Women are interested in new ways to access medication abortion

Medication abortion is a safe, effective option that could revolutionize the way people access and experience abortion. It offers the potential of a self-managed experience at home instead of a medicalized procedure.

New research from ANSIRH explores women’s interest in new ways to access medication abortion. The national survey looked at general support for and personal interest in three models of getting medication abortion: receiving the pills in advance from a doctor for future use, over-the-counter (OTC) access from a pharmacy, and purchasing abortion pills online.

Of those surveyed, 49 percent supported at least one of the three models. Getting pills ahead of time from a doctor receiving the most support. When women were asked about their interest in using these methods personally, 23 percent expressed interest in advance provision and OTC access and 16 percent were interested in online access. The survey shows that women widely support expanded options for accessing abortion care.

Women who experienced barriers to accessing reproductive care were especially interested in and supportive of new models. These women had experienced challenges with cost, finding a doctor or clinic and transportation to the clinic. More than one-third of women said that these alternative models could help women get an abortion earlier in pregnancy and would be more convenient, showing their potential to reduce barriers to care.

Giving people more choices in how they access reproductive health care, including abortion, has the potential to increase women's autonomy in their reproductive decision-making and to increase access. Given the increasing barriers to accessing abortion care, alternative models of abortion provision are essential.