You are here: Abortion > Abortion Risks

Abortion:  Are there risks?

Potential Immediate Risks of Abortion

Abortion carries the risk of significant complications such as bleeding, infection and damage to organs.  Serious medical complications occur infrequently in early abortions, but increase with later abortions. There is evidence that induced abortion can be associated with significant loss of both emotional and physical health long term.  Getting complete information on the risks associated with abortion is limited due to incomplete reporting and the lack of record-keeping linking abortions to complications.  

Gathering all of your information to make an informed decision is important.  

Potential Long-Term Risks of Abortion

Finding out the real risks associated with abortion is difficult due to incomplete reporting of complications and scientific bias, yet you should be equipped to be able to give full informed consent before going through a procedure or taking medicine that could have long-term effects on your health.

Risks associated with the Abortion Pill

Continuation of pregnancy:  Women who change their minds after beginning a medication abortion and want to continue their pregnancies should immediately seek the help of an obstetrician.  Go to for help. 

Bleeding:  Vaginal bleeding lasts for an average of 9-16 days; 1 in 100 women bleed enough to require surgery (D&C) to stop the bleeding.

Infection: According to the FDA, "Cases of serious bacterial infection, including very rare cases of fatal septic shock, have been reported." This means that some Mifeprex users have died as a result of total body infection.  The FDA issued a health advisory July 19, 2005 and changed safety labeling to warn of the reisk of this serious bacterial infection.

Undiagnosed ectopic (tubal) pregnancy: The abortion pill does not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo lodges outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.  if not diagnosed early, there could be a risk of the tube bursting, internal hemorrhage and death in some cases.

Failed abortion: The mifepristone-misoprostol regimen fails in 8% of uses in pregnancy up to 49 days gestation,  17% at 50-56 days gestation, and 23% at 57-63 days gestation.20,26(pp.111-34)

Important:  Within the first 24 hours after taking mifepristone and misoprostol, contact your health-care professional right away if you experience:28

  • heavy bleeding that soaks through two thick, full-size sanitary pads per hour for two hours
  • persistant somach pain or discomfort
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, with or without fever
  • fever of 100.4º or higher for more than 4 hours

These symptoms, even without a fever, may indicate a serious and possibly fatal blood infection called sepsis.


Our centers offers peer counseling and accurate information about all pregnancy options; however we do not offer or refer for abortion services.


Sources: 1)“Before You Decide” Brochure; CareNet Care Net, 44180 Riverside Parkway Suite 200, Lansdowne, Virginia 20176 , Phone: 703.554.8734, Fax: 703.554.8735,; 2) "the abortion pill" booklet; Focus on the Family, 2011

210 W. Green St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
4 Church St.
Cortland, NY 13045

Contact Us Ithaca: 607-273-4673
Cortland: 607-753-3909

Hours of Operation *Both centers are closed Saturday and Sunday Ithaca Pregnancy Center
Mon-Fri: 10-5pm

Cortland Pregnancy Center
Mon-Thur: 10AM-5PM
Fri: 10AM-2PM