Self-managed medication abortion using misoprostol provided by an online telemedicine service has a high rate of effectiveness and a low rate of serious adverse events
Johnson, Dana M.
Aiken, Abigail R. A.
University of Texas at Austin Population Research Center
In the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling that ended the constitutional right to abortion, many states have banned or severely restricted abortion access. As a result, women, transgender men, and gender non-binary individuals capable of pregnancy face unprecedented difficulties obtaining abortion care in clinics in those states. Aid Access is an online telemedicine organization that offers low-cost abortion pills to end a pregnancy on one’s own, a process that is also known as self-managed medication abortion. Typically, Aid Access provides the medications mifepristone and misoprostol for self-managed abortion. However, the service temporarily provided prescriptions for misoprostol alone because of challenges shipping mifepristone internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this brief, PRC Graduate Student Trainee Dana Johnson, PRC Faculty Scholar Abigail Aiken, and colleagues assessed the safety and effectiveness of self-managed abortion using misoprostol acquired from Aid Access for 568 US residents. They found that self-managed medication abortion using misoprostol had a high rate of effectiveness and a low rate of serious adverse events. These argue that as existing and potential bans substantially limit access to mifepristone, and because misoprostol has far fewer legal constraints, people may increasingly consider misoprostol alone for self-managed abortion.
Johnson, D.M., Michels-Gualtieri, M, Gomperts, R., & Aiken, A.R.A. (2023). Self-managed medication abortion using misoprostol provided by an online telemedicine service has a high rate of effectiveness and a low rate of serious adverse events. PRC Research Brief 8(2).