New report shows abortion pill use has risen sharply in recent years: ‘Significant increase’

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Since 2020, the prevalence of medical abortions – caused by the so-called abortion pill – has increased by 10%.

Abortions with medication They accounted for 63% of all abortions performed in the U.S. in 2023, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization based in New York.

Last year, around 642,700 medical abortions were performed.

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The data comes from Guttmacher’s Monthly Abortion Provision Study, which monitors the estimated number of abortions performed at the state and national levels.

What is a medical abortion?

During a medical abortion, a woman ends her pregnancy by taking it two different medications – mifepristone and misoprostol – over a period of a few days, according to the Yale Medicine website.

Hand holding abortion pill in clinic in Kansas City

This photo shows a patient preparing to take the first of two combination pills, mifepristone, for a medication abortion during a visit to a Kansas City clinic in October 2022. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

The woman first takes a drug called mifepristone, which blocks the production of progesterone, a hormone that supports pregnancy.

The second drug, misoprostol, induces contractions – and triggers the process of miscarriage. This process usually takes between 12 and 24 hours.

The abortion pill was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. It can be administered within the USA first 10 weeks of pregnancy.


In states where procedural abortions are illegal, medication abortions may also be illegal.

Fourteen states have banned the prescription of mifepristone.

These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

Why have medical abortions increased?

“Increased reliance on medication is likely, to some extent, a result of abortion bans in 14 states,” Rachel K. Jones, senior research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, told Fox News Digital.

“In many states where abortion is still possible, Abortion with medication “The benefits of telemedicine can be reduced by reducing the logistical and financial barriers that make it difficult for people to access health care,” she continued.

Medicine bottles

Bottles of abortion pills Mifepristone (left) and Misoprostol (right) at a clinic in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

“Some inpatient facilities are also able to perform medication abortions more efficiently, which was necessary to meet growing needs in states where people travel for treatment.”

It’s also likely that some people who would prefer a “procedural abortion” are now relying on medication abortion because they don’t want to wait weeks for an appointment, Jones explained.

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Monica Cepak, the New York-based CEO of Wisp, an online provider of birth control pills and treatments, said the Wisp team expanded its medical abortion offerings following the Supreme Court’s June 2022 Roe v. Wade had picked up. The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization returned the issue of abortion to the states.

The company currently ships the abortion pill to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, Washington, New York and Maryland, its website says.

“There are differences in health insurance for an abortion. You have to go to the clinic and pay a doctor – that can be a significant cost.”

“We have been able to offer an affordable telemedicine option in nine states so far – and most importantly, protect our health.” Patient privacy“,” she told Fox News Digital.

According to Cepak, Wisp saw a 527% increase in demand for its medical abortion services in 2023.

Telemedicine for women

When it comes to medication abortions, a company is offering “an affordable telemedicine option” in nine states while protecting the privacy of its patients, it said. (iStock)

Audrey Blondin, a former lawyer and associate professor in the Department of Population Health and Leadership at the University of New Haven, spoke to Fox News Digital about the increase in medication abortions.

“This was a significant increase in medication abortions over a relatively short period of time,” she said.

“I think this is a good example of where there is a will, there is a way,” she added, referring to the backlash sparked when some states passed abortion bans.

“Between 2.9% and 4.6% of women taking the drug may require emergency room treatment.”

Technology and medicine “We worked together to give women a legitimate choice,” she said. “I always say that your health care shouldn’t be determined by your zip code.”

Cost savings could be another reason for the increase in medical abortions, according to Blondin.

“There are differences in health insurance for abortion,” she said. “You have to go to the clinic and pay a doctor – that can be a significant cost.”

Teenage girl with prescription

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, a medication abortion typically costs about $800, but some health insurance companies may cover the cost. (iStock)

Women traveling to another state may also incur additional costs, she noted.

“This is different than going to Walgreens or CVS and getting a prescription,” Blondin noted.

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, a medication abortion typically costs about $800, but some health insurance companies may cover the cost.

Additionally, there are programs to provide financial support for the abortion pill through the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Pro-life advocates oppose medication abortions

Lila Rose, founder and president of the Virginia-based pro-life advocacy group Live Nation, said the rise of the “abortion pill” was a “terrible tragedy.”


“Federal law currently prohibits the mailing of abortion drugs under the Comstock Act, and this law should be vigorously enforced,” she told Fox News Digital.

Rose also warned that medication abortions can be a problem dangerous risk for women.

“Between 2.9% and 4.6% of women taking the drug may require emergency room treatment,” she told Fox News Digital.

Doctor with woman

“The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine estimates that about one in 25 women taking mifepristone may need emergency care.” (iStock)

“Based on this data, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine has estimated that approximately one in 25 women taking mifepristone may need it Emergency care.”

“The abortion pill mifepristone has killed millions of American children in discriminatory and brutal ways,” she added.


Yale Medicine said that while medical abortion is considered a “safe procedure,” some rare complications can occur.

These include “pregnancy tissue left in the uterus, blood clots in the uterus, bleeding too heavily or for too long, infections, or an ongoing pregnancy,” the website says.

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