EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION AND MEDICATION ABORTION:
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

  Emergency Contraception
(EC or Morning After Pill)
Abortion Pill /
Medication Abortion
What Does It Do? Prevents a pregnancy after unprotected sex - it's contraception (birth control). Ends a pregnancy - it's an abortion.
Names of Pills Plan B One-Step®, Next Choice®, ella®, and others. Mifepristone (Mifeprex®)
Misoprostol (Cytotec®)
What’s In The Pills? Most brands of EC contain the progestin levonorgestrel, one of the hormones found in daily birth control pills.

ella® contains a different hormone, ulipristal, which is not in regular birth control pills.
Mifepristone stops a pregnancy from growing.

Misoprostol causes cramping and bleeding to make the pregnancy come out of the uterus.
When Do You Take It? Levonorgestrel: The sooner you take levonorgestrel pills, the better it works. It works up to 5 days after unprotected sex. Some packs contain 1 pill, and some packs contain 2 pills. The 2 pills can be taken together.
Ulipristal (ella®): works just as well 5 days after sex as it does the first day.
It works in early pregnancy, up to 9 weeks after your last period. Your health care provider gives you one pill to swallow in the office. You take the second medicine at home.
What Happens to Your Body? Most women don't experience side effects from EC. Some women have nausea, vomiting, headache, or dizziness for a short time after taking the pills. The next period may come a few days early or late.
After taking the first pill, most women feel fine. After using the second medication at home, women have heavy bleeding, often with clots. This lasts for a couple of hours. Cramps vary from mild to strong.
How Much Does It Cost? EC costs about $35 - $60 for one pack. The exact cost depends on where you go for care. It is generally several hundred dollars.
Insurance Coverage Some insurance plans cover EC. In some states, Medicaid covers it. Many insurance plans now cover medication abortion. In some states, Medicaid covers it.
How Do You Find It? Levonorgestrel is available at a pharmacy without a prescription for anyone who is 17 and older. Women under 17 need a prescription to get it.

Ulipristal is only available with a prescription.

Ask your health care provider or visit www.not-2-late.com
You must get it from a health care provider in their office, not at a pharmacy. You may be able to get it from your primary care provider. If not, call (800) 772-9100, or go to www.prochoice.org/pregnant to find a medication abortion provider in your area.