Self-managed abortion with pills means obtaining and taking abortion pills outside of a medical setting. It most commonly refers to taking abortion medications at home with the help of telephone hotlines or online platforms. Self-managed abortion increases access to safe abortion care for vulnerable people and those who live far away from health care facilities. It also upholds people’s autonomy and supports them to make decisions about, and take the lead in, their own care.
A safe abortion with pills requires only three things: accurate information, quality medications, and mutual respect and trust. Because of this, medication abortion has expanded access to safe abortion care for millions of women and girls around the world—especially in conflict and crisis settings.
A self-managed abortion can be just as safe and effective as the more traditional, facility-based approach. Therefore, in recent years, self-management of abortion with pills has gained increased acceptance by the formal health sector as safe and appropriate. Abortion pills successfully ends pregnancy more than 95 percent of the time and the risk of severe, life-threatening complication is less than 1 percent. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and so reliable that most people can take the pills at home without any problem.