Research Library

Want to learn more about at-home and self-managed abortion?  Browse our curated collection of videos, podcasts, articles, and organizations.

Abortion Pills: An Overview

Abortion pills are an essential modern health technology, one that has existed for more than 30 years.

Abortion pills are safe and 98% effective when used in the first trimester. When misoprostol is used alone, it is 80-85% effective in the first trimester. Serious complications occur in fewer than 0.4% of cases, making abortion pills safer than medications like penicillin and Viagra.

The method was first discovered in Brazil, where a women noticed the side effect of misoprostol as ‘inducing miscarriage.’ This discovery resulted in a private method of at-home abortion.  Today, abortion pills are used by millions worldwide every year to self-manage early abortions (90% of abortions in Europe and Canada are with pills) and endorsed by the World Health Organization as an essential medication.  

The first pill, Mifepristone, is taken to block the hormone progesterone which is important for maintaining a pregnancy. Then, 24 hours later, 4 misoprostol pills are taken to induce uterine contractions which cause a period.

Medication abortions in the US are extemely common, accounting from 30-50% of all abortions. Self-managed abortions are harder to track in numbers, by nature of being self-managed: but people report choosing this option for many reasons, including cost, lack of access to clinic-based care - 90% of US counties don’t currently have an abortion clinic or provider - and the desire for increased convenience and control. Research studies show that people can accurately evaluate their eligibility for abortion pill use and complete the method successfully, without the need for an ultrasound or in-person consult.

But for reasons founded in politics not medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  restricts access to mifepristone, putting the U.S. radically out-of-step with international guidelines and preventing access for those who would need this method most of all. These restrictions could be changed by the FDA alone without needing any action from Congress.

To be clear, these are the same pills you would get in a clinic: they can be sent by mail and taken at home, as is done by millions of people all around the world each year. We know that approximately 300,000 - 400,000 abortions in the US are with pills every year; it is estimated that tens of thousands are self-managed with pills ordered online.

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Access & Health

Educational resources to answer your questions about abortion pills and the self-managed abortion process.  If you have additional questions you can get free text and phone support.

Understanding abortion: a visual resource

Understanding abortion: a visual resource aims to fill a gap in communication, reducing literacy and language barriers around abortion messaging. It can be used with a range of different audiences, including people with learning disabilities, to support them in the process of making an informed and consensual decision on pregnancy and abortion.

This resource offers an insight into what the process of having an abortion is like, showing what a young person’s journey would be if they decided to have an abortion.

It is aimed to support community health workers, young people, and others people advocating for an increase in knowledge and information on abortion and reducing the stigma surrounding it. This is a versatile tool, in which the reader can select the most relevant parts of the story according to their needs or those of their audience.

We hope this tool can support those who require more information and may need to access safe abortion services. Resources available in English, French, Spanish, Hindi, and Nepalese.

Abortion Resolution Workbook

If you are having a hard time after an abortion experience, there is help for you. This workbook can guide you through some basic steps to feeling better emotionally and spiritually. It can also give you suggestions about further help. It may also be useful if you just want more resolution about an abortion experience.

I think this is a really nice self-help book for those looking for a more personal and reflective process through their abortion experience or people who don't know where to begin processing their experience but are a little hesitant to reach out to a hotline at first. It's also completely free.

Ally Chatbot

Ally is a 24/7, safe abortion chatbot accessible over WhatsApp. Users can instantly access medical abortion protocols, pre- and post-abortion care considerations, links to contracteptives, and customized country-specific resources to safely self-manage their abortion. Ally also connects users to online counseling support. 

Connect to Ally over WhatsApp at + 1 833 221-2559 or via this link. It is also accessible directly from the HowToUseAbortionPill website and via Facebook Messenger

Doula Project Medication Abortion Hotline

The Doula Project Medication Abortion hotline recently launched for all states, offering 24/7, text-based support. All conversations are confidential and anonymous, and they do not keep any records or data. They offer non-medical emotional and informational support.

The hotline is staffed by a membership of 50 doulas who take on different shifts. All are trained as full spectrum doulas by The Doula Project and have also been trained on providing virtual support.

They also have a zine all about how to care for yourself after an abortion available for free on their website. Although they are text-based, folks can also call the hotline and listen to a doula read off the zine if they would like hear a comforting voice.

Reproductive Health Access Project

The Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) mobilizes, trains, and supports clinicians to make reproductive health care accessible to everyone. Download their patient education sheet on how to use abortion pills which mirrors their mife/miso protocol here.


AllBodies is a community for online health classes, led by trusted practitioners, that address our most important needs: healing trauma, sexuality, mental health, body literacy and more.

SASS: Self-Managed Abortion, Safe and Supported

SASS – Self-managed Abortion; Safe and Supported is a project of WOMEN HELP WOMEN, supporting the rights of people around the world to have information about and access to safe abortion with pills. Inquiries about using abortion pills can be made through a secure portal and are answered by the skilled counselors of Women Help Women.

The primary goal of SASS is to provide information and support to women in the USA around self managed abortion, to reduce any negative health impact associated with unsafe abortion methods, and to ensure that self-managed abortions are medically and legally as safe as possible.

SASS provides training for those who wish to learn more about abortion pills and support those in their community who are choosing to self-manage their abortions. SASS also supports Euki, a secure and private app available inEnglish and Spanish that includes information about a range of reproductive health topics, including abortion pills.


INTERNATIONAL: During COVID-19, safe2choose is continuing to work to ensure that women, especially vulnerable women and young women, are able to access crucial services including safe abortions. An average of 1,000 women from around the world connect monthly to their online abortion counselors, many requesting support with self-managed abortions. Half of the requests require a referral to a  health care provider close to their home - for additional counseling, pills, or services.

Watch an animated story by safe2choose here.

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Groups fighting for better access to abortion pills.

Abortion Access Front (AAF)

Abortion Access Front is a coven of hilarious badass feminists who use humor & pop culture to expose the haters fighting against reproductive rights. Founded by Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show), AAF’s vigilant, coffee-fueled abortion defenders create original rapid response media to fire back at the the daily assaults on abortion access AND share tools for everyone to join in the fight! AAF also raises awareness about & directly supports independent abortion providers, which bear the brunt of anti-abortion restrictions and harassment. We are Abortion AF! Learn more and take action with us at

Abortion On Our Own Terms

Abortion on our own Terms is an informational site on self-managed abortion, including a menu of resources and background information on abortion pills.

Med Students for Choice

Med Students for Choice (MSFC) is an organization empowering students of medicine with pro-choice resources.

National Women’s Health Network

The National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) was founded in Washington, DC, in 1975 to change the conversation about women’s health. They are consumer activists, supported by a national membership of thousands of individuals. They shape policy and support consumer health decisions; monitor the actions of Federal regulatory and funding agencies, the health care industry, and the health professions; identify and expose health care abuses; and mobilize grassroots action for women’s health.

UK Study: Social Media Toolkit (Feb 2021)

This social media toolkit is designed to advocate for medication abortion access in the U.S. based on Dr. Abigail Aiken’s newest research on the safety and effectiveness of no-test telemedicine abortion in the UK. This study is titled, Effectiveness, safety and acceptability of no-test medical abortion provided via telemedicine: a national cohort study.

Additionally, this toolkit elevates research on the demand for self-managed abortion in European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, published last month. This study is titled, Demand for self-managed online telemedicine abortion in eight European countries during the COVID-19 pandemic: a regression discontinuity analysis. The toolkit has key findings from the research, graphics, and sample social copy - use #SafeButStillObstructed hashtag if you share.

2 Plus Abortions

2 Plus abortions is a campaign for people who have had two or more abortions to share their stories.

2 Plus Abortions is building a multi-media collection of true stories of abortions. Some stories come from people who have written in, others they find in the public sphere. Together they convey the complexity of our reproductive lives, exposing the lie of the stereotypes that assume the worst of girls and women, and also underscore the need for access to safe, shame-free abortions everywhere.

Online Abortion Resource Squad (OARS)

Online Abortion Resource Squad (OARS) is a group of volunteers who organize to ensure every post on subreddits asking for abortion-related help gets a quality, accurate, compassionate answer.

People often go to the internet when they’re too nervous to call a hotline, don’t have time to sit on the phone, or otherwise have trouble locating resources. Their peer-based online counseling model helps ensure that in the enormous ocean of the internet, people can find the qualified practical, medical, or legal resources that best meet their needs.

They accept volunteers and also donations.

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Resources for self-managed abortion outside of the US.


Manodiversa shares with us a series of videos subtitled in English, which talk about the need to work on the issue of abortion in diverse people with pregnant bodies (bisexual women, lesbians, trans men and non-binary people). It is part of their project: Diverse women also abort, supported by Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF).

Women on Web

The mission of Women on Web is to provide safe, accessible and affordable online abortion care to women and people around the world (for the U.S., see They work to catalyze procedural and legal change in abortion access through telemedicine, research, community outreach, and advocacy. They are building a world where safe abortion care is accessible for all women and pregnant people, free from shame and stigma.


INTERNATIONAL: During COVID-19, safe2choose is continuing to work to ensure that women, especially vulnerable women and young women, are able to access crucial services including safe abortions. An average of 1,000 women from around the world connect monthly to their online abortion counselors, many requesting support with self-managed abortions. Half of the requests require a referral to a  health care provider close to their home - for additional counseling, pills, or services.

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Apps on Abortion

More resources to answer your questions about obtaining and using abortion pills.

Charley Chatbot

Launched in September 2023, the Charley Chatbot was created to help people in every zip code understand their abortion options. It is a private and secure chatbot that provides users with personalized abortion options, including information about different abortion care methods, nearby clinics, accessing abortion pills, and referrals to support services. It's a user-friendly, judgment-free, and confidential tool designed by abortion experts for abortion seekers. abortion experts and made for abortion seekers. Visit to get started.

Safe Abortion App

This app provides comprehensive, user-friendly information on safe abortion. The app’s gestational calculator helps people determine their options, and clear, illustrated information describes what to expect from safe abortions with pills, MVA, and D&E, and how to address possible complications should they arise. An extensive FAQ section addresses a broad spectrum of concerns regarding abortion.


Developed by leading reproductive health researchers, privacy experts, and users, Euki is designed to empower individuals to learn about their own body and take control of their health. They call themselves: "A period tracker that doesn’t track you."

Download in the Google Store for Android

Download in the Apple Store

Abortion Subreddit

The Abortion subreddit is great place to learn from peers about their experiences obtaining and using abortion pills for self-manage abortion. The site is moderated by volunteers from the Online Abortion Resource Squad, who ensure that every reddit post asking for abortion-related help gets a quality, accurate, compassionate answer. The moderators can respond in both English and Spanish.