Risks of dating a single mother
It is at about the fifth week of pregnancy (measured from a woman's last menstrual period) that a mother first begins to suspect she is pregnant, so this is likely to be about the earliest that the chemical abortifacient is used.
At this point, the child is about three weeks old (14) and approximately 2mm long (about 1/10 of an inch).
(4) RU486 is an artificial steroid that interferes with the action of progesterone, a hormone crucial to the early progress of pregnancy.
(5) Progesterone stimulates the proliferation of the uterine lining which nourishes the developing child.
(24) Pro-life groups such as the National Right to Life Committee have never opposed the testing or use of RU486 for such therapeutic purposes, but evidence of its effectiveness in these applications, (25) as well as evidence of the pill's promoter's real interest in such applications, is limited.(18) The effectiveness of the RU486, or mifepristone, method begins to decline after 49 days, or 7 weeks of pregnancy.(19) By that time, the baby will be five weeks old and will have increased in size to 8mm, and his or her face, arms, and legs will be distinguishable.(26) Acting alone, RU486 is able to induce an abortion only between 64% and 85% of the time, a rate abortifacient researchers consider "inadequate for general clinical use." (27) This is why, two days after taking the RU486, a woman is given a prostaglandin, usually misoprostol (trade name: Cytotec), to induce powerful uterine contractions to expel the shriveled corpse.(28) Because the use of a prostaglandin (PG) is part of the standard RU486 abortion protocol, it is perhaps more accurate to refer to this as an "RU486/PG" abortion.