The information on the website regarding exposure to abortion medication is based
on research that done on the internet. It's very important to understand that the
majority of studies that were done on embryos and fetuses were done when the woman
was undergoing regular treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or other conditions.
That would mean repeated exposure at high doses. When evaluating the potential risk
to the fetus, we need to consider if the exposure was repeated or a one-time thing.
A medical abortion uses a small dose given one time.
You might see a lot of abortion clinics on the internet warning against continuing
a pregnancy after a medical abortion; however, it's important to remember that they
are trying to prevent lawsuits should a deformity occur. They also want to be able
to claim a 100% success rate at performing abortions. You'll read a lot of differing
advice on the internet, and it's important to note that no one can guarantee that
a baby will or will not be affected.
It's also important to note that during the first 2 weeks after conception, the embryo
is not susceptible to teratogenicity (the harmful effects of some drugs). Medical
abortions should only be done in the first 5 weeks after conception. “During the
first 2 weeks after conception the developing embryo is not susceptible to teratogenesis
(Moore 1998). Drug exposures during this time period are not known to cause congenital
anomalies in human embryos; however, such exposures may interfere with cleavage of
the zygote or implantation of the blastocyst and/or cause early death and spontaneous
abortion of the embryo (Moore 1998).” FDA website, page 8 of PDF file.
You can find information about methotrexate and misoprostol use in pregnancy here.
Keep in mind that much of the statistics and information you will read here was
gathered in relation to cancer treatment or stomach conditions. Mifepristone, however,
is only taken to induce an abortion. If the abortion is not successful, there is
no known risk to the embryo.
The teratogenicity of all 3 types of medications as related to abortion is discussed
here on page 25 of this PDF document, and it confirms that with methotrexate and
mifepristone, the risk is almost none, while with misoprostol (the second part of
both medical abortions), the risk is slim.
Most of these articles point to the fact that 'yes,' medical abortions can cause
anomalies at any dose at any time given, but it is considerably less likely that
a baby will be born with anomalies after a failed medical abortion because:
(1) the dose is much lower than that given in cancer or for arthritis treatment and
(2) the dose is not repeated.
If you are having a continuing pregnancy after a medical abortion and you want to
remain pregnant, you do not have to have a surgical abortion. The clinic cannot make
you have one. Please contact an OB/GYN or a maternal-fetal medicine obstetrician
for guidance. Ultrasounds can be done to check for any abnormalities that may be