
Lack or loss of strength
Loss of voice
Lower back or side pain
Muscle pain or stiffness
Nasal congestion
Pain in the joints
Pale skin
Painful menstruation
Passing gas
Pounding in the ears
Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue redness, pain, swelling of the eye, eyelid, or inner lining of the eyelid
Runny nose
Severe stomach pain
Slow or fast heartbeat
Stomach discomfort or upset
Sore throat
Tightness in the chest
Troubled breathing with exertion
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
Weight changes

Emotional trauma

When asked, some abortionists will admit that sadness is normal after a chemical abortion, so they’ll advise practicing self-care. The truth is, every abortion leaves the mother devastated, but chemical abortion comes with added trauma for several reasons.

Seeing your dead baby

Most mothers aren’t prepared for the trauma of seeing or holding their aborted baby. A preborn baby has all the same characteristics as every other human life, including eyes, feet, hands, and little fingers. The sight of her child’s corpse floating in the tub causes a trauma from which the mother may never recover.

Disposing of the remains

Whether the abortion is complete or partial, the mother will have to dispose of the remains. Sometimes, the baby will come out in one piece, other times, it’s expelled in parts. Whether the child’s remains are flushed down the toilet, thrown into the household trash, or buried.

Post-traumatic stress syndrome

Women go through all the expected stages of grief following any type of abortion. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress are especially common for a mother who held and disposed of her baby.

In one high-profile case reported in the Washington Post, a mother and her boyfriend put their aborted baby in a box and buried it under a tree. As the mother kneeled in the dirt, her last words to her child were, “I hope in the future, when I am ready, your soul will find me again.”

The Underground Abortion Pill Network

After the overturn of Roe v. Wade last summer, and the increased legal restrictions on abortion, there has been a push for women to “manage” their own abortions at home, particularly in states where abortion is now illegal.

Last summer when states’ abortion laws were changing, the organization Plan C shared on its social media sources where women could still receive abortion pills online and even encouraged women to stock up in case their state later made abortion unavailable.

abortion drug pill trafficking crime exchanging for money

Why the network was formed

In an effort to help women in unwanted pregnancies get these abortion pills, an underground abortion pill network has emerged.

A Washington Post article last fall shared stories of this network, including suburban abortion pill “packing parties” and a young woman who received abortion pills from an unknown user on a Reddit thread.

This network is crossing international lines. Aid Access, for example, is a European organization that provides telehealth appointments for women seeking abortion pills and then ships these prescriptions from a pharmacy in India.

Activists in Mexico have also played a large part in the underground abortion pill network. Women have opened up homes for women from both Mexico and the US to provide spaces to stay while they go through a medication abortion.

There is a larger network in Mexico called Necesito Abortar Mexico, which translates in English as “I Need to Abort Mexico.” The women involved in this network estimated that “some 1,700 people from the U.S.” had already been seen, as of an article published in July 2022.

One of the leading organizations in this network is Las Libres (Spanish for “The Free”), which is headed by the influential and revered Verónica Cruz. Cruz remains a key supplier for abortion pills in the underground network in the U.S

Efficacy dangers

Women who get abortion pills from an underground network have no idea how they will be shipped, where the abortion pills have been, if they’re effective, or even what is in them.

Suppliers ship abortion pills in disguised packaging. According to the Washington Post, the drugs are shipped in a box for cat flea medication. Other suppliers route their packaging through a third party, similar to money laundering, where the pills are mailed to an alternate address before a network partner forwards it to the recipient.

Most suppliers operate out of their homes, sitting at their kitchen table with abortion pills scattered on the tabletop or heaped in cereal bowls. They stuff pills into little bags while they eat lunch, care for their children, and pet their dogs. The more thoughtful suppliers may wear gloves. Suppliers openly admit to providing expired pills.

Because of the lack of oversight, abortion pills could be laced with anything. Authorities have found fentanyl in aspirin and gummies given to children, so it’s safe to assume some suppliers are not providing pure mifepristone and misoprostol.

Physical dangers

Mothers in the underground abortion pill network face all the same deadly risks as those in a legal abortion, but with compromised pills and no medical care. Just like any other illegal drug transaction, suppliers provide abortion pills, and that’s where their interest ends. Besides the dangers presented by unmonitored abortion pills, the mother is alone when she experiences complications. Many emergency rooms and clinics refuse to treat women suffering from an underground chemical abortion because they are unwilling to risk their license or their reputation.

Many underground chemical abortion providers are in Mexico, where women may face issues with Mexican police. As proof that the risk is very real, nonprofit reproductive rights groups are working to figure out how to defend American women when they are detained or prosecuted while getting a chemical abortion in Mexico.

Help for the Hurting

At PreBorn!, we are here to save both babies and souls, including hurting men and women, post-abortion. If you are suffering from the effects of abortion, we want to help you heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Please see our Resources Page to learn more about our partnerships with the movies, Surrender the Secret and Unplanned.

close up of support hands of woman comforting counseling


Chemical abortions are dangerous and traumatizing, but the underground abortion pill network adds layers of unimaginable risk and suffering. Since the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the demand for underground chemical abortions has skyrocketed.

PreBorn! continues to lead the way in championing women’s health by connecting with our Network of Clinics around the nation to save more babies and saving souls, all to the glory of Jesus Christ.