Emergency contraception, also known as Plan B, is available over the counter. But it’s a medication that still inspires a lot of communication, thanks in large part to right wing scare tactics. So what is Plan B? Is Plan B an abortion? And what’s the difference between Plan B and the abortion pill? Here’s what you need to know.
Plan B: What is it?
Plan B is the morning-after pill. When you take it shortly after having unprotected sex or a contraceptive failure, it greatly reduces the risk of becoming pregnant. It uses a high dose of the same hormones in contraceptive pills to do this. And it works the same as birth control, too. First it works to suppress ovulation. But if you’ve already ovulated, it can also prevent a fertilized egg from implanting.
Plan B is safe for people who cannot use hormonal birth control pills, and side effects are rare. You may have some bleeding and cramping, and some people develop headaches or nausea.
Plan B will not induce a miscarriage.
Plan B vs. Abortion Pill
Plan B cannot cause an abortion. It uses completely different ingredients, none of which are capable of expelling a pregnancy. It is a myth that Plan B is an abortion pill. This is a myth the right wing has propagated to inspire fear and promote stigma.
If you know you would not have an abortion if you became pregnant, it is still safe for you to use Plan B.
Will Plan B Cause an Abortion?
If you’re already pregnant, Plan B cannot cause an abortion. That’s because it works by preventing implantation. If a pregnancy has already implanted, it’s too late for Plan B. There’s also no evidence that Plan B will cause birth defects, nor that Plan B can end a pregnancy. So if you’re pregnant and do not want to be, don’t turn to emergency contraception. The right abortion clinic can connect you to abortion services, including an abortion pill, as soon as you learn you are pregnant. So don’t delay. The sooner you seek help, the easier and safer abortion is.
The right abortion clinic can answer your questions about contraceptives and abortion. Begin your abortion clinic search here.
Emergency contraception (EC) can prevent pregnancy when taken shortly after unprotected sex. more info on Guttmacher Institute