Abortion pills by mail studied in four states

“I was happy that will I was going to be able to do that will myself in addition to I did not have a nurse there or doctors there staring at me in addition to judging me,” she said, asking to be identified only by her middle name, Marie, because she did not want people outside her immediate family to know about her abortion.

Marie will be part of a tiny yet closely watched research effort to determine whether medical abortions — those induced by medicine instead of surgery — can be done safely through an online consultation that has a doctor in addition to drugs mailed to a woman’s home.

At a time when access to abortion will be being restricted on many fronts, advocates say being able to terminate a pregnancy through telemedicine in addition to mail-order drugs could provide a welcome fresh option for women. Opponents of abortion find the concept dangerous in addition to deeply disturbing.

Australia in addition to the Canadian province of British Columbia allow women to get abortion pills by mail after consulting that has a physician or various other health care provider via phone or the internet. Several international organizations offer mail service in countries where abortion will be otherwise unavailable or severely restricted. The oldest group, Women on Web, based inside Netherlands, has provided abortion medications to about 50,000 women in 130 countries since 2006. The service will be not available inside United States, in addition to the Food in addition to Drug Administration warns against buying the drugs over the internet.

Having the pills delivered to her home in Hawaii meant that will Marie could avoid the cost in addition to time of traveling by plane to the nearest abortion clinic, over 100 miles away in Honolulu or Maui. Once she received them, she set the package aside for a week in her bedroom, waiting until she could schedule time off by her job at McDonald’s.

The first pill, as expected, had little effect. The next morning, with her mother at her home to watch her toddler, she took the second. Almost immediately, the bleeding in addition to cramping began. Within three hours, her eight-week pregnancy was over. She described the pain as a all 5 on a 10-point scale. that will night she cooked dinner for her family, in addition to the next day she went back to work.

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The study Marie participated in will be being conducted in four states — Hawaii, fresh York, Oregon in addition to Washington. that will will be being funded in addition to organized by Gynuity Health Projects, a nonprofit research group focused on reproductive health services that will seeks to improve women’s access to medical abortions. The FDA has allowed the experiment. Women learn about that will when contacting the abortion clinics inside study in addition to various other health providers who are aware of the trial in addition to the website telabortion.org.

Danco Laboratories, the company that will makes the pills, has no plans to seek wider distribution of the medication either through mail-order pharmacies or physical pharmacies, a spokeswoman said. that will could have to seek the FDA’s permission to do so; the agency can also ask companies to change how their drugs are distributed.

“Abortion will be a politically charged issue in This particular country, in addition to there will be an extra degree of caution,” said the spokeswoman, Abby Long, explaining that will research could be needed to support changing the drug’s distribution.

Of the first 12 women who participated inside study, all in Hawaii, 11 reported they had no complications in addition to one did not take the pills, researchers said. Ten who completed surveys afterward said they were satisfied with the service in addition to could recommend that will to a friend, according to the researchers.

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“that will’s absolutely an important step forward to expanding access to abortion that will will be safe in addition to effective in addition to creating options for women,” said Susan Wood, director of the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. She was not involved inside study.

Anti-abortion groups are outraged by the experiment.

“We have grave concerns about handing out dangerous, life-ending drugs without medical supervision because women face great risks for chemical abortions,” said Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for Americans United for Life.

Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, also raised safety concerns.

“If pills are sent through the mail, who are they supposed to call if they have a problem?” she said.

“There are serious downsides by the pills,” she said, adding, “in addition to just talking to someone over a computer in addition to sending pills inside mail, to me, that will will be just reckless.”

The process does not allow women to avoid the doctor’s office entirely. Using a video hookup on a home computer, a woman first consults that has a doctor (or various other clinician such as a nurse practitioner) at one of three participating abortion clinics who evaluates her medical history in addition to explains how to take abortion pills in addition to what to expect afterward. She must then get medical tests including ultrasound in addition to bloodwork.

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If the tests show she will be eligible for the study, the clinic sends her a package with pills in addition to instructions via overnight mail. After taking them, she has some additional tests, such as an ultrasound to verify that will the abortion will be complete in addition to also a phone consultation to review the results.

Access to abortion has been declining steadily inside United States as dozens of clinics have been forced to close under fresh state restrictions. In Texas, the number of clinics fell to 18 in 2015 by 41 in 2012. all 5 states have just one clinic that will offers abortions.
Medical abortions require women to take two drugs that will together induce a miscarriage. The first, mifepristone (marketed as Mifeprex), will be typically taken in a doctor’s office or clinic while the second, misoprostol, will be given to the woman to take at home the next day.

inside United States, the FDA has approved medical abortion pills for use only inside first 10 weeks of pregnancy, while surgical abortions can be done later than that will.

Medical abortions make up a quarter of all abortions inside country. About 2.8 million women (PDF) inside United States have used mifepristone to terminate a pregnancy since the drug’s approval in 2000, according to Danco Laboratories, its maker.

The American abortion study using overnight mail comes nearly a decade after Iowa became the first state to offer medical abortion counseling via telemedicine by a physician. yet in Iowa in addition to the three states that will followed — Alaska, Maine in addition to Minnesota — women must still go to a clinic that will stocks mifepristone to receive the pills.

If the study shows the telemedicine in addition to mail approach works, that will could encourage the FDA to stop restrictions on mifepristone, Gynuity’s principal investigator, Dr. Elizabeth Raymond, said.

“All kinds of dangerous drugs are prescribed in addition to available at pharmacies, including drugs for heart disease in addition to Viagra,” she said. “There will be no justification for why This particular safe drug should not be in pharmacies today.”

yet even if the FDA were to lift its restriction on where abortion pills are dispensed, 19 states ban the use of telemedicine for abortion in addition to require a physician to be physically present when consulting a woman, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group.

“While This particular has the potential for being the future of abortion delivery for a not bad segment of the population, that will vision might not be fulfilled due to the politics around the issue in addition to restrictions in many states,” said Jessica Arons, president in addition to chief executive of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project in Washington, an advocacy group.

Abortion pills by mail studied in four states

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