Medical Abortion (MA)
Medical abortion—also called medication abortion or the abortion pill—is a method of using pills to end a pregnancy through a process similar to a miscarriage. Like vacuum aspiration, medical abortion is very safe and effective. It also offers unique advantages. It provides a noninvasive method of ending an unwanted pregnancy that women can use in a range of settings, and often in their own homes.
The most effective medicines for inducing abortion are mifepristone and misoprostol used in combination. Where mifepristone is not available, misoprostol used on its own is also effective.
Medical abortion is especially promising for women most at risk of turning to dangerous or ineffective abortion methods, and for those for whom cost, distance or other factors make reaching other abortion services difficult or impossible.
Millions of women around the world have already chosen this proven technology. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about medical abortion.
Ipas is working to introduce and expand women’s access to medical abortion around the world by:
- Training health-care providers, including nurses and midwives as well as others who provide information and care beyond the hospital setting;
- Working with communities and women’s groups in Latin America, Africa and Asia to better understand local needs and to provide women and men with accurate information on the legal status of medical abortion, how and where it is available and how to use it safely;
- Conducting medical abortion research around the world, including operations research, program evaluation and community assessments;
- Working with advocates, policymakers and health-care providers to broaden support for legal abortion, including medical abortion;
- Building networks to support access to medical abortion. Ipas is a member of The International Consortium for Medical Abortion (ICMA), with a representative on the steering committee and leadership in regional networks in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.