How Does the Abortion Pill Work?

The abortion pill (also known as medication abortion) actually consists of two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Mifepristone is taken first. It cuts the supply of the hormone progesterone to the fetus, which is needed to maintain the pregnancy. Without a steady supply of progesterone, the fetus stops growing and eventually dies. Misoprostol is taken up to 48 hours later. This medication causes the uterus to cramp and expel the pregnancy.

How Late Can You Take the Abortion Pill? 

The abortion pill is only FDA-approved for up to 10 weeks from your last menstrual period[1]. If you take the abortion pill later on in your pregnancy, the risk of serious complications increases. You may need emergency surgery to stop heavy bleeding or complete the procedure if it fails or is incomplete.

Is Abortion Legal in Tennessee? 

Currently, abortion is illegal in Tennessee. However, exceptions can be made to save the life of the mother. Additionally, women who receive abortions will not be prosecuted under Tennessee law[2].

If you’re considering traveling out of state for an abortion, we strongly recommend receiving an ultrasound beforehand.

Can I Order the Abortion Pill Online?

The FDA advises against ordering the abortion pill online. Many online abortion pill providers are located overseas, so the pills they provide may not meet FDA standards[3]. These pills could be counterfeit, expired, or even tampered with. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid ordering the abortion pill online. 

Abortion Pill Information in Cookeville, TN

When your pregnancy test comes back positive, it can be easy to panic. Don’t let fear make the final decision for you. Get the care and support you deserve at Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic. We offer free pregnancy resources, so you can make an empowered decision for your unplanned pregnancy:  

  • Free pregnancy tests
  • Free ultrasounds
  • STI testing and treatment
  • A safe, non-judgemental place to explore your pregnancy options and share what’s on your mind

Give us a call at (931) 526-5525 or schedule your free appointment today. All services are confidential and free of charge.

Please be aware that Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic does not provide or refer for abortion services. 


  1. FDA. (2023, September 1). Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from   
  2. Human Life Protection Act. Tennessee General Assembly. (2022, June). Retrieved from 
  3. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2023, March 23). Mifeprex (Mifepristone). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from 

Abortion Pill Frequently Asked Questions


The shock of an unplanned pregnancy can make you feel unsure about your decision. As you decide, you’ll want to have all the facts about your options and the information about your pregnancy. Keep reading to learn about the abortion pill and what you need to know beforehand!


How Does the Abortion Pill Work? 

With the abortion pill, a woman intentionally takes medication to terminate her pregnancy. Abortion pills may also be called a medical abortion, chemical abortion, RU-486, or at-home abortion. 

The process involves two medications. The first medication, mifepristone, interferes with progesterone receptors and prevents the pregnancy from developing. The second medication, misoprostol, causes the uterus to cramp and expel the pregnancy.1


How Far Along Can You Take the Abortion Pill? 

Women qualify for the abortion pill only up until 10 weeks of gestation.2 Gestational age can be estimated based on a woman’s last menstrual period, but an ultrasound is the most exact way to determine the gestational age. 

Call Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic for an appointment today. 


How Long Does the Abortion Pill Take to Work? 

During the abortion pill regimen, a woman takes mifepristone first. Then, up to 48 hours later she takes misoprostol which causes her uterus to cramp and to expel the pregnancy. She may continue to experience bleeding for about 9 to 16 days and could bleed up to 30 days.2 She should follow up with a provider 7 to 14 days after taking the abortion pill to evaluate for complications.3


Is Plan B an Abortion Pill? 

Plan B is an emergency contraception and can be referred to as the morning-after pill. Emergency contraception and abortion pills are different. Emergency contraception attempts to prevent a pregnancy from starting by delaying ovulation and preventing fertilization, but can also prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. The abortion pills end a pregnancy that has already begun.


Where Can I Go to Get an Abortion Pill? 

Some providers require a woman to take the first pill in the abortion clinic. Others, depending on state laws, can obtain abortion pills from certified pharmacies. Women should never order abortion pills online from a foreign pharmacy. The FDA has not evaluated those pills for safety3 and could contain the wrong amount of medication. 


Can Your Gynecologist Give You the Abortion Pill? 

In states where abortion is legal, only certified doctors or mid-level providers can prescribe abortion pills. They will determine whether a woman qualifies for an abortion based on the gestational age. They will also rule out contraindications to an abortion such as an ectopic pregnancy, drug allergies, blood thinning disorders, an IUD, or other medical disorders.3


How Much Does the Abortion Pill Cost?

Abortion pills can cost up to $750 and include fees for ultrasounds, blood tests, medications, and follow-up appointments. At Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic we provide cost-free pregnancy confirmation and limited ultrasounds. 


What are the Risks of the Abortion Pill? 

Like any medical procedure or medication, the abortion pill has risks.4 First, women wanting an abortion should rule out an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy develops outside of the uterus and can be life-threatening if not properly treated. So, before taking abortion pills, it is recommended that a woman receive an ultrasound first. 

Further complications after taking mifepristone include prolonged bleeding, an infection, an allergic reaction, or an incomplete abortion, which could require further medical intervention. 


Does the Abortion Pill Hurt? 

Everyone tolerates pain differently, but on average, women report a higher level of pain than they expected. They describe the pain as worse than menstrual cramps and compare it to labor contractions.5


Abortion Pill Information in Cookeville, TN 

Weighing the pros and cons of abortion can feel overwhelming. But you aren’t alone! Visit Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic to speak with our qualified and compassionate staff. We provide a non-judgemental space for you to process your questions and concerns. 

Give us a call at (931) 526-5525 or book an appointment online today. All services are confidential and free of charge!

Please be aware that Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic does not provide or refer for abortion services.



  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2024). Medical Abortion.
  2. Danco Laboratories, LLC. (2022). MEDICATION GUIDE: Mifeprex.
  3. FDA. (2023, January). Questions and Answers on Mifepristone for Medical Termination of Pregnancy Through Ten Weeks Gestation.
  4. What is the Abortion Pill? (2024, January 10). Pregnancy Decision Line.
  5. Georgsson, S., & Carlsson, T. (2019). Pain and pain management during induced abortions: A web-based exploratory study of recollections from previous patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 75(11), 3006–3017. 
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Cookeville Pregnancy Clinic does not provide abortion services or referrals for abortion.