Medication Abortion and Preterm Birth

Considerable controversy exists about the effects of medication abortion on the incidence of preterm birth (PTB). Medication abortion of various types continues to be touted as a safe alternative to surgical abortion, and without increased risk for PTB. There is a paucity of evidence regarding medication abortion and PTB, but available papers are reviewed here. There is moderate-quality evidence that medication abortions which require surgical completion increase PTB rates more than surgical abortion alone.

Chemical Abortions: With and Without Medical Supervision

Chemical abortions, otherwise known as “medication-induced” abortions, were approved by the FDA in September 2000, and now account for over 50% of abortions in the United States. Women are being encouraged to order and carry out their own abortion, without in-person supervision by health care professionals, contributing to increased risks of complications.