4 out of 5 US Adults Have Never Heard of Abortion Pills

Sunday, June 27, 2021 blog Share

You can’t use something if you don’t know it exists

4 of 5 US adults

Americans are surprisingly misinformed about medication abortion, according to a recent  survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation survey, which studies US health care policy.

More than six out of ten (63%) US adults surveyed by KFF personally know someone, including themselves, who has had an abortion. But only one in five (21%) have ever even heard of mifepristone or medication abortion – and only one in three (36%) women age 18-49, the people who are most likely to need abortion pills in the first place. 

What’s more, most Americans have heard of emergency contraception, or the “morning after pill,” but more than half (62%) think that emergency contraception ends an early pregnancy rather than preventing pregnancy, and nearly half (42%) think morning after pills and abortion pills are the same thing (they're not).

The anti-sex, anti-abortion right has put a lot of effort into confusing people about birth control and abortion – and that’s dangerous. If people who can get pregnant don’t know that mifepristone and misoprostol exist, never mind that abortion with pills is up to 98% effective in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, they’re going to think that a medical abortion in a clinic is their only option. And if they can’t or don’t want to go to a clinic, that leaves them believing that they don’t have any options at all.

It’s critically important to share information about abortion pills as widely as possible. That’s how to make sure people know they exist before they need them. You can help! Start by reading the FAQs on AbortionPillInfo.org and on the Euki reproductive health app for iOS and Android. Then start sharing them with everyone you know. If only one in five US adults knows about abortion with pills, that’s no reason to panic. It just means we’ve got work to do.