Bloomington, Ill. - A medication to end pregnancy, commonly known as the abortion pill, became available to women 17 years ago.
Now, for the first time, women in central Illinois won't have to travel far to a Planned Parenthood to get the medication.
The FDA approved abortion pill became available to women in 2000. Now, it's accessible at Planned Parenthood in Bloomington. This is not to be mistaken with the "morning after" pill. The Abortion Pill can be used within 10 weeks of conception to terminate a pregnancy.
"It stops the hormones to the pregnancy. Then, they are dispensed another medication that they take themselves within 48-hours. That causes the uterus to cramp and contract and expel the products of the pregnancy" said Roseanne Burke. Burke is a lead clinician at Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
The first pill, Mifepristone, is taken at a medical clinic. The second, Misoprostol, you take at home later. The earlier you take the first pill, the more effective it is. Burke says at 8 weeks pregnant, it's 98 percent effective.
As far as pregnancies in the future, Burke says it won't harm your chance at getting pregnant again. Although, she says it can make you more fertile.
Side effects from taking the abortion pill can include cramping, nausea and bleeding. According to Burke, a follow-up appointment is necessary.
"We want to be able to offer a full range of services to all our patients", says Burke.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois spokesperson Julie Lynn says it is their agency's goal to have this available at every one of their clinics.
Dan Smith with central Illinois' Right to Life disagrees with the expansion and method completely.
"It's just another method of abortion", says Smith.