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Safety and effectiveness of first-trimester medication abortion in the United States

Medication abortion is extremely safe with serious adverse events occurring in less than one-third of one percent of medication abortions. Medication abortion is highly effective, with a success rate over 95%. Telemedicine, self-administration, and provision by non-physician clinicians have been shown to be safe, effective, and acceptable.


Since mifepristone was first approved in 2000, state legislatures have passed a number of laws that restrict access to medication abortion. Medication abortion, however, is both extremely safe and highly effective. This brief reviews research findings on medication abortion safety and effectiveness, and on guidelines for provision of medication abortion, including via telemedicine and by advanced practice clinicians.