In states where abortion laws are restrictive, women seek online options

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(Reuters Health) – There is a demand for women from the United States for an online service that provides abortion medicines, and is primarily driven by restrictive abortion policies, but also through high costs, stigma or appeals of a private solution, in the UK. home, small study revealed.

At the time of the study, the United States did not have online access to abortion care, researchers noted in the American Journal of Public Health.

However, inquiries from US women were receiving two abortion pills recommended by the Netherlands, allowing two women in countries that do not have legal access to medical abortion to safely, and began to track applications.

In analyzing information on these contacts during 10 months, researchers received a “real demand for medication abortion through online telemedicine services,” said Abigail R.A. Aiken from the University of Texas, Austin.

Although the Dutch based organization Women on Web (WoW) does not provide medicines to the United States., She began keeping records of requests from US women and the information they provided about why they were looking for medication. abortion from online source.

The Aiken team – comprising the founder and director of Women on the International Network in Amsterdam – carried out an analysis of the responses of US women who contacted WoW between mid-October 2017 and mid-August 2018.

During this period, WoW received 6,022 applications from the United States alone, 76% of which were from state restrictive laws, the researchers found.

“The most interesting thing, even in restricted states, is that people were getting creative ways to overcome them online,” Aiken said in a telephone interview.

Just over half of FOI women asked for the online service between 20 and 29 years of age, and 21% were younger than 20 years of age.

Mississippi was the highest application rate, followed by Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

In 2017, almost all Mississippi counties had no clinics that provided abortion, Aiken staff notes.

The smallest requests came from New Hampshire, Oregon, Minnesota, California and Maine.

“It is not surprising that an online service that sends abortion pills to your door is attractive to women in states who are doing whatever they can to make it difficult to go to clinics,” said Megan Donovan, senior policy manager in the Institute. Guttmacher Washington, DC, was not involved in the study.

Many women cited barriers to access to clinics and chose to self-manage as reasons for seeking online services.

In states where there are hostile abortion policies, 71% of women said that the cost of abortion accounted for an online service, compared to 63% in supporting states.

Other common reasons given in hostile states were legal restrictions and protests outside abortion clinics.

The need to keep abortion intent was a little more common in women living in supportive states.

The most significant result, according to Aiken, was self-management. “The main reason for this choice was privacy,” she said.

The study highlighted the public health implications of restrictive laws such as mandatory waiting times, mandatory sonograms or stigma, which the authors said in their report.

“US lawmakers have imposed more than 475 restrictions against abortion since January 2011,” said Donovan.

The study cannot clearly capture all claims for abortion medicines from online sources as women can access online pharmacies or other non-medication methods, the study team writes.

“However, we demonstrate the need to develop more innovative models of care. There will only be one way people want to access abortion, ”said Aiken.

After the end of the study period, an online telemedicine service called AidAccess had begun to give abortion to women in the United States, the author's note.

In “an ideal world,” Donovan said, people would be able to make choices and access abortion stigma care and unnecessary medical restrictions. “Self-managed abortion would be one option alongside a whole range of safe and effective options, but unfortunately this is not the world in which we live.” T

SOURCE: bit.ly/2XcY2j9 Journal of American Public Health, online October 17, 2019.

Our Standards:The principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

. Health (t) Fertility and Reproduction (t) Public Health (t) Healthcare (TBC) (t) Women

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