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?