When a woman first begins a chemical abortion, she is first given mifepristone – a drug designed to prevent the delivery of essential nutrients to the developing baby, essentially starving the baby to death. Next, the woman is given a second drug, misoprostol, to terminate the pregnancy. Within 6-48 hours, this drug usually causes contractions and expel the remains of the baby. But about 5 percent of the time, the drug combination won’t work and a surgery is required to either end the pregnancy or remove the dead infant and placenta. That risk is higher the later you go into pregnancy.