Demand for Self-Managed Medication Abortion Through an Online Telemedicine Service in the United States
An analysis of abortion access in the United States.
This study analyzed data amassed by Women on Web that assessed medical abortion request rates from the United States between October 15, 2017 to August 15, 2018. Population-adjusted rate of requests by State was calculated and factored in, as well as States with hostile versus supportive abortion policies, demographics, clinical characteristics, and motivations for seeking services. Of the 6022 requests received within the 10-month period, 76% were from hostile States, the highest being Mississippi with 24.9 per 100,000 womxn of reproductive age. A majority of the total requests (60%) cited several barriers to accessing clinical care, with financial and privacy ranking among the highest.
This research illuminated that restrictive State-level policies were worsening barriers and negatively impacting access to clinical care, even perhaps contributing to a decline in clinical abortions. The research demonstrated that even in supportive States where policies were less restrictive, residents were still citing barriers in accessing clinical care. Lastly, it was noted that self-managed abortion was a preferential method, beyond merely addressing a lack of clinical access.
This study concluded just as the service, AidAccess, was launched in the United States, which operates in the same manner as Women on Web. AidAccess may have addressed some of the needs looked at in this research and provided a telemedical option that was not available during the research period.