Is Plan B the Same as the Abortion Pill? 

If you are confused about the difference between Plan B (aka the “morning after pill”) and the Abortion Pill, you are not alone. Both are options women explore when they have had unprotected sex or are worried they might be pregnant.   

Let’s compare Plan B and the abortion pill so you can feel empowered with all the information you need to make an informed decision.  

The short answer to whether these are the same pills is, “No. They are not the same thing.” Let’s explore the differences and possible side effects of each method. 

What is Plan B?  

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive intended to prevent pregnancy. It’s designed to be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. On their website, the staff at Plan B explain that this pill works by temporarily delaying ovulation. No ovulation = no chance of pregnancy.  

Plan B has about an 87% success rate. Consequently, if you do not get your period, you should still take a pregnancy test. We offer free pregnancy tests and consultations in our 8 clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. 

It is important to note here, that there is debate within the medical community regarding how exactly Plan B works if a sperm and egg have already met. Some believe it may prevent a newly formed zygote from implanting in the uterus. Depending on when you believe life begins, this could be considered an abortifacient effect.  

No matter where you stand on this debate, Plan B and the Abortion Pill are distinctly different. If Plan B is designed to prevent pregnancy, how does the abortion pill work?  

What is the Abortion Pill?   

Usually the Abortion “Pill” is more than just one pill. It is a two-step regimen intended to end an early, confirmed pregnancy (10 weeks or less). The Abortion Pill regimen generally consists of two drugs – mifepristone and misoprostol. Mifepristone blocks progesterone which is needed to sustain a pregnancy. Misoprostol causes uterine contractions to expel the pregnancy from the uterus. 

You can learn more about how the abortion pill works by checking out our article here.   

What are the possible side effects?  

Plan B  Abortion Pill  
  A period that is lighter, heavier, early, or late    Cramping and heavy vaginal bleeding  
  Nausea     Nausea  
  Lower abdominal cramps    Weakness  
  Headache/Dizziness    Fever/Chills  
  Breast Tenderness    Vomiting/Diarrhea  
  Vomiting    Headache/Dizziness  
  Fatigue    Anxiety  

Complications to the Abortion Pill can be much more severe than you might think. Check out our article here to learn about the safety of the Abortion Pill and about possible complications.   


Plan B is not the same as the abortion pill even though many confuse the two.  

You should never put any kind of pill into your body without doing all your research so you understand the possible risks of a medication.   

If you are concerned you might be pregnant, schedule an appointment at one of our clinics. Our team can help you know for sure if you are pregnant and walk you through possible next steps. 

Our clinics provide confidential, no-cost, no-insurance-needed services. We do not offer, refer for or sell abortions or birth control.  

Prioritize your health. Schedule an appointment at Care Net of Puget Sound today. 

More Articles

How to process an unexpected pregnancy
How do you begin to process an unexpected pregnancy? You might be feeling scared, confused, ...
I'm pregnant do I need to be tested for STDS
I’m Pregnant: Do I need to be tested for STDs?
If you’re experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, getting tested for STDs might be the last thing ...
How many relationships stay together after an abortion?
You’re in love. Your partner is everything you could ever want and more. Your relationship ...
Scroll to Top