abortion pill legal NM

Are abortion pills still legal? Some women in New Mexico may be asking this question following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade on June 24. The historic ruling has left women with questions about what pregnancy options still are available in New Mexico.

As of the writing of this article, abortion still is legal in Albuquerque. New Mexico and doesn’t have any of the abortion restrictions found in some other states. That doesn’t mean abortion is your only choice if you’re pregnant and not yet ready to become a parent.

Care Net Pregnancy Centers of Albuquerque is here to provide the answers and resources you need when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Our supportive staff members make sure you understand all pregnancy options available to you.

Before you can be prescribed the abortion pill, your doctor must verify your pregnancy via ultrasound to ensure you’re not beyond the 10 weeks recommended for a chemical abortion.

How the abortion pill works

Abortion pills account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S. today. The two-pill method can be used in pregnancies up to 10 weeks but requires a prescription from a healthcare provider authorized to dispense medications in New Mexico.

Here’s how it works. Women receive two different doses of medication: mifepristone and misoprostol. They must take the mifepristone first, then wait 48 hours before taking the misoprostol. Mifepristone stops the pregnancy from growing, while misoprostol causes cramping and bleeding that empties the uterus.

Cramping and bleeding start 1 to 4 hours after taking the second dose of the abortion pill. Some bleeding and spotting are normal for a few weeks after taking the medication. However, a follow-up appointment with a healthcare provider is required to ensure the pill worked as intended.

Abortion pill vs. morning-after pill

It’s important to note that abortion pills and the morning-after pill are not the same things. Abortion pills require a visit to your doctor and a prescription to access them. The morning-after pill is an over-the-counter medication that women can purchase without first consulting their doctors.

Other differences include:

Accessing the abortion pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the use of the abortion pill in the U.S. Access to the medication was expanded during covid, allowing women to request the abortion pill via a telehealth appointment instead of in-person. The change in FDA policy for the dispensing of the abortion pill also allowed it to be received in the mail instead of in-person at a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

In December 2021, the FDA made the decision to allow telehealth appointments and medication by mail for the abortion pill permanent.

Period-like cramping is normal after taking the second dose of the abortion pill. Severe abdominal pain may signal cause for concern and a call to your doctor.

Side effects of the abortion pill

While taking the abortion pill is relatively safe, it is not without risks. New Mexico law guarantees every woman the right to receive informed consent before taking the abortion pill or having another abortion procedure that includes:

  • Assessing the risks and side effects of each abortion procedure.
  • Learning about other pregnancy options.
  • Receiving an explanation of the abortion procedures available.

Women who take the abortion pill can expect to experience diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. These are all normal reactions to taking the medication. Fever, heavy bleeding, and severe abdominal pain signal something more serious is happening that requires medical attention.

Changing your mind about the abortion pill

Sometimes women change their minds about having a medicated abortion. The good news is, if you’ve only taken the first dose of the abortion pill, you may be able to reverse the effects with the abortion reversal pill.

The abortion pill reversal procedure was developed as an emergency intervention for women who change their minds about having an abortion after they’ve started the chemical abortion process. While not always effective, it does have a 68 percent success rate when used as directed.  

It works by flooding a woman’s body with progesterone, which is the main hormone a woman’s body produces in early pregnancy to support the developing fetus. The abortion reversal pill is generally safe, but some side effects can include:

  • Breast tenderness or pain.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Fatigue or occasional tiredness.
  • Headache or migraine.
  • Muscle, joint, or bone pain.
  • Upset stomach.

The FDA doesn’t support progesterone use for reversing chemical abortions, but that doesn’t mean the process is unsafe or should be avoided. Our staff can provide you with more information about this pregnancy option during your confidential appointment.

Contact us today to discuss all your pregnancy options. We have four convenient locations in and around Albuquerque plus a medical mobile unit.