The Challenges of Innovating Access to Abortion
By Sue Halpern
Mar 6, 2019
A year ago, when Kanuʻuhiwa Thomas, a twenty-four-year-old who lives in Hawaii, found out that she was two weeks pregnant, she decided to terminate the pregnancy. (Kanuʻuhiwa Thomas is an alias.) “I don’t have any type of support system,” Thomas told me. “I’m still trying to finish my schooling, which is really important to me because a lot of girls here don’t finish their education—they just get pregnant and maybe get married and have kids and have to live off the system. I’m just kind of adamant about making sure I can take care of a child before I have one.”
Hawaii has one of the most liberal abortion policies in the country, but, like many rural and geographically expansive states, services are hard to come by.
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?