While the typical chemical abortion regimen involves ingesting both mifepristone and misoprostol, abortion proponents have begun suggesting misoprostol alone could be used to achieve an abortion.
The World Health Organization stated in a 2018 report titled “Medical management of abortion” that “misoprostol is particularly useful [for abortion] in low-resource settings” and that “the use of misoprostol within abortion care — either in combination with mifepristone or alone — offers several advantages. It reduces the need for skilled surgical abortion providers, equipment, sterilization, and anesthesia while offering a noninvasive and highly acceptable option to pregnant individuals.”
However, there is significant debate as to whether it is safe for women to use misoprostol alone for an abortion.
Dr. Ingrid Skop, an OB-GYN and vice president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told CNA that claims that misoprostol is only slightly less effective than the two-pill regimen is a “vast exaggeration.”
“[Misoprostol alone] is way less effective. A meta-analysis shows that 22% of women who take misoprostol alone will fail to have a complete abortion and they will require surgery,” Skop said. “And the surgery is not the same as if they had chosen surgical abortion in the first place; in many cases these women bleed a lot before they finally receive care, the dead tissue in their uterus can become infected and that infection can scar their uterus and lead to future infertility or future pregnancy complications.”
The study mentioned by Skop can be found on the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine website. Notably, despite admitting 22% of women included in the study had to undergo surgical abortions after taking misoprostol alone, the study concludes that “misoprostol alone is effective and safe and is a reasonable option for women seeking abortion in the first trimester.”
“So, recommending misoprostol, if the abortion industry continues to do this, is going to show without a shadow of a doubt that they do not care for women, that they merely care for ending unborn human life,” Skop added.