South Africa: Abortion advice by SMS beats going back to the clinic‚ say patients in Cape Town study

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Abortion advice by SMS beats going back to the clinic‚ say patients in Cape Town study
June 26, 2017

SMS advice‚ a checklist and a simple home urine test are all most women need after a medical abortion‚ a Cape Town study has found.

A team led by Deborah Constant‚ of the Women’s Health Research Unit at the University of Cape Town‚ tried the approach on 525 women who had free abortions at six public sector clinics. And 92% said they would be happy to repeat the regimen in future.

Continued at source: Times Live: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2017-06-26-abortion-advice-by-sms-beats-going-back-to-the-clinic-say-patients-in-cape-town-study/?device=feature_phone

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Global Abortion Policies Database

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Global Abortion Policies Database
June 23, 2017

The World Health Organization, the Human Reproduction Programme, and the Population Division of the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs have launched the Global Abortion Policies Database to promote greater transparency of abortion laws and policies and State accountability for the protection of women and girls’ health and human rights.

The Global Abortion Policies Database is designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing an interactive open-access database and repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines. This tool builds upon the UNPD’s previous work in this area, resulting in a more comprehensive information resource on abortion policies in the 21st century. The database will facilitate analyses of countries’ abortion laws and policies when they are placed in the context of WHO guidelines and human rights norms and standards. It is intended to help states identify and eliminate the barriers that women encounter in accessing safe abortion services. It is also intended to increase both the transparency of abortion laws and policies and to ensure accountability for the protection of women’s health and their human rights.

Continued at source: WHO / HRP: http://www.srhr.org/abortion-policies.

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About the Global Abortion Policies Project

The Global Abortion Policies Project (GAPP) has been designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing a global, open-access repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines. The purpose of the Project is to increase both the transparency of abortion laws and policies and to foster accountability among governments as they adopt and implement such policies. The Project has been structured to facilitate comparative analyses of countries’ abortion laws and policies by placing them in the context of the WHO guidance on safe abortion. Current laws and policies on abortion can be used as benchmarks to monitor and evaluate national progress in creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment for eliminating unsafe abortion. The Project Database is a collaborative effort by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization.

Continued at source: United Nations: https://esa.un.org/gapp.

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No Two Sides About It – Being Anti-choice is Anti-Science

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No Two Sides About It - Being Anti-choice is Anti-Science

by Caroline Reilly
Published on June 21, 2017

Over the last three months, the New York Times Opinion page has run not one but three anti-abortion op-eds riddled with misinformation, pseudoscience, and outright falsehoods. On February 27, the Times published “How the New Feminist Movement Leaves Out American Women,” an article by Lauren Enriquez, a public relations manager at Human Coalition, a pro-life nonprofit that calls abortion “the worst holocaust in human history ” on the homepage of their website, comparing it to murder. Exactly a month later, they published “To Win Again, Democrats Must Stop Being the Abortion Party,” in which Boston College theology and religious education professor Thomas Groome claimed Clinton’s allegiance to pro-choice values partially led to her loss to Donald Trump. And in May, a second article written by someone affiliated with the Human Coalition found its way to the op-ed page. In “The Problem with Linking Abortion and Economics,” Lori Szala, the national director of client services at Human Coalition, argues that asserting a link between economics and abortion is “patronizing, and patently dishonest.”

Continued at source: Bitch Media: https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/no-two-sides-about-it/being-anti-choice-anti-science

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U.S.: Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

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Alternative Science and Human Reproduction

R. Alta Charo, J.D.
June 14, 2017
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1707107

Human reproduction has become the victim of alternative science, rife with alternative definitions of well-understood medical conditions and characterized by rejection of the scientific method as the standard for generating and evaluating evidence. Alternative science begins with alternative facts of the sort propounded by the Trump administration and its appointees, including Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman who can’t afford birth control on her own (despite the high up-front cost of the most reliable contraceptives). Alternative science is similarly embraced by recent executive-branch appointees Valerie Huber, Teresa Manning, Charmaine Yoest, and Katy Talento.

Continued at source: New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1707107#t=article

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Distance that U.S. patients travel for care illustrates growing inaccessibility of abortion

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Distance that U.S. patients travel for care illustrates growing inaccessibility of abortion
June 9, 2017 by Bert Gambini

Abortion fund recipients who have to travel out of state for an abortion travel roughly 10 times farther for their procedures than patients able to get care in their homes states.

On average, abortion fund recipients who receive funds from advocacy organizations to help pay for abortion costs travel close to 172 miles from their homes to a health care provider for the procedures, a distance that has nearly doubled over a recent period that parallels the unprecedented policy-based restrictions that began after the 2010 midterm elections, according to Gretchen Ely, an associate professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.

Continued at source: MedicalXpress: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-06-distance-patients-inaccessibility-abortion.html

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US: Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Not Readily Replace Planned Parenthood

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Federally Qualified Health Centers Could Not Readily Replace Planned Parenthood
May 17, 2017

New and Updated Guttmacher Resources Detail the Critical Roles Filled by Planned Parenthood and Title X in U.S. Family Planning Safety Net

New evidence from the Guttmacher Institute shows that it is unrealistic to expect federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to serve the millions of women who currently rely on Planned Parenthood for high-quality contraceptive care. The argument that FQHC sites could easily absorb these clients has been key to social conservatives’ efforts to shutter Planned Parenthood health centers by excluding them from various public funding streams, including Medicaid.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: http://mailchi.mp/guttmacher/federally-qualified-health-centers-could-not-readily-replace-planned-parenthood?e=bb6e0547c2

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Online Abortion Service Women on Web: a vital alternative

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Online Abortion Service Women on Web: a vital alternative

May 17th, 2017
A new scientific study published today in the BMJ shows that telemedical abortions are highly effective.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas in Austin, Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh. They looked at the data of 1,000 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland who used the service of Women on Web. Women on Web is an online service of telemedicine initiated ten years ago by Women on Waves. Women living in countries where access to safe abortions is restricted can use it to access information and be referred to a medical doctor to receive a medical abortion.
For more information about Women on Web: +31624195506 or info@womenonwaves.org

Press release by BMJ:

Online abortion service offers vital alternative to unsafe methods to end pregnancy

Results support growing calls for reform of highly restrictive abortion laws

Early medical abortion using online telemedicine offers a highly effective alternative to unsafe methods to end a pregnancy for women in countries where access to safe abortion is restricted, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
The findings, based on reports from women living in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland where abortion laws are among the most restrictive in the world, show that rates of adverse events are low and that women are able to identify potentially serious complications and seek medical attention when advised.
The results provide the best safety evidence to date for self sourced medical abortion through telemedicine - and have important implications for millions of women worldwide, say the researchers.
About a quarter of the world's population lives in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws. Globally, each year an estimated 43,000 women die as a result of lack of access to safe legal abortion services through their countries' formal healthcare systems. Millions more have complications.
Yet little is known about the safety and effectiveness of medical abortion provided through online clinics.
So a team of international researchers led by Abigail Aiken at the University of Texas, analysed self reported outcome data submitted to a telemedicine clinic by 1,000 women four weeks after receiving and using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol to end an early pregnancy.
Almost 95% reported successfully ending their pregnancy. Seven women (0.7%) reported receiving a blood transfusion and 26 (2.6%) reported receiving antibiotics. No deaths were reported.
Ninety three women (9.3%) reported experiencing any symptom for which they were advised to seek medical attention and, of these 87 (95%) sought attention.
None of the five women who did not seek medical attention reported experiencing an adverse outcome.
The researchers highlight some study limitations that could have introduced bias and say their results might not be generalisable to all settings. However, key strengths include the large sample size and high follow-up rate.
"For the millions of women worldwide living in areas where access to abortion is restricted, the findings show the vital role played by self sourced medical abortion in providing an option with high effectiveness rates and few reported adverse outcomes," they conclude.
In a linked editorial, researchers in Canada say, while findings from self reported data must always be treated with some degree of caution, these "reassuring study data support growing calls for reform."
They point out that repeal of legal restrictions "would support the safest and most equitable abortion care for women in Irish jurisdictions.
Until then, for the first time in history, women of all social classes in a legally restricted yet high resource setting have equitable access to a reasonable alternative: medical abortion guided by physicians through telemedicine," they conclude.
Note to Editors:
 
Journal: The BMJ

For more information, please contact:

Abigail R A Aiken, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA - Research

Email: araa2@utexas.edu

Wendy V Norman, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada - Editorial

Email: wendy.norman@ubc.ca

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Source: Women on Waves: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6985/online-abortion-service-women-on-web--a-vital-alternative

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Abortion by telemedicine: an equitable option for Irish women

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Abortion by telemedicine: an equitable option for Irish women

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2237. Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2237
Published 16 May 2017
Wendy V Norman, associate professor, Bernard M Dickens, professor emeritus of health law and policy

Reassuring study data support growing calls for reform

Women’s need for abortion is no less in countries where abortion is legally restricted. Globally, a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion, with higher rates in countries with severe legal restrictions than in countries offering safe legal abortion.1 In 1969 the United Nations affirmed the rights of parents to determine the number and spacing of their children.2 Half a century later a key component of this right is not equitably accessible.

Continued at source: BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2237

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Abortion pills accessed online are as safe, effective as clinics: study

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Abortion pills accessed online are as safe, effective as clinics: study
Telemedicine may be option in countries where service is restricted, researchers suggest

CBC News Posted: May 16, 2017

Medical abortions done at home using pills and an online telemedicine service appear to be just as safe and effective as those done at legal clinics, a new study has found. And it's an approach that the Canadian health-care system may be able to learn from, the author of an accompanying editorial says.

To conduct the study, researchers analyzed the outcomes of 1,023 women in Ireland and Northern Ireland who sought medical abortion services through Women on Web, a non-profit organization that provides access to medications used to induce abortion, between 2010 and 2012. Outcomes were known for 1,000 of those women, and nearly all the women were less than nine weeks into their pregnancy.

Continued at source: CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/medical-abortion-telemedicine-1.4118688

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New Study Highlights Demographics of Women Who Have Abortions in 28 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

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New Study Highlights Demographics of Women Who Have Abortions in 28 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

May 10, 2017, News Release

Demographic characteristics of women who obtain abortions vary widely by country and region, according to an article recently published in PLOS ONE, “Characteristics of Women Obtaining Induced Abortions in Selected Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” by Guttmacher Institute researchers Dr. Sophia Chae and colleagues. Their work updates a previous study published in 1999 and measures characteristics such as abortion patients’ age, marital status, number of previous births, wealth, education, and urban or rural residence.

The researchers analyzed data collected from 2002 to 2014 in 28 low- and middle-income countries—five in Africa, 13 in Asia, eight in Europe, and two in Latin America and the Caribbean. Abortion is legally and severely restricted in approximately half of the countries studied, and in many others, safe abortion services are not easily accessible despite being legal.

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/new-study-highlights-demographics-women-who-have-abortions-28-low-and-middle

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