What’s the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill?

There’s a lot of confusion related to Plan B and the abortion pill. If you think you might have an unplanned pregnancy, it’s important to understand, from a medical perspective, the differences between these two medications — from how they work to the risks and side effects associated with each.

Options for Women is here to help answer these commonly asked questions!

What is “Plan B?” 

Plan B, also known as an emergency contraceptive or “the morning-after pill,” is taken to prevent a pregnancy within 72 hours of unprotected sex. This over-the-counter medication prevents unwanted pregnancy by halting ovulation and fertilization. 

Are there side effects related to Plan B? 

Yes. You may experience the following side effects when taking Plan B:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

What is the abortion pill? 

The abortion pill, unlike Plan B, ends a pregnancy that has already begun to develop. While Plan B prevents pregnancy from occurring, the abortion pill uses chemical means to terminate a pregnancy in the uterus within the first 10 weeks of gestation. 

The abortion pill is a two-step process. First, Mifepristone is taken to prevent the body from producing the pregnancy-supporting hormone, progesterone. This lack of nutrients causes the pregnancy to end in the uterus. Next, Misoprostol is used to cause contractions and force the pregnancy from the body. 

Are there side effects related to the abortion pill? 

Yes. According to the FDA, the abortion pill may cause some of the following side effects: 


  • Heavy bleeding
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea 
  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

In addition to these side effects, the abortion pill can also lead to severe health risks, such as: 

  • Incomplete abortion, requiring emergency surgery
  • Sepsis
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhaging 

Because abortions using the abortion pill are often completed at home without medical supervision, infections and hemorrhaging can go unnoticed and untreated for too long.

Schedule an appointment today to talk to a medical professional about the various risks and side effects related to the abortion pill. 

I’m pregnant — What’s next?  

If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, remember there’s help available to you! Options for Women is here to provide you with no-cost pregnancy health services, like pregnancy testing and an ultrasound scan, and options consultations to help you make the best decision for your and your future!

Schedule your appointment today!

Minnesota Abortion Laws in 2021

If you think you might be pregnant and are considering abortion, there are several laws in Minnesota you should be aware of to protect your health and rights.

Abortion Laws in Minnesota

First, you should know no one can force you to have an abortion against your will. Contact our clinic to learn about the resources available to you if you are pregnant and feeling pressure.

If someone is pressuring you to have an abortion procedure, please contact your local law enforcement right away. It is also illegal to perform an abortion for a minor under the age of 18 without the consent of her parents. If you are younger than 18 and someone is pressuring you to have an abortion let your parents and authorities know right away. If telling your parents feels too hard, we can help!

By law, in Minnesota, you can have an abortion if you are in the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy, after 20 weeks it is illegal to have an abortion unless your health or life is at stake. Medical abortion is only available through the first eleven weeks of pregnancy, while a surgical abortion is available during the first 20 weeks.   

Abortion Laws to Protect Your Health

Because abortion is a serious medical procedure, there are laws designed to protect you and your health.

Abortions Must Be Performed By a Doctor

First, Minnesota law requires all abortion procedures to be performed by a trained medical doctor.  

That’s because abortion is a medical procedure with possible risks and complications, both during the process and potential long-lasting complications or side effects. 

You Must Know About Abortion Side Effects

Also, Minnesota state law requires that a doctor, or abortion clinic staff member, provide you with all the information regarding complications and risks associated with an abortion procedure. It’s your health and future, so you deserve to have all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself. If an abortion provider does not provide you with this information, discourages you from reading this information, or provides the information in a manner that doesn’t allow you to understand all the details, you should immediately seek another medical provider for your health and safety. 

24-Hour Waiting Period

Minnesota abortion providers are also required to provide a 24-hour waiting period from the time you receive the necessary information about abortion to the time the abortion procedure is performed. This allows you time to evaluate the information and consider your options. If an abortion clinic or doctor does not follow this 24-waiting period and tries to perform an abortion procedure before it has ended, you should seek the assistance of another medical provider for your health and safety.

Your Sign Off Is Required

Abortion clinics are also legally required to have you sign a form to acknowledge they have provided you with all the required information about an abortion procedure. If the abortion clinic or doctor has not followed any of the above guidelines, do not sign any document and seek the assistance of another medical provider for your health and safety.

Just like any other serious medical procedure, you deserve to know all the facts as well as all your options before making a decision. 

Schedule a Free Appointment

If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, please contact us right away. Our staff is here to help you understand all your options and empower you to make the best decision for your health and future.