I got these questions a bunch last week, so I wanted to put the answers all in one place. I’m not a doctor or a lawyer, but this is what I’ve been able to find (it’s fine to share).
•EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION VS ABORTION PILLS: You take emergency contraception (also called plan b or the morning after pill) after sex (within 72 hours is best, within 5 days can still work). They prevent pregnancy. You take abortion pills when you are less than 10 weeks pregnant. they end an existing pregnancy.
•WEIGHT LIMITS: Emergency contraception is less effective in higher weight people (over 155 lbs/70 kg for plan b, over 195 lbs/88 kg for ella). You can still take it! they’re just less effective.
There are no weight limits for abortion pills. You can take them at any weight.
•ARE THEY SAFE, DO THEY WORK: No medicine is 100% safe for everyone in every situation. But when taken in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, abortion pills work 99.6% of the time. Less than 1% of people have major complications. They are much, much safer than pregnancy or childbirth.
•HOW DO I GET EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION: If you need it fast, go to a pharmacy, planned parenthood office, family planning clinic, or student health office. You don’t need a prescription. You don’t need id. You can also buy it online ahead of time and keep it on hand just in case.
•HOW DO I GET ABORTION PILLS: You can order them online, even if you’re not currently pregnant. The exact details differ from state to state (and are changing as the laws change). But go to plancpills.org or aidaccess.org for state by state guides.
•HOW LONG DO THEY LAST: Emergency contraception has a shelf life of about 4 years for plan b, 3 years for ella. Abortion pills use two different medicines, one has a shelf life of about 5 years, the other 2 years. There will be a date on your package.
•MORE: Scarlet Teen is an amazing resource for accurate, non judgemental info. Especially this page on how to access a safe, self-managed medical abortion. Safety info on self managed abortion is over here.