A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States

A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States
(Posted August 29 2018)

Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), Gynuity Health Projects, and Ibis Reproductive Health. A roadmap for research on self-managed abortion in the United States. August 2018.

Media coverage and research data show a growing awareness of the option to self-manage (or self-induce or self-source) abortion outside of the formal health care system; we are learning more about people’s experiences with self-managed abortion, and how often people choose this option in the United States. Recent evidence indicates between one and seven percent of abortion patients (see below) have taken or done something to try to end their current pregnancy. In addition, in 2015, there were more than 700,000 Google searches using terms related to self-induced abortion in the United States. The reasons women attempt to self-manage an abortion are varied, but they are often related to barriers accessing clinic-based care, as well as a preference for self-care.

Continued: https://ibisreproductivehealth.org/publications/roadmap-research-self-managed-abortion-united-states

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Telemedicine Could Help Fill the Gaps in America’s Abortion Care

Telemedicine Could Help Fill the Gaps in America's Abortion Care

Author: Garnet Henderson
Aug 7, 2018

Imagine a woman in Lubbock, Texas, who just found out that she's pregnant. She wants an abortion, but Lubbock is one of 27 abortion deserts in the US: The nearest clinic is 308 miles away in Fort Worth, forcing her to take time off from work, pay for travel, and likely arrange childcare to get there. She’s less than 10 weeks along, so she’s a candidate for medication abortion—which could, theoretically, be completed in the privacy of her home. But Texas requires that the FDA protocol for medication abortion be followed to the letter. She’ll have to return to the clinic within one to two weeks for a follow-up visit, despite evidence that an in-person follow-up is unnecessary.

What if, instead, she could video chat with a doctor, pick up a prescription from her regular pharmacy, and manage her own abortion with on-call medical support—a telemedicine abortion?

Continued: https://www.wired.com/story/telemedicine-could-help-fill-the-gaps-in-americas-abortion-care/

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USA – ‘I Didn’t Tell a Soul’: Illegal Abortion Then and Now

‘I Didn’t Tell a Soul’: Illegal Abortion Then and Now

Jul 31, 2018
Lauren Holter

Jo Baxter had an illegal abortion in 1965. Now she fears the country is reverting back to a time when women couldn’t legally end a pregnancy.

Terror: That was the only emotion Jo Baxter remembers feeling as she drove from Nebraska to Kansas. It was a Saturday morning in 1965—eight years before abortion was legalized in the United States—when the college junior got into a car with her boyfriend and another friend who agreed to drive the six hours so Baxter could get an illegal abortion from a man she’d never met.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2018/07/31/i-didnt-tell-a-soul-illegal-abortion-then-and-now/

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If ‘Roe v. Wade’ Goes, Women May Have to Drive Hours for Abortions. It’s Already Happening in North Dakota

If ‘Roe v. Wade’ Goes, Women May Have to Drive Hours for Abortions. It’s Already Happening in North Dakota
One in five women in North Dakota travels more than 280 miles to get an abortion. That drive could become longer if ‘Roe v. Wade’ is repealed.

Torey Van Oot
07.11.18

Holly Alvarado was 22 and just weeks from deployment in the U.S. military when she realized she was pregnant. She knew she wasn’t in a place emotionally or financially to have a child. She called a Planned Parenthood and asked how—and where—she could get an abortion.

At the time, Alvarado was stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, a city on the Minnesota border just 90 miles south of the Canadian border. The sole abortion clinic in the state, a two hour drive from her home, wasn’t able to see her before her departure. The next closest provider was more than four hours away in Minnesota.

Continued: https://www.thedailybeast.com/if-roe-v-wade-goes-women-may-have-to-drive-hours-for-abortions-its-already-happening-in-north-dakota

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USA: As Catholic systems grow by acquiring other hospitals, abortions plummet

As Catholic systems grow by acquiring other hospitals, abortions plummet

By Steven Ross Johnson | September 14, 2017

Inpatient abortions and other reproductive health services prohibited by Catholic hospitals' religious directives are being performed significantly less often as more hospitals become Catholic-affiliated, according to a new study.

The National Bureau of Economic Research examined Catholic hospitals across six states and found per-bed annual rates of inpatient abortions dropped by 30%. Rates of sterilization via tubal ligation also decreased by 31%.

Continued at source: Modern Healthcare: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170914/NEWS/170919931

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U.S.: Abortion Via Telemedicine Is Totally Safe, Study Says

Abortion Via Telemedicine Is Totally Safe, Study Says
States are cracking down on telemedicine abortions, but research argues it's as safe as going to a doctor.

Sept 8, 2017
Catherine Pearson, Women & Parents Senior Reporter, HuffPost

A new study is challenging the premise of laws across the country prohibiting abortions administered through telemedicine.

Nineteen states require a clinician to be present when a woman takes medicine to end her pregnancy in order to keep her safe.

But the new, multi-year study has found that medication abortions are just as safe when they are done with a clinician overseeing them remotely as they are in the physical presence of a doctor.

Continued at source: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/abortion-via-telemedicine-is-totally-safe_us_59b2af99e4b0dfaafcf79bee

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U.S.: A New Front in the War Over Reproductive Rights: ‘Abortion-Pill Reversal’

A New Front in the War Over Reproductive Rights: ‘Abortion-Pill Reversal’
A San Diego doctor claims his injection can save a fetus after a medication abortion has already begun — the latest attempt by abortion foes to create a narrative of regret.

By RUTH GRAHAM
JULY 18, 2017

Marie Stettler has a tattoo on her arm that reads ‘‘Gelobt sei Jesus Christus, in Ewigkeit Amen.’’ It’s a German prayer her fam¬ily used to recite together, and it means ‘‘Praise be Jesus Christ, for eternity Amen.’’ The family attended Mass weekly, and every Saturday morning at 4:30 they prayed together in front of the Eucharist for an hour. As a teenager in Soda Springs, Idaho, Stettler had a 4.0 G.P.A. and was named Caribou County Junior Miss. She prayed all the time, asking God at each big juncture of her life what he wanted her to do. Her friends, she said, saw her as ‘‘this Christian gal who is chasing the Lord.’’

After high school, Stettler moved from Idaho to New York to Washington, taking classes here and there in things like design and music production. By her early 20s, she was restless and began praying to find a path that was ‘‘meaningful and selfless.’’ So she moved again, this time to attend nursing school in Pittsburgh. She became active in the anti-abortion movement there, traveling to attend the March for Life, a huge annual gathering of anti-abortion activists in Washington. But although her faith felt revived, she began ‘‘living a double life,’’ she told me, casually dating a much older restaurateur, whom she described as a ‘‘billionaire.’’ In late October 2015, a month before graduation, she found out she was pregnant.

Continued at source: New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/magazine/a-new-front-in-the-war-over-reproductive-rights-abortion-pill-reversal.html?mwrsm=Email

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U.S.: New Research Eviscerates Widespread Anti-Choice Myth

Oct 13, 2016, 9:29am Nicole Knight, Rewire

New research upends a widely held belief in the anti-choice movement that women feel conflicted about abortion care and need state-assisted intervention, including forced waiting periods and mandatory counseling.

Women are sure about their abortion decisions, and felt less conflicted than those deciding on knee surgery, according to a first-of-its-kind study out Thursday.

The research, published in the journal Contraception, upends a widely held belief in the anti-choice movement that women feel conflicted about abortion care and need state-assisted intervention, including forced waiting periods and mandatory counseling.

“I think this finding challenges the narrative that decision making on abortion is somehow exceptional and requires additional protection,” Lauren J. Ralph, epidemiologist with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) research group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, said in a phone interview with Rewire.

Ralph, the lead author of the study, continued, “Women are certain of their decision when they present for abortion care.”

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Researchers from UCSF and the University of Utah surveyed 500 English- and Spanish-speaking women seeking abortion care at four Utah clinics between October 2013 and April 2014. About 70 percent of the respondents were white, and nearly half identified as religious.

The authors found that women felt about the same or a bit more certainty about their abortion care decision than those making decisions such as taking antidepressants while pregnant, undergoing prenatal tests after infertility, and choosing a mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Respondents were more sure about receiving abortion care than those seeking reconstructive knee surgery.

The team was the first to measure respondents’ levels of uncertainty with a survey tool, the Decisional Conflict Scale, considered by researchers to be the “gold standard.” Doing so allowed the scientists to compare women’s certainty about abortion care to health-care decisions explored in previous research.

“Since most women are certain of their decision, there’s not evidence from our study that women would benefit from additional counseling visits, having to wait up to 72 hours before receiving care, or viewing ultrasounds,” Ralph told Rewire.

Eighteen states force pregnant people to wait up to 24 hours for abortion care, three states require a 48-hour delay, and six states impose a 72-hour wait, according to recent data from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“I think those laws rest on the notion that women are fundamentally undecided,” Ralph told Rewire.

Prior research has also found that most women are certain about ending their pregnancies, as the authors note. Research published this year on Utah’s 72-hour forced waiting period found the delay didn’t change most women’s minds; it just made abortion care more costly and difficult to obtain.

The authors explored the role of abortion myths in patients’ decision making by asking respondents to rate whether they believed a series of statements. The statements were both inaccurate—”abortion causes breast cancer”—and factual—”abortion does not cause breast cancer.”

Ralph told Rewire that women who believed the myths were more likely to be conflicted in their decision, but still had “high levels of certainty” about their choice to end their pregnancy.

The findings, Ralph said, underscore the need for accurate abortion care information.

Many states force abortion providers to tell myths to pregnant people. Five states tell patients that abortion care increases the risk of breast cancer, six claim that a fetus is a person, and 12 say abortion care causes fetal pain, as the Journal of the American Medical Association recently noted.

Source: Rewire

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