Abortion Pill Rescue FAQs

If you have changed your mind after taking the abortion pill there is a chance you can save your pregnancy.  An antidote is available to work to stop the effects of the abortion pill.  It is not uncommon for a woman to have feelings of regret after taking the abortion pill.  At COLFS Medical Clinic we can help you learn everything you need to know about the APR procedure and where you can get the help you need in your local community.

What is APR?

APR is a protocol used to reverse the effects of the chemical abortion process (medication abortion, abortion pill, medical abortion) [1][2][3]. For those who regret starting a chemical abortion, the APR offers a last chance to choose life. There is hope and help available for those who change their minds and want to continue a pregnancy at the Abortion Pill Rescue helpline 877.558.0333 and website.

What should a woman do if she wants to reverse her chemical abortion?

A woman who chooses to reverse the effects of the first drug and continue her pregnancy should call the APR hotline 877.558.0333 or go to the APR website to begin a live chat. The APR Healthcare Team is waiting to help.

Why is progesterone used?

The first drug taken blocks progesterone’s actions by binding to progesterone receptors in the uterus and the placenta. Progesterone is the natural hormone in a woman’s body that is necessary to nurture and sustain a pregnancy.[4] By giving extra progesterone, the hope is to outnumber and out-compete the the first abortion pill in order to reverse the effects of the drug.[5]

Is it too late to reverse the abortion pill?

For those seeking the APR, the goal is to start the protocol within 24 hours of taking the first abortion pill. However, there have been many successful reversals when treatment was started within 72 hours of taking the first abortion pill.

Even if 72 hours have passed, call the helpline at (877) 558-0333. It may not be too late.

The abortion clinic said I have to complete the abortion; is that true?

No, it is always your choice to change your mind. Even if you have started the chemical abortion process, reversal may still be a choice for you.

What if I am cramping or spotting? Does it mean it’s too late to reverse the abortion pill?

Spotting or bleeding is common during reversal treatment. It is important and safe to continue the progesterone even if you experience spotting or bleeding, unless directed otherwise.

If you experience heavy bleeding, faintness, severe abdominal pain, or fever, seek emergency medical attention immediately. This could be an effect of the abortion pill and would require immediate care.

It is important to have an ultrasound to confirm that your baby is in the uterus as soon as possible.

What if I want to reverse the abortion pill but I’ve waited too long? What do I do then?

Please call the APR helpline number (877) 558-0333. You may still be pregnant. It may not be too late.

What about the other pills the abortion clinic gave me?

The second medication's purpose is to cause the uterus to contract and expel the baby.

The second drug is not needed if you want to try to reverse the chemical abortion.

How do I start the APR process?

  • Call the APR helpline: (877) 558-0333.
  • An on-call Healthcare Professional will ask you some basic questions to see if reversal is possible.
  • The Healthcare Professional will then connect you with a doctor or medical provider in your area to start treatment, if that is your choice.
  • COLFS Medical Clinics serve APR patients throughout San Diego County regardless of their ability to pay.

What is the treatment to reverse the abortion pill?

An ultrasound will be done as soon as possible to confirm heart rate, placement, and dating of the pregnancy.

The doctor or other medical provider will prescribe progesterone, given as a pill to be taken orally or vaginally or possibly by intramuscular injection.

The treatment will usually continue through the first trimester of pregnancy.

What is the success rate of this reversal process?

Initial studies of APR have shown that APR has a 64-68% success rate. Without the APR treatment, the first drug may fail to abort the pregnancy on its own. In other words, your pregnancy may continue even without APR if you decide not to take the second abortion drug likely prescribed or provided to you when you took the first drug. APR has been shown to increase the chances of allowing the pregnancy to continue.

However, the outcome of your particular reversal attempt cannot be guaranteed.[6]

What about birth defects? Is my baby going to be OK?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in its Practice Bulletin Number 143, March 2014, states that: “No evidence exists to date of a teratogenic effect” if you take the first abortion pill. In other words, it does not appear that taking the first drug causes birth defects.

Progesterone has been safely used in pregnancy for over 50 years. Initial studies have found that the birth defect rate in babies born after the APR is less than or equal to the rate in the general population. Neither the first drug of the medical abortion nor progesterone is associated with birth defects. [7][8]

What are the possible side effects of progesterone?

Progesterone may cause sleepiness, lack of energy, light headedness, dizziness, gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches. Increased fluid intake might help relieve these symptoms.

It is important that you follow all of the instructions of your APR provider carefully. If you have any questions, contact your provider.

Some progesterone treatments include peanut oil – what if I am allergic to peanuts?

If you are allergic to peanuts or peanut oil, notify your provider before beginning APR. Progesterone may include this ingredient, so it is important that you notify your provider of any of these allergies before taking progesterone. An alternative form of progesterone may be available for those with an allergy.

How much will this cost?

Costs of the treatment varies depending on the progesterone used. Insurance plans may cover treatment. COLFS Medical Clinics will cover expenses for our APR patients who do not have insurance or financial means to pay for treatment.

Even though I regret my decision to take the abortion pill, there is no way I could keep and raise this baby alone and without support. What do I do?

We are here to help support pregnant women and their developing babies. Contact us and we can connect you to the support you need to make the best decision possible for you and your baby.

If you think parenting might be an option for you, but you have concerns about money, baby supplies, insurance or your parenting skills, we can help.

I’d like to save this pregnancy, but I’ll probably get kicked out of my house. What should I do?

Call the helpline at (877) 558-0333. We will help you find the resources you need for your particular situation. Most women might need a little (or a lot) of help. We are committed to help women and families with anything from baby bottles and diapers, to peer and professional consultations, and even housing.

Are the abortion pill and the morning after pill the same thing?

No, they are different. The “morning after pill” is marketed as an emergency contraception method. The most commonly used preparation contains a high level of a progestin and can be taken up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse. New insights into how it works make it clear that it can prevent implantation of the young human embryo into the lining of the uterus. This is a contragestational or abortifacient effect, not a contraceptive effect.

The abortion pill is taken up to 70 days (10 weeks) into a pregnancy with the intention of causing an abortion. It works by blocking progesterone receptors. Progesterone is the necessary hormone that nurtures and supports a pregnancy.

The newest morning after pill, Ella, is very similar to the abortion pill in its action in that it blocks progesterone receptors. It is approved by the FDA for use up to five days after intercourse and also has abortifacient effects.

Does your organization provide the abortion pill to women or perform surgical abortions?

COLFS Medical Clinics provide compassionate support for women during their pregnancies and does not provide or refer for abortion services. We work diligently to provide women seeking reversal with information and resources to make healthy choices for their pregnancies.

Do any professional organizations support Abortion Pill Rescue?

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a 2500-member organization, supports offering APR to women who regret initiating the abortion pill process, after appropriate informed consent.

> View the AAPLOG statement here

There are many cases of women who have changed their minds after taking the abortion pill and gone on to have a successful pregnancy with the APR protocol.  So while you are not alone, your situation is unique to you.  At COLFS Medical Clinics, we have years of experience and the answers for which you are looking.  Please contact us. We are here to help you.

[1] REMS Study Group (2017). Sixteen Years of Overregulation: Time to Unburden. New England Journal of Medicine.

[2] Medication Abortion. Mayo Clinic Web Site. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/medical-abortion/about/pac-20394687. Published July 7, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.

[3] Medical Management of First Trimester Abortion. Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetricians-Gynecologists Practice Bulletin. Number 143. March 2014.

[4] Progesterone Treatment to Help Prevent Premature Birth. March of Dimes Web Site. https://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/progesterone-treatment-to-help-prevent-premature-birth.aspx. Published 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.

[5] Hormones in Pregnancy. Niger Med J. 2012 Oct;53(4):179-83. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.107549.

[6]Delgado, G, M.D., Condly, S. Ph.D., Davenport, M, M.D., M.S.,Tinnakornsrisuphap, T Ph.D., Mack, J., Ph.D., NP, RN,  Khauv, V., B.S., and Zhou, P. A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of the Abortion Pill Using Progesterone. Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 33, Number 1, 2018

[7] Unleashing the power of a woman’s cycle: Progesterone Support in Pregnancy. NaPro Technology Web Site. https://www.naprotechnology.com/progesterone.htm. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

[8] Progesterone and Pregnancy: A Vital Connection. Resolve Web Site. https://resolve.org/infertility-101/the-female-body/progesterone-pregnancy-vital-connection/. Published 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.